Friday, September 4 , 2015, 7:57 am | Mostly Cloudy 63.0º




Ballots Still Being Counted in 3 Razor-Thin Races

Santa Maria City Council, Carpinteria Valley Water District and Goleta Sanitary District without clear winners in November election

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

The results of three races in Santa Barbara County — in Santa Maria, Goleta and Carpinteria — are still too close to determine the winners of November’s election.

The Elections Office is still working its way through 10,000 provisional ballots and 1,000 absentee ballots to certify the winners of seats on the Santa Maria City Council, the Goleta Sanitary District and the Carpinteria Valley Water District, according to Renee Bischof, chief deputy registrar of voters.

Results must be certified by Dec. 4, but Bischof said she is hopeful final tallies will be done by Friday.

Just 15 votes separate the second- and third-highest vote-getters fighting for a seat on Santa Maria’s council.

Terri Zuniga, who had the fewest votes on election night, now has the highest number with the latest count. The former vote leader for two open seats, incumbent Bob Orach, has 8,711 votes, or 33.06 percent, and Etta Waterfield follows with 8,696 votes, or 33 percent.

In Goleta, Steven Majoewsky and Sharon Rose are still battling for the third open seat in the Sanitary District board.

Majoewsky, who was leading for the spot, is behind by 21 votes in the latest count. Rose has 6,593 votes, or 23.85 percent, compared with Majoewsky’s 6,572, or 23.77 percent.

John Fox and George Emerson brought in the most votes in the sanitary district race.

Twenty-nine votes are the latest difference in the race for the second open seat on the Carpinteria Valley Water District.

While Shirley Johnson had more votes initially, she now trails Polly Holcombe. June Van Wingerden appears to have taken the first open seat with 29.33 percent of votes, compared with Holcombe’s 25.97 percent and Johnson’s 25.67 percent.

Bischof called the delay to certify results in close races typical.

“We’re shooting for this Friday, but it might take us all the way through (Dec. 4),” she said. “Everything else is pretty well spread apart.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




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