UPDATE, 11/8/18 5:20 p.m.
The elections office has released new figures on the number of votes that remain to be counted. There around 18,000 ballots that remain to be counted. About 15,819 have been counted. Read our latest article on how many votes remain to be counted here.
UPDATE, 11/7/18, 1:30 p.m.
The ballots have been cast but the counting is not over. As of early this morning 15,819 ballots have been counted, including all absentee (mail-in) ballots received prior to election day and all ballots cast at the polls. However, absentee ballots that were hand delivered to the polls have not yet been counted, and absentee ballots mailed on election day will continue to trickle in.
In short this means that there are a handful of races across the county that could still flip.
But some of the winners do seem pretty certain at this point: John Haschak in District 3, Ted Williams in District 5, Mo Mulheren in Ukiah, Greta Kanne in Willits, Lindy Peters in Fort Bragg, and Measures I and J in Willits.
The Mendocino County Elections Office plans to have an official count of remaining absentee ballots by 5 p.m. today, or early tomorrow. Absentee ballots postmarked on election day have until Friday to arrive at the elections office.
What's more, Assessor-Clerk-Recorder Sue Ranochak, noted that there were many conditional ballots cast yesterday, by people who had not updated their voter registrations.
This means that the total number of ballots could easily double by the time the tallying is over, and in close races, such as the Fort Bragg and Ukiah city councils, Measure H in Fort Bragg, various school boards, and Measure K in Round Valley, remain undecided.
UPDATE, 11/7/18, 1:40 a.m.
It's now the early morning of the day after election day and all 250 precincts are reporting with 15,819 ballots counted, out of a total of 48,032 registered voters in Mendocino County, as of about 1 a.m. Some early leaders in this mid-term year: John Haschak, Mo Mulheren, Lindy Peters, Greta Kanne, Measure J and Measure I.
However, the near 16,000 ballots counted still represent only 33% of registered voters in Mendocino County, and there remain some unknown, and substantial, number of absentee ballots to be counted -- many of which will continue to trickle in by mail for the next few days -- leaving the results of many a race in doubt.
For some background on this issue: during the 2018 primary election about 83% of the ballots were tallied on election night, while in the 2016 general election only 31% of total ballots were tallied by election night. Now, the number of votes counted on election night depends on the percentage of absentee ballots sent in early, and the way that the elections office decides to process the ballots. Basically this tells us that we really don't know how many ballots have been cast in this election.
In Nov. of 2016 Mendocino had an impressive voter turnout of 76%, so if that's any indication, we could see the number of votes double by the time the counting is done -- meaning the results of many elections may remain uncertain for weeks. Remember that in the 2016 general, the election office didn't finalize the count until December, and in this year's primary it took about two and a half weeks to finish up the counting.
It's often the case that early absentee voters skew older and more conservative, while people who vote at the polls skew younger and more liberal. Interestingly, tonight's results represent a mix of these early voters and poll voters, giving us a good swath of the electorate and making it less likely that races will flip, except in the closest of contests.
But enough doubt, let's look at what we do know. The District 5 supervisorial race has been a foregone conclusion since candidate Chris Skyhawk suffered a major stroke and withdrew from the race, but now it's official, currently holding 76.2% of the vote, Ted Williams will be the next District 5 supervisor.
In District 3, school teacher and often union president, John Haschak, with 55.1% of the vote, has a decisive lead over former supervisor John Pinches, with 44.5%. From a mathematical standpoint this race could still flip sometime before Thanksgiving, but it is fairly unlikely.
In Ukiah three seats were up for grabs on the city council and Mo Mulheren currently holds a substantial lead, with 22.98%, followed by Jim Brown with 19.45% and Juan Orozco with 17.24%. In Ukiah only 2,185 ballots have been counted so far, or 28.2% lower than the countywide average. With potentially another couple thousand votes to count the results could still change, but Mulheren's victory seems assured.
In Fort Bragg three seats are up for grabs. Lindy Peters, an incumbent who first served on the council in 1992, is in the lead with 20.81%, followed by Jessica Morsell-Haye with 18.14% and Tess Albin-Smith with 17.43%. The next candidate, Dana Jess, trails by more than 4%, meaning that the victory of these three seems fairly assured, but again, it's still mathematically possible for these to flip before the trees have lost all their leaves.
Also in Fort Bragg, Measure H, a sales tax increase, appears to be losing, but is too close to call with 53.1% of voters saying no.
On the Willits City Council two seats are up for grabs and bookshop owner, Greta Kanne, has a huge lead with 43.52% of the vote, followed by incumbent Larry Stranske with 33.81% and Jeremy Hershman trailing with 22.35%. These are pretty big margins and are unlikely to flip.
In Willits City limits Measure I, which would authorize the city to levy certain taxes on cannabis businesses, is winning with 74.91% of the vote.
And also in the Willits area, the Little Lake Fire District's Measure J, which would fund the construction of a new firehouse, and requires a 2/3rd super-majority, is currently winning with 72.98% of the vote. Again, this one could flip before the sun starts setting so early that we all get seasonal affective disorder (SAD) -- but it's unlikely.
And in Round Valley, the school district's Measure K, which would raise funds for to construct a gym for school and community use is too close to call. The bond measure requires 55% of the vote to pass and currently has 54.39% meaning it could really go either way.
Nationwide it the Republicans will be hold on to control of the Senate, while Democrats will take the House of Representatives. More locally Congressman Jared Huffman, State Senator Mike McGuire, and Assemblyman Jim Wood have all won comfortably. The county is also posting the full results here.
District 3 Supervisor
With 100% precincts reporting and 3,285 ballots counted, out of 9,866 registered voters.
- John Haschak 55.1% (1,810)
- John Pinches 44.5% (1,462)
District 5 Supervisor
The winner of the District 5 supervisorial race has been a foregone conclusion, since Candidate Chris Skyhawk suffered a stroke soon after the primary and thereafter withdrew -- however, he remained on the ballot. Here are the results:
With 100% of precincts reporting and 3,244 ballots counted, out of 10,780 registered voters.
- Ted Williams 76.4% (2,479)
- Chris Skyhawk 23.1% (749)
Ukiah City Council -- top 3 candidates will win
100% precincts are reporting and 2,185 ballots have been counted, out of 7,752 voters registered in this race -- however, because voters could vote for 3 candidates in this race, there are a total of 4,988
- Jim Brown 19.5% (970)
- Matt Froneberger 12.1% (601)
- Edward Haynes 12.9% (641)
- Maureen Mulheren 23% (1146)
- Juan Orozco 17.2% (860)
- Chon Travis 14.9% (741)
City Council -- top 2 candidates will win
100% precincts are reporting and 859 ballots have been counted, out of 2,483 voters registered in this race -- however, because voters could vote for 2 candidates in this race, there are a total of 1,266
- Jeremy Hershman 22.4% (283)
- Greta Kanne 43.5% (551)
- Larry Stranske 33.8% (428)
- Yes ---- 74.9% (600)
- No --— 24.11% (201)
100% precincts are reporting and 1,159 ballots have been counted, out of 3,495 voters registered in this race -- however, because voters could vote for 3 candidates in this race, there are a total of 3,070 votes.
City Council -- top 3 candidates will win
- Tess Albin-Smith 17.4% (535)
- Ruben Alcala 12.2% (375)
- Bobby Burns 5.4% (167)
- Dana Jess 13.1% (402)
- Mary Rose Kaczorowski 12.6% (335)
- Jessica Morsell-Haye 18.110 (557)
- Lindy Peters 20.8% (639)
- Yes ---- 46.9% (506)
No ---- 53.1% (573)
Willits Unified School District Board
At WUSD there are three seats up for grabs for a long term, and one short term seat.
100% precincts are reporting and 2,721 ballots have been counted, out of 7,415 voters registered in this race -- however, because voters could vote for 3 candidates in this race, there are a total of 5,758 votes.
WUSD long-term seats
- Robert Chavez 20.4% (1172)
- Jeanne King 24.2% (1393)
- Paula Nunez 19.4% (1117)
- Christopher J. Neary 16.8% (968)
- Dianne McNeal 18.7% (1078)
WUSD short-term seats
- Bob Colvig 74.5% (1702)
- Dany Laurent 25% (572)
Little Lake Fire Protection District -- Measure J (requires 2/3 to pass)
100% precincts are reporting and 1,815 ballots have been counted, out of 4,976 voters registered in this race -- however, some voters just skipped this questions, meaning only 1,785 votes have been counted.
- Yes ---- 73% (1283)
- No ---- 27% (475)
Laytonville Unified School District -- short term seat
With 100% precincts reporting and 576 ballots counted, out of 1,645 registered voters.
- Regina Campbell 49.4% (264)
- Erin K. Gamble 50.2% (268)
Round Valley Unified School District
With 100% precincts reporting and 193 votes counted, out of 1,100 registered voters.
- Yes ---- 54.4% (93)
- No ---- 45.6% (78)
Round Valley School Board - top 3 candidates win
- Lindon Duke ---- 19.5% (90)
- Cynthia O'Ferrall ---- 26.8% (124)
- Peter Bauer ---- 27.7% (128)
- Amanda Britton ---- 25.7% (114)
Point Arena Schools -- top 4 candidates win
With 100% precincts reporting and 3094 votes counted, out of 2,454 registered voters.
- Cynthia Cion 22.2% (687)
- M. Vikki Robinson 11.9% (368)
- Mary Visher 22% (682)
- Sal Martinez 21.6% (669)
- Robert Shimon 20.7% (672)