Several Merced County races remained too close to call the day after Tuesday’s elections, with the county’s top voting official saying it may be several days before final results are known.
“Voluminous bags” holding thousands of ballots remain to be counted, Registrar of Voters Barbara Levey told the Sun-Star on Wednesday.
“Thousands of ballots got dropped off at polls yesterday,” she said, and more arrived by mail.
Levey said it was too early to determine when final results would be announced.
“It’s just a tremendous volume of work yet.”
Many of the county’s local contests were separated by margins of a few hundred votes, meaning they could still be in play.
With ballots from precincts counted, District 2 county Supervisor Hub Walsh trailed challenger Lee Lor by about 500 votes. In the race for the open District 4 seat, Lloyd Pareira led Rich Ford by more than 2,300 votes, or 66 percent to 34 percent.
“Voters confirmed they want new energy, new vision and new leadership to move us forward,” Lor said in a prepared statement sent to the Sun-Star.
Walsh said late Tuesday night he expected the race to be close and planned to wait to see how it unfolds as the county works to certify the results.
“Both the candidates in District 2 have done well,” he said. “I appreciate everyone coming out to vote.”
Pareira wasn’t ready to claim victory Wednesday afternoon and said he’s waiting until he knows how many votes are left to be counted. But, he said he’s confident with how the numbers look and is happy with the results thus far.
“I congratulated Rich (Ford), and he ran a good race,” Pareira said. “We talked this morning and agreed it was a positive campaign, and it’s not always the case in today’s political climate.”
Ford conceded to Pareira in a Facebook post Wednesday morning, congratulating Pareira on the win and complimenting his campaign. “You deserve to win,” Ford said. “It has been a pleasure getting to know you and the other candidates during the campaign. I am sure you will make a great representative for District 4.”