Harmer narrows gap with McNerney
by TP staff
Nov 10, 2010 | 3512 views | 5 5 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Election workers count the last of the 30,000 absentee ballots at the registrar’s office this evening.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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STOCKTON -- The closest congressional race in the country became closer this afternoon, as San Joaquin County’s registrar of voters announced the results of absentee and mail-in ballot counting.

Republican David Harmer, who is challenging Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, for the 11th District seat, narrowed the gap between the two campaigners, according to results released by registrar Austin Erdman.

Harmer, though trailing in the overall 11th District tally, leads McNerney by 5,159 votes in the portion of the district that covers San Joaquin County. He picked up 813 votes in the most recent round of counting, according to Erdman.

That leaves Harmer still 1,681 votes behind the Democratic incumbent, according to statistics from San Joaquin, Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara county election officials.

Erdman said about 8,000 provisional ballots remain to be counted in San Joaquin County – those ballots must undergo signature verification by registrar employees and could endure challenges by attorneys from either campaign.

But Erdman didn’t anticipate the distance between McNerney and Harmer to change significantly because of the remaining uncounted San Joaquin County ballots.

He said, statistically, it would be unusual for the provisional ballots to make up the 1,600-vote gap between the two men.

“I have to stay neutral, but a winner is beginning to emerge,” he said.

Before the most recent totals were announced, about 20 observers from the McNerney and Harmer campaigns packed the office of the registrar, pressing against the glass windows separating the ballot counters from them and the media. As soon as results were announced, observers from both camps whipped out mobile phones and began to talk.

Erdman said the ballot-counting process in San Joaquin County was without problems, but it wasn’t the case throughout the district.

Santa Clara County initially had a problem with ballots that were marked or smudged with extra ink, but that county’s registrar said those issues were addressed.

In Contra Costa County, Harmer’s campaign challenged the way voters’ signatures on vote-by-mail ballots were verified. Ultimately, campaign observers are being allowed to watch closely as workers check to see if signatures between ballots and voter rolls match, though they are not allowed to challenge individual signatures.

No irregularities were reported in Alameda County, the fourth county touched by the 11th District.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 11, 2010
Response to KLV:

Tom Benigno wrote: Your right.

The San Joaquin Herald,also has Mc Nerney in the lead. Who's can you trust these days?
November 11, 2010
Tommy B;

This morning's Record has McNerney claiming victory in the 11th District although Harmer as yet to concede.

(According to the recent absentee ballot poll)
November 11, 2010
Tracy Press:

Tom Benigno wrote:

You had better check with the Registrar's office on your story. Other papers have Mc Nerney by many votes. Wishful thinking won't get either guy elected, lets wait and get the real facts.

The San Joaquin county has always been republican but times have changed. Those voters out of jobs didn't vote republican.
November 11, 2010
No irregularities? Since early October incoming ballots have had dozens of SEIU workers "cleaning" ballots with ink erasors with marker pens at every desk. Observers witnessed them 'enhancing" ballots that's where they decide what you wanted to vote for if the area is blank or the line is not dark or connected.

That's called fraud

The number of ballot signatures that did not match were incredible!

November 10, 2010
No matter which side you want to win, this race is a great example for all us to remember in the future that our vote really does count.

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