Local Election

Election results are final in Merced County. One race separated by 6 votes

Merced City Council District 6 candidate, Delray Shelton, speaks with guests during his campaign kickoff party at the Mansion House in Merced, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. Shelton is a Sgt. with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
Merced City Council District 6 candidate, Delray Shelton, speaks with guests during his campaign kickoff party at the Mansion House in Merced, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. Shelton is a Sgt. with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office. akuhn@mercedsun-star.com

Just a half-dozen votes make up the distance in a Merced election following the official certification from the Merced County Registrar of Voters Office.

Merced District 6 candidate Delray Shelton came out on top with 2,008 votes compared to candidate John Bliss, who garnered 2,002, according to the registrar.

Neither Shelton, a Merced County Sheriff’s sergeant, nor Bliss, a high school teacher, responded to requests for comment by deadline on Monday.

The results on election night and in the subsequent updates over the past month have been back-and-forth, with the lead changing hands multiple times.

The election results are final in the eyes of the Merced County Registrar of Voters Office. Any voter or candidate can request a recount after the election is certified, the registrar has said, but it potentially comes with a fee.

Registrar Barbara Levey said she has had some inquiries from candidates but no official requests as of Monday afternoon. A recount from two years ago cost about $2,700 a day, she said, which is funded by the candidate making the request. Their money is returned if the recount flips the results of the certified count.

About 61 percent of the registered population of Merced County cast ballots for the election, Levey said in a news release. That’s compared to 40.5 percent four years ago.

The District 6 race wasn’t the only one in Merced County decided by less than a dozen votes. Danny Ambriz’s 486 votes were just 11 more than Dan Hernandez’s 475 votes in Atwater’s District 3 election.

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