36th Congressional Race Still Too Close To Call
Next Release of numbers expected 6:00 PM Friday
The Riverside County Registrar released the latest set of numbers from Tuesday night's election late Thursday evening. At this point, Dr. Raul Ruiz still leads Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack now by 4,679 votes. Ruiz has 51 percent of the votes, Bono Mack stands at 49 percent.
On Wednesday morning there were approximately 105,000 vote-by-mail, 60,000 provisional and 18,000 damaged ballots that require duplication still must be processed. Now we are left with 164,000 votes still to be counted. The next set of numbers will be released Friday evening at 6pm says the Registrar's website.
"It's outrageous it's taking this long. What's the holdup?" said Anne O'Neil of Palm Desert.
Some people on our Facebook page asked the same question. Riverside County is reported to be one of the slowest in the state to tally its votes. Some people say the delay is too familiar.
"I'm used to bad tallies during the election. It would seem in this day and age we could process the stuff a little quicker," said Glen Curtis of Palm Desert.
Many voters are already congratulating Dr. ruiz on a win. However, the race isn't over yet. Dr. Ruiz's campaign released the following statement on Thursday:
"We're confident that when all the votes are counted, Dr. Ruiz will be the next Congressman from the Coachella Valley - we understand the voters'
frustrations, but recognize that the most important thing right now is to count every vote and make sure everyone's voice is heard."
Until the final ballots are reviewed and certified, voters say, "We have to wait until it tallies and see what the end result will be," said Curtis.
O'Neil says, "I think it could be a very tight race. You have to wait until the end to say who won. It's too soon to do that."
The campaign featured a flood of ads in recent weeks, including spots funded by outside sources like the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Democratic House Majority PAC.
With Democrats sensing a potentially vulnerable incumbent, Ruiz earned the backing of some big-name party leaders, most notably former President Bill Clinton and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Unlike Bono Mack's previous re-election bids, this race was anticipated to be close. Latinos make up almost one-third of the district's voters, and the Riverside County Registrar of Voters shows a slight edge of registered Democratic voters over Republicans, 114,406 to 114,288.
"Riverside County Democrats have worked hard all season to turn primarily red zones to blue zones," according to Sue Ann Young, chair of the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee. "Our greatest victory for registering Democrats has been in western Riverside city proper and the Coachella Valley."
Bono Mack was first elected to the 45th district in a 1998 special election held to fill the seat of her husband, Sonny Bono, who died in a skiing accident. She chairs the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and the Women's Policy Committee.
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