Updated vote counts released Wednesday showed tightening margins in races for the 5th Senate District and Riverbank mayor.
They also changed the tentative order of finish in city council contests in Riverbank and Patterson.
The races remain unsettled after Tuesday's election because nearly 50,000 ballots have yet to be counted. These include mail ballots received on or close to Election Day and provisional ballots cast by voters whose registration status was in question.
"It's a huge amount of hand work," Lee Lundrigan, clerk-recorder for Stanislaus County, said Wednesday. "I've got about 30 people working on it right now."
Lundrigan estimated that there are about 38,000 mail ballots and as many as 11,000 provisional ballots that must be verified and sorted into one of the county's 221 precincts before final results can be announced. State law requires an official count no more than four weeks after the election.
Tuesday night's results were based on only some of the precincts reporting. Wednesday's update had 100 percent.
Highlights of the close races:
Senate: Bill Berryhill led fellow Assembly member Cathleen Galgiani with 104,305 votes, or 51 percent, as of Wednesday. He had 65,243 votes, or 51.8 percent, on Tuesday night.
Galgiani had 100,317 votes, or 49 percent, as of Wednesday. The night before, she was at 60,669 votes, or 48.2 percent.
Much depends on the counting of outstanding ballots in San Joaquin County, where 70 percent of the district's voters live. It was reported that more than 24,000 ballots remain to be counted there.
The district also takes in most of Modesto; the Salida, Riverbank and Empire areas; and a small piece of Sacramento County.
Riverbank mayor: Richard O'Brien had 2,288 votes, or 51.5 percent, as of Wednesday. He had 1,271 votes, or 56.4 percent, on election night.
Incumbent Virginia Madueño had 2,144 votes, or 48.2 percent, in Wednesday's update. She had 976 votes, or 43.3 percent, on election night.
Such drama is nothing new for these candidates, who are in a rematch for mayor. In 2009, the election night tally put O'Brien in the lead, but Madueño won on the strength of ballots counted in the ensuing days.
Riverbank council: Darlene Barber-Martinez moved into second place in the race for two seats based on Wednesday's update, while Cal Campbell dropped to third.
Incumbent Jeanine Tucker remained in first place with 1,453 votes, or 20.5 percent. She had 793 votes, or 21.8 percent, on election night.
Barber-Martinez had 1,319 votes, or 18.6 percent, as of Wednesday and 642 votes, or 17.7 percent, the night before.
Campbell was close behind at 1,311 votes, or 18.5 percent, on Wednesday. He had 730 votes, or 20.1 percent, on election night.
Patterson council: Dominic Far-inha led Wednesday with 1,252 votes, or 21.2 percent in the race for two seats. The night before, he was third with 605 votes, or 21.2 percent.
Dennis McCord dropped from first to second. He had 1,178 votes, or 20 percent, on Wednesday and 656 votes, or 22.9 percent, on Tuesday.
Sheree Lustgarden went from second to third. She had 1,158 votes, or 19.6 percent, on Wednesday and 607 votes, or 21.2 percent, the night before.
Waterford council: Incumbent Jose Aldaco widened his lead for the second seat in Wednesday's update. He had 798 votes, or 33 percent, compared with 583 votes, or 31.8 percent, on election night.
Challenger Aaron Norseen had 664 votes, or 27.5 percent, on Wednesday and 525 votes, or 28.7 percent, the night before.
Incumbent Mike Van Winkle won the other seat by a comfortable margin over the other candidates.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2385.