A recount of ballots cast in Riverside County for the two Democratic candidates in the 40th Senatorial District race is set to get under way today.
Assemblywoman Mary Salas, D-San Diego, notified elections officials in Riverside and San Diego counties last Monday that she wanted a recount of ballots in the disputed primary that she lost by a mere 22 votes to contender Juan Vargas.
The final results came in following a court-ordered tally of 12,563 misplaced absentee ballots in Riverside County that was the subject of a lawsuit by several of the affected voters, who said they had been disenfranchised.
The 40th district encompasses eastern Riverside County, all of Imperial County and southern San Diego County.
According to figures posted by elections officials in each county, Vargas edged out Salas 24,282 votes to her 24,260.
Salas is paying for the recounts out of her campaign funds. Expenses in San Diego County were projected to fall somewhere between $23,000 and $26,000.
The Riverside County Registrar of Voters and the San Diego County Registrar of Voters are conducting the manual tallies at the same time. The Riverside recount is expected to wrap up by 5 p.m. However, the San Diego count could run to Thursday, according to elections officials there.
Salas outpolled Vargas in both Riverside and San Diego counties, though her lead in Riverside was much narrower, gaining 4,057 votes to Vargas’ 3,962, figures showed. She topped Vargas 16,724 to 15,914 in San Diego County.
Vargas sailed past Salas by nearly a thousand votes in Imperial County, however.