Veva Islas, one of three candidates vying for the Fresno City Council District 7 seat, sent out a campaign email Wednesday morning stating that “Democratic mail ballots in District 7 so far are outnumbering those of Republicans by almost 3 to 1!”

As the race, which is officially nonpartisan, involves two Democrats (Islas and Nelson Esparza) and a Republican (Brian Whelan), we decided to find out if Islas’ email was accurate, somewhat accurate or campaign puffery.

According to GV Wire reporter/researcher Drew Phelps, voters registered as Democrats in District 7 were dominating the mail vote as of Tuesday night. We rate Islas’ claim as true.

58% of Early Ballots Cast by Dems

Of the 1,436 mail ballots returned to the Fresno County Clerk’s Office, 58% came from Democrats, 22% from Republicans and 16% from voters indicating no party preference.

On a cautionary note, just 12.3% of voters requesting mail ballots had returned them as of Tuesday night. So, there will be many more votes cast before the polls close Tuesday, June 5, at 8 p.m.

Also of note: As of Tuesday night, 17% of District 7 Republicans requesting mail ballots had voted compared to 12% of Democrats and 9% of independents.

In the 2014 District 7 primary race won by incumbent Clint Olivier, about 4,000 votes were cast. It will be interesting to see if the count is higher in Tuesday’s primary.


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