Recount Over, Sanchez Is The Next Mayor Of Desert Hot Springs

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Desert Hot Springs will have a new mayor.  That's the verdict of a recount Thursday after City Council Member Adam Sanchez beat incumbent Yvonne Parks by just 12 votes.

Thursday the Riverside County Registrar's office hand-counted all of the ballots from this month's election.

The recount started at 9 in the morning with both candidates and their close supporters present.  

The recount was expected to take no longer than two days.  Parks had already turned in a deposit of $2,273.76 for the first day's counting.

It was civil and professional, and a process that both candidates say was necessary for voters. 

After nearly four hours of recounting, the Desert Hot Springs Mayoral election results stayed the same.  Councilman Adam Sanchez earns 12 more votes than Incumbent Mayor Yvonne Parks.

"The Democratic process was very efficient and the vote has been accurate and everything has been counted and they have done a very professional job here at the Registrar's Office." said Sanchez. 

"I think we were expecting this, the Registrar of Voters did a great job the process was open very thorough," said Parks' attorney David Baron.

During the recount, Parks and her attorney challenged 13 votes that if overturned would have changed the outcome. 

"There were four spots on the ballot to mark your vote for each candidate.  The fourth spot is vacant for a write in vote.  Those votes had a line through it but no write-in candidate, right below Yvonne Parks signature.  So, we thought the voter intent was to place those votes for Yvonne parks, but the Registrar disagreed and that's final," said Baron.

But Parks, who declined to speak on camera, says she is not conceding the race.  Her attorney says they will be investigating rumors of possible voter fraud at the ballot box. 

"We are talking about ballot stuffing, people who voted who aren't proper voters in the district, we are talking about convicted felons who voted.  They are not allowed to vote, that type of thing," said Baron.

Now Mayor-elect, Adam Sanchez says there is no truth to that 

 "It's really hard when you win an election by 12 votes and it is hard to let go, but I think the Registrar's office has been professional, the vote is in, it's accurate ,and it's been counted and we need to move forward now." said Sanchez.

Yvonne Parks has 30 days from November 5th, to investigate.

Sanchez is slated to be sworn in as Mayor at the next City Council meeting on December 3rd.  

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