Here’s how recounts work in California now that Riverside County is done counting

Twenty days after the polls closed, the Riverside County Registrar of Voters certified the results of the election on Monday. The final tally came in at 3:17 p.m. and was sent on to the Board of Supervisors.

The California Secretary of State tracks the counting of ballots and, as of 5 p.m. today, showed 21 of the 58 counties were done tallying.

Two Coachella Valley candidates had come-from-behind victories that look like prime candidates for recounts:

Cathedral City Mayor Kathy DeRosa finished with 5,729 votes (46.57%) over challenger Chip Yarbrough’s 5,716 (46.46%) — a 13-vote difference.

Palm Desert challenger Susan Marie Weber finished with 6,153 votes (15.83%) to incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kroonen’s 6,108 (15.71%) — a 45-vote gap.

Under state law, here’s how recounts work in California:

  • Any voter can ask for a recount.
  • The person requesting the recount foots the bill.
  • The voter must file a request with the Registrar of Voters office within five days after election results are certified. (The deadline in this case is Dec. 3.)
  • Recounts are public and must begin within seven days of receiving the request.
  • Any ballot may be challenged for ambiguity, incompleteness or other defects.
  • Recounts continue daily — not including weekends or holidays —for at least six hours every day until finished.

Registrar Kari Verjil hasn’t been able to provide a cost estimate for what a recount would cost today in these specific races.

Election update: Susan Marie Weber now leading Bill Kroonen in Palm Desert

Palm Desert Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kroonen is now on the verge of losing his seat to challenger Susan Marie Weber.

The latest election results, released tonight, show Weber has 6,116 votes to Kroonen’s 6,099 — a 17-vote advantage.

Until now, Kroonen had maintained the lead.

Registrar Kari Verjil earlier told The Desert Sun that she would prioritize results from the Palm Desert race, where 1,300 provisional ballots remained uncounted last week.

It was not immediately clear how many of those ballots are still outstanding.

In Cathedral City, the vote margin has narrowed dramatically.

Mayoral challenger Chip Yarborough is still beating incumbent Kathy DeRosa, but his lead has been cut to just 12 votes.

The official tally has Yarborough with 5,692 votes to DeRosa’s 5,680 votes.

Today’s update includes almost 30,000 ballots countywide. Another 33,000 provisional ballots still need to be counted, an unknown number of which are from the desert.
The registrar will post more results at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Palm Desert race still close in latest election results

The Riverside County Registrar of Voters just posted another update of election results, and it appears Palm Desert Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kroonen has widened his lead slightly.

Kroonen now has a 47-vote advantage over challenger Susan Marie Weber. But roughly 1,300 provisional ballots remain uncounted in the valley’s closest race, according to Registrar Kari Verjil.

In Cathedral City, mayoral challenger Chip Yarborough’s lead over incumbent Kathy De Rosa has narrowed from 201 votes to 180 votes.

And in the 36th Congressional contest, Democrat Raul Ruiz widened his lead to 7,827 votes. Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack has already conceded the race.

Another 60,000 provisional ballots and 9,000 damaged ballots remain uncounted countywide. The next update will be released Friday evening.

The updated results for key desert races are here:

Palm Desert council: (top three win)

Mayor Bob Spiegel: 8,394 votes or 22.43 percent

Van Tanner: 7,799 votes or 20.84 percent

Kroonen: 5,950 votes or 15.90 percent

Weber: 5,903 votes or 15.77 percent

Aurora Wilson: 5,583 votes or 14.92 percent

Ron Moers: 2,352 votes or 6.28 percent

Terry Wood: 1,450 votes or 3.87 percent

Cathedral City:

DeRosa: 5,233 votes or 45.75 percent

John David Kauffman: 792 votes or 6.92 percent

Yarborough: 5,413 votes or 47.32 percent

36th Congressional:

Ruiz: 100,732 votes or 52.02 percent

Bono Mack: 92,905 or 47.98 percent

At least 1,300 uncounted ballots remain in tight Palm Desert race

Roughly 1,300 provisional ballots remain uncounted in Palm Desert, where Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kroonen is fending off challenger Susan Marie Weber by a mere 33 votes.

The actual number of outstanding ballots in that city could be higher.

Registrar Kari Verjil’s estimate, provided to The Desert Sun today, only takes into account the 60,000 provisional ballots that remain uncounted countywide.

Another 15,500 by-mail and 9,500 damaged ballots countywide also need to be counted. It is not known how many of those are from Palm Desert.

“They’ll want to keep an eye on this one,” Verjil said. “The vote trends usually continue. But it’s not final until I certify.”

The entire ballot count will likely last until after Thanksgiving.

Kroonen seemed confident in his victory last week.

He jointly authored a letter to the editor with Palm Desert Mayor Bob Spiegel and councilman-elect Van Tanner thanking residents for “their generous support and confidence in us.”

“We look forward to working with our fellow city council members to lead with thoughtful civility as we meet the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that face our community, while maintaining the standard of excellence for which the city of Palm Desert is known,” stated the letter, published Friday.

Registrar: Election count continues today

Riverside County offices are scheduled to be closed for the holiday, but the counting of election ballots continues today.

According to the registrar’s office, election workers are processing 85,000 remaining ballots from Tuesday’s election.

Registrar Kari Verjil told The Desert Sun that no new tallies will be posted online today, but new results will be posted around 6 p.m. Tuesday. That update should include the 15,500 outstanding by-mail ballots and at least some of the 9,500 damaged ballots.

County officials also have to process some 60,000 provisional ballots.

It is not known what races could be determined from the remaining ballots, but it could impact some desert races.

The closest of the contests is in Palm Desert, where Mayor Pro Tem Bill Kroonen has a mere 33 vote lead over challenger Susan Marie Weber.