Uncounted ballots could swing key elections

November 8, 2012

Ballots remaining uncounted could swing a couple of close elections in San Luis Obispo County.

Election officials must still count 29,912 countywide ballots. The county clerk-recorder’s office says it plans to resume the counting process Friday.

Of the nearly 30,000 ballots remaining, 2,261 come from the city of Paso Robles. Currently, 44 votes separate incumbent councilman Fred Strong and challenger Jim Reed in the race for the second Paso Robles City Council seat. Former councilman Steve Martin holds a more than 600 vote lead on both Strong and Reed.

Nearly one-fourth of the remaining Paso Robles ballots fall under the category of non-processed, meaning the vote counting machine failed to read them. Many of the non-processed ballots, which election officials must duplicate in order to count, could contain write-in candidates, the clerk-recorder’s office says.

If a high percentage of the 624 non-processed Paso Robles ballots indeed contain write-in candidates, the election could very well swing in Reed’s favor. Reed, who ran as a reformer, aligned himself much closer politically to the Paso Robles candidates running as write-ins than to the incumbents.

While Mayor Duane Picanco will hold onto his seat, the non-processed vote tally could also bode favorably for the prospects of former councilman Gary Nemeth amassing a high total of votes as a write-in. More than 14 percent of the mayoral vote so far has gone to write-in candidates.

In Grover Beach, only 11 votes separate the yes and no tallies on the charter city initiative. Measure I-12, adoption of Grover Beach’s charter proposal, is currently passing by the slim margin, but a flip in the vote is very likely due to distribution of a flyer making false claims about the measure late in the election season.

Upon initial tally of vote by mail ballots, voters approved of the charter initiative by more than a 9 percent margin, but support for the measure waned as ballots cast on Election Day arrived.

The controversial flyer, issued by political strategist and member of the SLO Democratic Central Committee Cory Black, wrongfully claimed that the charter measure would result in higher costs to taxpayers and an increase in pay for council members.

Multiple elected officials in Grover Beach are considering filing a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission against Black. Black paid about $3,000 for the misleading flyer that included numerous violations. As such he could face fines of around $9,000.

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Can you IMAGNE the wound to Fred’s ego that Jim Reed could unseat him? He must be humiliated by the results.

Oh, but WHAT will Paso do without Mr. Strong?? Who will serve on all those committees? Who will pursue all those bike path grants?? Who will explain the ins-and-outs of…well, pretty much everything! LOL It’s soooo time for a change on the council; I too am crossing my fingers, hoping that Reed wins over Strong!

That’s actually VERY funny. Well said.


It is pretty clear that the voters sent a message of change to the City Council and city government.

Too bad the city council members couldn’t be bothered to listen to the people of Paso Robles. With the cronyism, there is also a lot of knowledge and experience being voted out of office.

The big question that remains is whether or not, with the new blood in the City Council, the Council will be willing to “at will” James App out the door.

James App must go. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to turn Paso Robles around and adjust the priorities of the City Council.

MM, spot on, JAMG!

He’s been there too long, he honestly believes he’s omniscient. Really. That’s a sign of being in your job too long.

If App doesn’t go, can we PLEASE GET A NEW CITY ATTORNEY!?

Sorry Fred. Play the game pay the price.

Fred’s problem isn’t that Fred is a lap dog for Jim App. The problem is that Fred doesn’t know Fred is lap dog for Jim. It’s beautiful; Jim is so good. Really, you have to give the devil his credit. He works Fred perfectly. Lol

Reed will win in Paso by over 100 votes.

A Karl Rove-like observation. Hmmm. K.R. — Kevin Rice? Or Karl Rove? I report. You decide.

LOL! I openly laughed at that, IH. Kevin Rice is nothing like what we know of Mr. Rove. Kevin has extreme intelligence, personality, AND hair…

You gotta be joking !

A TEABAGGER, pretend political strategist that makes his living working as a government and union protected duper ?

Man, can YOU be fooled Karen. You don’t know a grifter that would steal your fillings while convincing you he was giving a smile transplant !

Sorry. I find it hard to understand how one person could be equated with uber-right-wing strategist Karl Rove AND be “union protected duper.”

Slowerfaster, I can be fooled. I am human. But I am not fooled by Kevin Rice. I admire him and the work he does to better our county. We can agree to disagree and speak to the issue of this article, not about your issues with Kevin Rice.

danika, I’d say you are either being fooled by Rice or are in cahoots with him, or you share similar morals (or lack thereof) that would allow you to “admire’ him.. It has to be one of those things. Sorry.

Living in Paso, as I’ve mentioned before, I hope you are right Kevin.

Good call, Kevin. My fingers are crossed for Mr. Reed.

When will we actually know? Has anyone heard what’s happening?

Watch the Registrar of Voters site for election results and status of uncounted ballots. Next count is Monday.