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Vote Counting (copy)

Ballots waiting to be counted at the Napa County Elections Office on Election Day.

With Monday’s latest election results, Measure C trailed for the first time, though more ballots remained to be counted and the race remained too close to call.

“No” votes for the watershed and oak woodland initiative totaled 10,886 and “yes” votes 10,753. Since Friday’s update, a 35-vote lead turned into a 133-vote deficit.

The late Monday afternoon count consisted of 6,563 ballots. Registrar of Voters John Tuteur said the Election Division will continue releasing election results this week as it verifies 13,000 to 15,000 vote-by-mail ballots.

Tuteur previously said the tight Measure C vote could see the lead seesaw as the updates come in.

“When it’s this close, you can see small swings, but you seldom see large swings,” Tuteur said. “And a small swing in this case can switch (the lead) back and forth.”

Measure C proponents say their initiative would provide needed protections for watersheds that feed reservoirs serving Napa, Calistoga, St. Helena and Yountville, as well as groundwater basins used for farming. Opponents that include wine industry and farming groups say initiative restrictions on vineyard planting in the mountains would be anti-agriculture.

In another race, incumbent Supervisor Diane Dillon retained her lead over challenger Cio Perez for the 3rd District supervisorial seat. She led to 3,000 to 2,235.

Measure D, the initiative to ban new personal use heliports, retained a commanding lead. It led 13,117 to 8,297.

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Napa County Reporter

Barry Eberling covers Napa County government, transportation, the environment and general assignments. He has worked for the Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked 27 years for the Daily Republic of Fairfield.