Election officials late Friday afternoon released their first updated vote count since Tuesday’s election, bringing some clarity to two races that were too close to call on election night.
But the update left other close races without new results.
In the race for the Napa Valley College Board of Trustee seat held by Amy Martenson, challenger Jeff Dodd increased his lead to 110 votes. On election night, Dodd was ahead of Martenson by 52 votes.
The news for Measure I, Napa County’s plan to increase the transient occupancy tax from 12 percent to 13 percent in the unincorporated areas, was promising for supporters.
Friday’s count showed Measure I leading with 67.53 percent of the vote, which is more than the two-thirds needed to pass, or 66.66 percent. On election night, Measure I led with 66.58 percent, just short of the goal.
The vote update from the Napa County Election Division left in doubt the races for St. Helena mayor and city council races in Calistoga and American Canyon.
On Tuesday, St. Helena Mayor Alan Galbraith had a slight lead of only 16 votes over challenger Geoff Ellsworth. That total did not change Friday.
Similarly, Calistoga City Council challenger Don Williams still led with 45 percent of the vote, while incumbents Gary Kraus and James Barnes were tied with 27 percent of the vote on Friday, representing no change since Tuesday. Two council seats are available.
The latest vote count represented an additional 4,842 votes or more than 50 percent of all votes cast in Napa County, according to Registrar of Voters John Tuteur. About 40 percent, or 21,774 votes, were counted by election night and another 12-16 percent were included in Friday’s totals, he said.
Additional votes released on Friday were primarily from the 1st and 2nd districts, Tuteur said. But the update did show some additional votes counted in the American Canyon City Council race.
On election night, incumbent David Oro led challenger Pierre Washington by seven votes for the second available American Canyon City Council seat. Incumbent Mark Joseph was leading all candidates on Tuesday with 31.5 percent of the vote, giving him the lead for the first available council seat.
On Friday, Oro’s lead increased to 28 votes over Washington.
As for Measure H, American Canyon’s plan to increase its hotel tax by 1 percent, it was still sitting on 62.90 percent of the vote, short of two-thirds. The percentages remained unchanged even though 202 additional votes were included in Friday’s update for Measure H.
Tuteur said Friday in an email that he hopes to have more American Canyon ballots included in upcoming election updates scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 13 and Wednesday, Nov. 14.
“Given the number of ballots we have, we may continue counting on Thursday, Nov. 15 and Friday, Nov. 16,” he said.
Tuteur expects to have 90 percent or more of all votes counted by the end of next week. After that no more results will be released until the week of Nov. 26 when the election is certified.