Republican Andrew Do appears to have won a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, holding onto a slight lead over former Democratic State Senator Lou Correa that narrowed to 43 votes as of the last update filed by the Registrar of Voters today at 5 p.m.
Do and Correa competed during a hard fought, short campaign that resulted when former Supervisor Janet Nguyen was elected to the State Senate last November, taking over Correa’s seat given that he had been termed out after two stints representing Orange County.
Do – a lawyer who served as Nguyen’s chief of staff recently - ended up two votes ahead on election night. While his lead broadened to 239 votes on Wednesday night, it had shrunk to 85 votes after provisional and last-minute mail-in ballots were counted on Thursday.
The last factor that could influence the race is the trickle of mail-in ballots that were sent out on Tuesday – a count made possible by Correa’s own legislation (SB29) that he authored last year.
Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said he would update vote tallies late tonight if any more mailed ballots come in. However, most of those may have already arrived with Kelley confirming only one such ballot showed up at the Registrar’s office today.
Thus, barring any lawsuits or recounts, the election is largely over.
Turnout for the special election was low, about 22.6 percent, close to the low turnout that got Nguyen elected back in 2006. An overwhelming large percent of turnout, 19 percent, came in by mail. Only 3.5 percent of the turnout was from Election Day ballots.
While the election featured three Vietnamese American candidates, the vote tally still shows the turnout power of that community during special elections.
Do garnered 18,905 votes to Correa’s 18,862. Garden Grove Councilman Chris Phan secured 7,857 votes while Chuyen Nguyen earned 1,879 votes. Lupe Moreno got 834 votes.
If trends continue, Do will fill out the remaining two years of Nguyen’s term.
The next election challenge for Do will come during the general election in 2016.