The website for the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters says that 100% of precincts have reported vote totals in Santa Clara for the Nov. 8 election, however, that does not mean the Santa Clara mayor’s race is over.
“We have mountains of ballots that we’re going through right now,” said Evelyn Mendez, the Public and Legislative Affairs Manager for the Office of the Registrar of Voters. “Every day for the next month, we’re going to be processing.”
As of Thursday night, incumbent Lisa Gillmor leads the race for mayor with 9,210 votes. That’s 250 votes more than challenger Anthony Becker’s 8,960 votes. However, Mendez says 59,831 ballots were issued in the City of Santa Clara for this election and only 18,170 have been processed so far.
Over the next three to four weeks, elections officials will process ballots. That means the ballots are opened, flattened, the signatures and voting precinct are verified before the ballots are handed over to the ballot counters to put them into the machine.
Registrar of Voters employees spent the election night at voting centers working to make sure people who voted on the day of the election were serviced. Only now are they starting to deal with the mail-in ballots and those collected at voting centers.
All that is to say we are a long way away from knowing who the next mayor of Santa Clara will be.
“We can’t certify or predict the end of the race until we get all of the ballots in. We have a lot of ballots still to process,” said Mendez.
The Registrar of Voters has until 30 days after the election (Dec. 8) to certify the results. Only after the election is certified can a candidate ask for a recount.
With a little over a percentage point separating the two candidates, it’s likely that no matter which candidate wins the Santa Clara mayor’s race, the other will ask for a recount.