With nearly all ballots counted, Republican Greg Wallis took a microscopic 12-vote lead this week over Democrat Christy Holstege in the race for a seat in the California State Assembly.
Holstege, a member of the Palm Springs City Council, was leading in initial results on Election Day, but she and Wallis have been separated by razor-thin margins in recent weeks as more ballots have been counted.
The latest vote count updates Tuesday showed Wallis with 84,420 votes to Holstege’s 84,408. Roughly 500 mail ballots and 500 provisional ballots in Riverside County were still to be processed, with another update expected Thursday when the registrar of voters certifies the results.
Part of the district is also in San Bernardino County, which had 3,200 mail ballots remaining, plus 1,000 provisional ballots and 225 other ballots that need to be reviewed. The San Bernardino County registrar of voters said it planned to issue another vote count update Wednesday afternoon.
The fact there are more ballots remaining in San Bernardino County then Riverside County could favor Wallis, given that he so far has been winning about 64% of votes in San Bernardino, while Holstege has had an 8% edge in Riverside County. However, it is not known how many of the remaining ballots to be counted come from Assembly District 47 as both counties contain other districts.
"I look forward to the democratic process playing out and ensuring every vote is counted," Holstege said Wednesday morning. "Regardless of the final result, I am grateful to the tens of thousands of voters who put their faith in me to be their next assemblymember."
A spokesperson for Wallis didn't respond to a message seeking comment.
Holstege also said Monday on Twitter that she had been attending mandatory Assembly and Democratic caucus training in Sacramento, while waiting for final results.
Neither candidate responded to questions from The Desert Sun about whether they would seek a recount if they come up short. California does not have automatic recounts but allows anyone, including candidates and members of the public, to pay for one.
A spokesperson for the Riverside County registrar of voters said it typically costs about $1 per ballot to conduct a recount. In Assembly District 47, that would equate to roughly $130,000 for a full recount in Riverside County, home to just under 80% of the district's voters.
Tom Coulter covers the cities of Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tomcoulter_.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Election results: Wallis takes 12-vote lead over Holstege with few ballots left