The final tallying of absentee ballots in Calaveras County on Tuesday put the closest supervisorial race to bed while leaving a Vallecito Union School District race with a bit of intrigue.
Rail Road Flat nonprofit director Chris Wright is assured of succeeding retiring District 2 Supervisor Steve Wilensky, whose policies he has openly admired and whose endorsement he gained in the campaign, by virtue of a 122-vote margin against West Point store owner Bryce Randall. The remaining provisional ballots cast in the district total just 90, and Wright’s lead is more than 3 percentage points.
The margin between Carol Gordon, the leader for the second of two seats available on the VUSD board, and third-place Tom Pratt, has shrunk with each successive count but it is unclear if enough votes remain to close the gap. Gordon has 1,869 votes to Pratt’s 1,841. That is a 0.39 percent difference and stood at 37 votes Friday after being at 57 on election night. An added wrinkle to the race is that voters chose two candidates from a slate of four, including the top vote-getter and incumbent Wayne Harrison, so remaining ballots with both Gordon and Pratt selected will not alter the outcome of the race.
The district spans 40 partial precincts in Arnold, Murphys, rural Angels Camp, Vallecito, the Forest Meadows area and Mountain Ranch. It is primarily within Supervisorial District 3, where 125 provisionals are left to be certified and counted if eligible. It also takes in part of District 4, where 115 votes are left. The most remaining ballots are in District 5 with 125, while District 1 has 103 outstanding. However, no races are close enough to be decided by those votes.
Elections Coordinator Rebecca Turner and staff were checking provisional ballots against the voter rolls Tuesday and Turner said she expects counting to begin on those ballots by Friday. A final tally should be complete early next week, she said.