INDIO, Calif.- - Polls closed a month ago in Riverside County (30 days and some change, for those counting), but up until this morning just before 5:00 a.m., no lead, no matter how hefty, was official. For weeks, the Riverside County Registrar continued to count ballots, and continued to update the public; many races remained steady throughout the series of updates but in the case of the race for Indio's District 2 City Council seat, most updates kept the election a consistent toss-up.
Today, however, the tally has finished, and Waymond Fermon has been declared the winner, defeating Mayor Mike Wilson by 148 votes.
Fermon defeated his incumbent opponent by four percentage points, garnering 1,920 votes to Wilson's 1,772.
Mayor Mike Wilson issued the following statement to News Channel 3 yesterday, ahead of the election certification:
"After the official certification of the election, which should come today by the County Registrar, I have 5 days to request an official recount. I intend to make that request on behalf myself and my supporters, who have all pushed for it. We are aware of my opponent's Campaign going door to door and asking for voters absentee ballots to vote with during the last days of the Campaign and have first-hand account of it. Until we see the ballots themselves and are able to make some conclusions I have nothing more to add to my initial statement. As you may know, Ca. is now the only State in the U. S. to allow anyone, which used to be only a relative, to pick up, potentially manipulate, and then stop of absentee ballots at election polls. We've heard story after story and account after account of it in this election.The Orange County Registrar of Voters has gone on record as stating that she had never seen the stacks in the hundreds of absentee ballots being dropped off at the polls by an individual person. This is third world country tactics at best, though not necessarily illegal under the new laws pushed through by Sacramento Democrat Majority and signed by Gov. Brown, it definitely smells of very unethical practices. I will have no more to say until our Campaign can actually have a chance to view the actual ballots during a recount."
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15