Napa County Registrar of Voters John Tuteur estimates that between 18,000 and 23,000 ballots are left to be tallied from Tuesday’s election, but the final count won’t be released until the week of Nov. 26.
In the closely contested race for the District 2 seat on the Napa County Board of Supervisors, incumbent Supervisor Mark Luce leads challenger Mark van Gorder by 255 votes after three rounds of counting Tuesday night.
When the first count was released shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday, Luce led van Gorder by 167 votes in a tally of 5,551 vote-by-mail and absentee ballots.
That lead grew to 255 votes after 902 District 2 polling place votes were counted.
The trend is toward Luce’s re-election, Tuteur said Wednesday.
“That’s a pretty steep margin to overcome,” Tuteur said Luce’s 255-vote advantage.
Countywide, the 32,715 ballots counted by the end of Tuesday night accounted for 45 percent of the total registered voters in the county.
Adding 18,000 to 23,000 ballots to that total would bring the turnout up to 70 to 75 percent, Tuteur noted.
If that turnout occurs in District 2, that would mean about 4,000 to 5,000 ballots remaining to count.
Van Gorder said Tuesday night he was confident of victory. He believed turnout in the district would be higher than Tuteur’s estimates, and that he would benefit from the late returns.
Luce said after the first tally he would be comforted if he could maintain his lead over the next two counts; he expanded his lead by 88 votes by the end of the night.
Tuteur said he will release the official figures on ballots remaining to be counted either later this week or early next week. Those ballots will be prepared and counted, with the results likely released the week of Nov. 26.