Politics

Recount begins in OC Supervisor's race

Workers sort mail ballots at the County of Orange Registrar of Voters in Santa Ana, CA in this 2008 file photo.
Workers sort mail ballots at the County of Orange Registrar of Voters in Santa Ana, CA in this 2008 file photo.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson

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The Orange County Registrar of Voters on Monday will begin a recount in the race for the First District Board of Supervisors seat.

Former state Sen. Lou Correa, who lost to attorney Andrew Do by 43 votes, formally requested a recount last week.  Correa claimed his campaign staff observed “irregularities” in the way mail-in ballots were counted.  

A total of 48,626 votes were cast, according to the official count. Do was sworn in as supervisor February 3. 

Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said the recount would take about 10 days and cost $2,400 per day. That bill will be sent to Correa.

Correa, a veteran Democratic politician from Santa Ana, said his campaign staffers observed ballots cast by voters who appeared to have attempted to vote more than once and voters who claimed to have moved into the district just before the election without re-registering at their new address.

“I do not necessarily expect that this recount will change the outcome of the election,” he said in a statement last week. “Rather the primary purpose of the recount is to allow for my campaign – and for the public generally – to obtain the assurance it deserves that the election was conducted fairly and legally.”

Preliminary vote tallies from the Jan. 27 special election had Do and Correa in a statistical tie, with only two votes separating the candidates. Updated totals put Do ahead by 239 votes. But his lead later shrank.

Because of a new state law introduced by Sen. Correa, the Registrar continued to count provisional mail ballots that were postmarked Jan. 27 until 8 p.m. on Friday giving Do a 43-vote lead.

Do is a Republican who served as an aide to the previous First District supervisor, Janet Nguyen.