Marin IJ

Article Last Updated: 11/10/2005 07:18 AM

Six Marin races still alive

Richard Halstead
Marin Independent Journal

With more than 22,000 ballots still to count from Tuesday's election, at least six Marin County races remain too close to call, elections officials said yesterday.

Marin Registrar of Voters Michael Smith said he was calling the candidates in six races to advise them of the procedure for counting the remaining ballots. The affected races are for the Fairfax and San Anselmo town councils, the Ross Valley and Novato school district boards and the Sausalito Marin City Sanitary District and Kentfield Fire Protection District boards.

"When you're down to a handful of votes, you really don't know until we've completed the process," Smith said.

He said he still can't predict how many total ballots remain to be counted. Absentee ballots can be turned in at any polling place on election day. More than 100 bags containing ballots from the county's precincts had not yet been opened yesterday.

The county has until Dec. 6 to finish its count and certify the election, Smith said. But the assistant registrar of voters, Madelyn DeJusto, said she hopes to finish a final count before Thanksgiving.

Smith said he had already received a call yesterday from San Anselmo council candidate Ford Greene. Greene, who couldn't be reached for comment, finished fourth in a race for three open seats. He needs 121 votes to pass third-place finisher Ian Roth.

The race is even closer in Fairfax, where incumbent Mike Ghiringhelli trails by 8 votes and Frank Egger, who has served 40 consecutive years on the council, is 87 votes behind. The voter turnout in Fairfax was 55 percent, the highest in the county.

Countywide, at least 45 percent of the Marin's 146,372 registered voters cast a ballot. That percentage may rise when all the absentee ballots are counted, DeJusto said. Nearly half of Marin's registered voters - 70,973 of them - requested an absentee ballot.

The closest race is for the Sausalito Marin City Sanitary District board. Third-place finisher Ann Arnott holds a six-vote lead over Joseph Bell.

"I'm hoping when they do finally count them that it will be the same, that I'll be the winner," Arnott said.


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