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SLO County: Compton - Paulding supervisor race still too close to call

Next update of election results on Friday

Compton Paulding race for SLO County supervisor still too close to call

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The race for Fourth District San Luis Obispo County Supervisor continues to be a nail-biter.

One day after ballots were cast, it's still unknown who has captured the seat.

Currently, with all 29 precincts reporting, incumbent Lynn Compton holds a razor-thin lead over Jimmy Paulding by just 83 votes.

On Wednesday, county election workers were going through thousands of uncounted ballots inside the County Clerk-Recorder's office.

"We are where we are as of last night and now we're processing our remaining ballots,” said San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong. “Many, many vote-by-mail ballots were returned in the mail and also our polling place on Election Day, so we're processing those and we also picked up nine trays of from our Post Office, which will be eligible to be counted as well."

According to a SLO County election report, there are over 29,000 uncounted votes countywide, including just over 6,200 from the 4th District.

Given the large number of votes still to be counted, Compton's narrow lead is essentially no lead at all.

"It's not over until it's over,” Gong said. “We count every ballot and process every eligible vote-by-mail ballot that can be counted. We process all of our provisional ballots and our new conditional voter registration ballots that were cast here in our office. We will be adjudicating those and if they're eligible, we'll be counting those also."

Gong said there would be no updated results released either Wednesday or Thursday. He is optimistic his office will have an update by Friday.

“It's an unknown,” said Paulding at his home Wednesday afternoon. “We'll have to see. It's exciting and there's a lot of folks that are calling and wanting to know what's going to happen. We have to wait and we have to be patient.”

In the course of one hour late Tuesday night, the lead changed three times. 

As the clock struck 11 p.m., Compton led by less than 100 votes. A few minutes later, Paulding jumped out to his first lead of the night with an advantage of 77 votes.

At 12:06 a.m., the last update of the night was released with all 29 precincts reporting. When the numbers were posted, Compton was back in front with the current 83 vote advantage.

"This is a very close race and we look forward to a speedy conclusion,” Compton said in a statement Wednesday.  

Gong said it could take up to three and a half weeks before the race is officially certified.

He added the closeness of this race of this size is extremely rare. When all the votes are tallied, it will likely be among the closest for a Supervisor's race in county history.

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