Shows how much I know.
This spring, I made a bet with Tom Cage that Tony Barrett would finish in the top half in the Mammoth Lakes Town Council election.
He finished 7th.
On election night, I really thought Sharon Clark had a decent shot. She finished 6th.
Meanwhile, Cage had the top three selected in order; Matthew Lehman, John Eastman and Rick Wood. Those three will join holdovers Skip Harvey and Jo Bacon on Council for the next two years.
Kirk Stapp finished 4th, 29 votes out of the third seat captured by Wood.
Full election results appear on page nine.
Two local races on Tuesday ended as they began – undecided – as no candidate garnered 50% plus one of the vote.
Randy Gephart and Mark Magit will square off for a final duel in November to determine who will become Mono County’s next Superior Court Judge.
And in Mono County’s District 4, there will be a runoff between the Tims, Hansen and Fesko, for the open Supervisor’s seat.
Another race that may not be over is the Johnston-Sauser battle in District 1, due to an election term that’s starting to make its way into the Mono County lexicon: “provisional ballot.”
Johnston beat Bill Sauser, but only by 5 votes, but a clear win is still up in the air, as a reported 80 or so provisional ballots are still being handled in the Mono County Elections office in Bridgeport.
Of these provisional ballots,
Also being watched is the fate of Measure U, which passed with the necessary two-thirds vote (66.67%), but could theoretically end up short depending on the results of the provisional ballots yet to be factored into the final count.
According to the California Secretary of State’s office, a provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there is some question as to a voter’s eligibility. A provisional ballot would be cast when:
A voter refuses to show a photo ID if requested.
A voter’s name does not appear on the electoral roll for a given precinct.
A voter’s registration contains inaccurate or out-of-date information, such as an invalid address or misspelled name.
A voter’s ballot has already been recorded. (This is to prevent the same voter from balloting twice.)
Whether a provisional ballot is finally counted is contingent upon the verification of that voter’s eligibility. A guarantee that a voter could cast a provisional ballot if he or she believes that they are entitled to vote was one of the guarantees of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, though eligibility must be properly vetted.
And be patient … provisional ballots can take up to 7-10 days after an election to be picked up in the results.
Late breaking news
Johnston ultimately beat Sauser. The 10 provisional ballots that remained to be counted were split evenly, so Johnston wins 215-210.
Measure U also still passes.
As for his analysis, Cage finds the diversity of the results, well, bizarre.
“We’re a potsmoking, tax-charging group of conservatives. There are so many things wrong with that statement in so many ways,” he said.
As for how the result will shape Mammoth Town politics, one can assume the effect will be profound and no Town Staff member can consider his/her job safe.
After all, no member of Staff really stepped in to save Eastman when he got confused and voted to end the furloughs he wished to extend.
The gaffe, coming in the final days of the campaign, would have sunk most politicians. 22 years of dedicated public service, however, saved him.
The other interesting question is how the election will affect the current rotational system in place to determine the Mayor.
The three Councilmembers-elect could choose to change that policy, which taps Mayors based upon their vote totals in the previous election.
As top vote-getter in 2008, Skip Harvey would be the next Mayor based upon current policy.