Update 5:31 p.m. The tight race for an open seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors widened just slightly Wednesday as the Registrar of Voters counted an additional 4,800 mail and paper ballots. Republican Andrew Do widened his lead to 239 votes over Democrat Lou Correa, with 46,683 votes cast.
Neither candidate was ready to declare victory Wednesday afternoon, but both were still hopeful.
"My message must have resonated, otherwise I wouldn't be here,” said Do, a former aide to previous supervisor Janet Nguyen, who is now a state senator.
Correa spent two years on the county board and then eight years in the state Senate.
"We will see what the voters decide. I can never speak for the voters,” Correa said.
Although there are fewer Vietnamese voters in this district, they tend to have better voter turnout than the larger Latino population. The newly elected supervisor will represent a dense and ethnically diverse part of central Orange County.
Orange County Registrar Neal Kelley said 1,264 provisional ballots remain to be counted, and more mail ballots could arrive as well. He expects to post final results on Friday.
— Erika Aguilar and Chris Knap
9:08 a.m. 2 votes out of 41,767 separate candidates in OC Supervisor race
Just two votes out of 41,767 cast separated the top two candidates in the Tuesday election for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors as the ballot count continued Wednesday morning.
Republican-backed candidate Andrew Do is ahead by two votes. His opponent Democrat Lou Correa is just behind.
The election is way too close to call; 6,105 provisional and absentee ballots remain to be counted, according to the O.C. Registrar of Voter's office. An updated count will be posted around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Voter turnout for Tuesday's special election was at 19.4 percent, according to the Voter Registrar's office, with 41,767 votes cast. Most of those were voters who turned in early or absentee mail-in ballots, about 16.5 percent. The number may rise as mail ballots postmarked Tuesday will still be counted if they arrive as late as Friday.
The winner will represent a diverse and densely populated part of central Orange County. The district has 613,490 residents, the most of the five board districts, according to the 2010 Census.
There is a large block of Vietnamese-American voters in the cities of Garden Grove, Westminster and portions of Fountain Valley. Vietnamese voters helped elect the former O.C. supervisor for the First District, Janet Nguyen in 2007 making her the first Vietnamese-American to be elected to the Board of Supervisors.
She was elected to the state senate last November, effectively resigning her supervisor position. Her chief of staff, candidate Andrew Do ran for the vacant seat.
According to voting analysis firm Political Data, Inc., early results from Tuesday night showed Vietnamese-American voters made up 46 percent of the early absentee ballots returned.
The district also includes the larger and predominately Latino city of Santa Ana. Historically, turnout among Latino voters has been low.
Democrat candidate Lou Correa, a termed-out state senator, served as First District O.C. Supervisor from 2004 to 2006, before being elected to Sacramento.