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November 12, 2012

Plenty of ballots to count as Berryhill-Galgiani race stays close

Updated elections results for the close state Senate race between Bill Berryhill and Cathleen Galgiani will not be released today.

Updated elections results for the close state Senate race between Bill Berryhill and Cathleen Galgiani will not be released today.

At this point, Republican Berryhill has 113,292 votes, or 51.1 percent, to Democrat Galgiani’s 108,480 votes, or 48.9 percent, in the 5th Senate District.

Berryhill has led since shortly after the polls closed Tuesday, but county election offices still have tens of thousands of ballots to count. They include mail ballots that arrived on or close to Election Day, as well as provisional ballots cast by people whose registration status was in question.

The election office in San Joaquin County, where about 70 percent of the voters live, is spending today preparing ballots for counting, Registrar of Voters Austin Erdman said.

New tallies could be released Tuesday, he said.

The Stanislaus County elections office, where most of the other voters live, is closed today for Veterans Day. It has completed counting of mail ballots but has yet to count others, Clerk-Recorder Lee Lundrigan said Friday.

Galgiani so far has 50.2 percent of the San Joaquin County votes but only 46.7 percent in Stanislaus. She has 42.5 percent of the votes in the tiny part of southern Sacramento County that is in the district.

Galgiani and Berryhill, both members of the Assembly, engaged in a high-spending contest in the newly drawn Senate district.

Some of the drama has gone out of the vote count because the Democratic Party already has achieved a two-thirds majority in the Senate based on last week’s results. That will allow it to approve tax increases and certain other measures without GOP votes.

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