Update November 22, 2020: Joel Anderson now leads by 284 votes over Steve Vaus, with 7,500 ballots left to be tallied countywide. In Santee, Dustin Trotter is ahead by just seven votes over Samantha Hurst.
By Miriam Raftery
November 11, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – With 33,000 votes countywide remaining to be tallied, but far fewer ballots left in individual races, the latest update from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters shows several major contests in East County are still too close to call.
In the important race to fill retiring Supervisor Dianne Jacob’ district 2 seat, former State Senator Joel Anderson has taken a scant seven-vote lead over Poway Mayor Steve Vaus.
Santee’s City Council race to fill an open seat, meanwhile, has Samantha “Samm” Hurst retaking the lead over Dustin Trotter by just two votes after being tied just one day earlier.
El Cajon’s District 2 City Council race is also tight. Currently Michelle Metschel leads with 1,413 votes over Letitia Dickerson with 1,349, Stephanie Harper with 1,335, and Juan Carlos Mercado with 1,193. Humbert Cabrera and Martin Van DInteren appear to be out of contention with 963 and 525 votes respectively.
In La Mesa, Councilman Colin Parent and Jack Shu remain in the lead, with 11,801 and 11,495 votes respectively. The top two vote-getters will win seats. The closest next contender in the six person race, Counncilmember Kristine Alessio now has 11,046 votes.
In Lemon Grove, Liana LeBaron and former Councilman George Gastil have 4,461 and 4,444 votes respectively; there are two seats open. It appears unlikely that Teresa Rosiak or Councilman David Arambula could pick up enough votes to win election; they currently have 3,855 and 3,807 votes respectively.
Measure T, the Cajon Valley Union School District bond, has gained some votes but still not enough to meet the 55 percent threshold needed for passage. It’s currently at 53.08% yes, or 36,144 votes, vs. 46.92% no, or 31,944 votes.
In Cajon Valley’s trustee area four, incumbent Karen Clark-Mejia maintains a slim lead of 272 votes over challenger Monica Hinton. Mejia has 5,537 votes, or 51.26%, while Hinton has 5,265 votes, or 48.74%.
If you think your vote doesn’t count, the candidates in these tight races would no doubt disagree.
According to the county’s Registrar of Voters Michael Vu, in an interview on KUSI, California’s election code requires that tie race be settled by flipping a coin, drawing lots, or another random game of chance with a high stakes outcome for voters as well as candidates.