Jason Tedder’s total of 7,843 votes did not get him the job of Nevada County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters. That position appears secured by Natalie Adona with 22,800 votes in her favor, 67.89% of the 33,585 ballots counted.
Now, Randy Economy – SoCal radio personality, one-time spokesperson for the failed recall Gavin Newsom campaign, and a losing candidate in the June Board of Equalization District 4 primary race – has requested a manual recount in this local race.
The request letter also includes any and all documents, envelopes, logs, invoices, leftover materials, the names, titles, job responsibilities, hourly wages, total wages paid of all election and poll workers, all conditional and provisional ballots cast, the assisted voters list and more. He also requested, “All ballots returned by facsimile transmission, the signatures on the voter’s affidavit for visual inspection, and the duplicated official ballots.” Email and fax are used primarily by active military personnel deployed abroad.
Cost estimate for the manual recount
According to a letter sent by the Elections Office today, the final version of the cost estimate calls for approximately 38 days of counting, with an estimated 1,000 ballots a day inspected and counted. The total cost estimate is $82,728.06 with one payment of $10,096 before the recount begins and thereafter daily payments of $1813.04 to cover the cost of the recount for that day, until the recount is completed and the documents have been provided.
The mechanics of the recount
Counting the 33,000+ ballots by hand has to be done by a four-person recount board, under the supervision of an outside appointed recount manager, per California Election code.
The cost of the recount has to paid by the person requesting the recount, ostensibly Randy Economy, though the Word document submitted to the Elections Office appears to have been created by a user named Jason Tedder.
A manual recount is a slow and methodical process, generally only interrupted by a lawyer or representative of the requestor challenging a decision of the recount board.
The Election Code section governing challenges reads:
On recount, ballots may be challenged for incompleteness, ambiguity, or other defects, in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) The person challenging the ballot shall state the reason for the challenge.
(b) The official counting the ballot shall count it as he or she believes proper and then set it aside with a notation as to how it was counted.
(c) The elections official shall, before the recount is completed, determine whether the challenge is to be allowed. The decision of the elections official is final.E.C. 15631
Next Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will consider appointing Ryan Ronco, the Placer County Registrar of Voters as the Recount Manager. Ronco was unanimously appointed by the Placer County Board of Supervisors in 2016 and has been the Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters since. He won reelection again in June with 76.48% of ballots cast in his favor. The appointment is necessary since the recount involves the position of the Elections official. [CA Elections Code 15625]
Once the logistics of the recount are set and the initial payment received, the recount could begin as soon as early next week. The recount is a public process.
Neither Economy nor Tedder returned emails requesting comments at publication time.