Little change in vote results

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat

With more than 5,000 mail-in ballots counted since Tuesday, and about 1,300 provisional ballots to go, little has changed in the results of the Tuolumne County races from the General Election.

Tuolumne Utilities District directors-elect include Jim Grinnell, John Maciel, Michael Sarno and Kent Johnson, and the four will represent an almost complete overhaul of the district's board of directors.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors race appears unchanged and the special tax funding the south county ambulance also appears to have approval, according to the results posted by the county Elections Office late Friday.

The latest results include 5,480 absentee ballots that came in too late to count as part of Tuesday's preliminary election results. The office still has 1,313 provisional ballots to count, which will likely not be completed until later this week.

The office is closed today for the Veteran's Day holiday.

The updated results added to leads held by Grinnell (7,895, 18 percent), Maciel (7,443, 17 percent) and Johnson (6,791, 14 percent) for the utility board's four-term seats.

Michael Sarno also padded his lead for the two-year seat with 9,513 (55 percent) votes over Ron Ringen, who took 7,687 (44.5 percent).

The apparent winners are followed by David Evans (6,142, 14 percent), Dennis Dahlin (6,124, 14 percent), Bob Behee (5,487, 12.5 percent) and David Axelrod (3,724, 8.5 percent).

Behee, Ringen and Dahlin are incumbents. Another incumbent, Barbara Balen, did not seek re-election. Delbert Rotelli will be the only holdover next year.

The $70 annual property tax for 24-hour ambulance service in the Groveland and Big Oak Flat area also appears to have a strong lead for approval, needing 66 percent of the votes to pass. The updated results show 68.66 percent of voters (1,310) supported it, with 598 opposed.

Though neither Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors race was close enough to see major changes through the mail-in ballots, votes continue to trickle in both races.

District 5 Supervisor-elect Karl Rodefer now has 65.9 percent of the votes (2,825), while Domenic Torchia has 33.45 percent (1,434).

Sherri Brennan has 2,590 votes (60 percent), while Supervisor Liz Bass has 1,434 (39.5 percent) for the District 1 seat.

Provisional ballots are issued when a voter's name does not appear on the list at the correct polling place for some reason. These ballots take longer to count because each one must be independently verified by matching signatures and addresses.

However, once they are counted, the Elections Office still has work to do. The office posted a notice Friday that officials will conduct the required public manual tally of ballots at 9 a.m. Nov. 19 in the county office, 2 South Green St., Sonora before officially certifying the results.

The Union Democrat
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