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Assembly District 12 race still too close to call
New vote by mail law extends time ballots are accepted
election update pic
Assembly District 12 candidate Ken Vogel, center, poses for a picture with Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth and Vice Mayor Amy Bublak. Vogel, who was endorsed by the Turlock City Council, will be on the November ballot, however, it's still uncertain which candidate will be running against him as the Assembly race has been deemed a "Close Contest" by the Secretary of State's office. - photo by Photo Contributed

It may be a few weeks before voters know who will be on the November ballot for Assembly District 12 as the race has been deemed a "Close Contest" by the Secretary of State's office.

Close Contests are those where there is less than a two percent difference between candidates. As of 10:31 a.m. Thursday, Republican Ken Vogel received 25.5 percent of the vote, followed by Republican Heath Flora at 22.6 percent and Democrat Virginia Madueno at 21.9 percent.

On Election Day Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan reported her office had counted 54,179 ballots for the Presidential Primary Election.  As of Thursday, nearly 32,500 total ballots remained to be processed and counted. This number is expected to climb due to new laws, according to Lundrigan.

The Elections Office has approximately 39,500 vote by mail ballots received on or just before Election Day remaining to process. This includes checking the signature on each envelope against the signature located on the original affidavit of registration. Following this signature verification, each of the vote by mail ballot envelopes must be sorted into one of the 341 precincts in which they would have voted had they not voted by mail.

In addition, 6,000 provisional ballots and 500 miscellaneous ballots require examination. This process will begin following the scanning and uploading of voter signatures located on the rosters from the 150 polling locations. These signatures and those on the vote by mail ballots must be reviewed to determine who has voted prior to the processing of the provisional ballots.

The hand review of ballots to identify qualified write-in candidates for President, United States Senator and State Assembly Member District 21 is underway, according to Lundrigan.

Certified write-in candidates include five Democrat and 10 Republican candidates for President; Ric M. Llewellyn (No Party Preference), Billy Falling (Republican) and  Alexis Stuart (Republican) for U.S. Senate and Brien J. Rahilly (Republican) for State Assembly District 21.

 New California laws extend the time period vote by mail ballots must be accepted from 8 p.m. on Election Day to the Friday following the election, June 10, if postmarked on Election Day.

Election Code 3019 went into effect Jan. 1, 2016 and now requires each ROV office to allow eight days after an election for voters who have not signed their vote by mail envelopes to come into the office to sign them or submit an Unsigned Ballot Envelope Statement. The election cannot be certified until this time limit is met.

Hundreds of unsigned ballot envelopes remain and Lundrigan's office will contact each of these voters and advise them they have eight days, June 15, to sign their envelopes.  

The canvass will continue until complete. California law requires certification of this election to be on or before July 7, which is 30-days following Election Day.