As the recount for Senate District 16 continues, David Shepard continues to pick up votes. But it so far has not been enough to overturn Sen. Melissa Hurtado’s 22-vote win.
Hurtado, D-Bakersfield, has already been sworn in for her second term and attended her first session on Wednesday at the state Capitol.
Kings County posted an updated vote count on Wednesday, finding two more votes in Shepard’s favor.
Shepard, R-Porterville, picked up a net three votes in Fresno County, a net two votes in Tulare County, and no gain in Kern County. That is a seven-vote gain for Shepard, whittling Hurtado’s lead to 15 votes.
Recounting continues until finished, or the Shepard campaign stops paying its daily fee. A request does not necessarily mean the entire county will be canvassed. The requestor can ask for only a portion, and a priority order.
The requestor is responsible for costs, needing to provide a cashier’s check at the start of every day of recounting. Fresno County says its total cost was $10,000. Other counties are still calculating final totals, but those are likely in excess of what Fresno — the smallest portion of ballots in the four-county SD 16 — charged.
Previous estimates were $40,000 in Kings County and $38,000 in Tulare County.
Shepard has not reported any new campaign fundraising activity since the Nov. 8 election deadline.
Recount Continues Today in Tulare, Kern
Tulare County continued its recount Thursday. The Shepard campaign says more examinations of invalid signatures is the order for the day.
Signatures on ballot envelopes that did not match what the county clerk had on file were not counted. If a challenge is made by either campaign and accepted by the county clerk, then that ballot is counted.
In Kern County, the Hurtado campaign requested a recount last week, as first reported by GV Wire. She took advantage of a 24-hour window for anyone to request another recount after the initial recounting is finished.
A campaign spokesperson said this was “just in case” Shepard takes the lead with votes from other counties. The recounting started today.
Shepard’s original Kern County request was for precincts he was successful, about 20% of the county’s ballots in the Senate district. Hurtado requested a more thorough account. Kern was the friendliest to Hurtado of the four counties in the district, voting 58% in her favor.
There is a discrepancy in the official vote between Kern County and the official state total. After the Dec. 8 county certification of the election, Kern County found four unopened ballots. A judge granted the county recertification. The ballots broke 3-1 for Hurtado and expanded her lead from 20 (what the state has) to 22 votes.