Monday Nov 24 2008
Brown wants every vote to be counted
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
McClintock lead widens
Placer County’s elections chief Jim McCauley is poised to certify results by late Monday or early Tuesday that 4th Congressional District candidate Tom McClintock’s campaign says are enough to send their man to Washington, D.C. Both sides had been waiting for the final tally from the county, which represents the largest block of voters in the sprawling nine-county Northern California district. Election Day returns Nov. 4 had the two candidates separated by less than 1,000 votes with McClintock in the lead. That lead waxed and waned as late absentee ballots and provisional votes were counted after Nov. 4. McCauley said the certification will show Republican candidate McClintock with 85,358 votes to Democratic Party opponent Charlie Brown’s 81,850. For the district as a whole, California Secretary of State Office statistics indicate McClintock with a 1,566-vote lead, with 366,814 votes counted. McClintock’s campaign spokesman Bill George said that more counts still coming in from other counties Monday were not changing the candidate’s position. “We’ll see what comes in today and go from there,” George said. While the Placer County count was enough for the McClintock campaign to declare an insurmountable lead late last week, Brown spokesman Todd Stenhouse said many more votes need to be tallied – particularly “undervotes.” Those are the ballots where votes were tallied for other races but not counted for the District 4 election, he said. “There are almost 17,000 of those,” Stenhouse said Monday. Stenhouse agreed that the latest Secretary of State tally showed McClintock with a lead of “15 (hundred) and change.” But Brown was far from giving up. Two years ago, Brown’s 2006 tally of 46 percent of the vote to current District 4 Rep. John Doolittle’s was enough to result in an election-night phone call from Brown congratulating the veteran GOP on his re-election. This time around, no phone calls have been made by either side in a count that moves toward a possible recount. “Because the stakes are so high in the 111th Congress, we’re committed to ensure that every legal vote is counted,” Stenhouse said. McCauley said Monday there have been no problems with the county’s counting process and that he was ready to certify the vote by Tuesday. Counties have until Dec. 2 to certify the vote and then another week to get the information to the state for final certification Dec. 13. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.