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Registrar: Jerry McNerney-Ricky Gill final results may take extra time

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Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 9:48 am | Updated: 6:04 am, Tue Nov 6, 2012.

 Are you anxious to find out who wins the 9th Congressional District race between Jerry McNerney and Ricky Gill? Or the 5th Senate District race between Bill Berryhill and Cathleen Galgiani?

It looks like you’ll have to be patient. Both races are expected to be so close that it may take up to 28 days after Election Day to determine the winner, says Austin Erdman, San Joaquin County’s registrar of voters.

It takes extra time to count votes on some ballots. Most ballots are counted by machine, but some must be processed separately for any number of reasons, election officials say. They may have been damaged, incorrectly marked, had liquid spilled on them, the bubbles were marked incorrectly or someone voted for one candidate, then crossed it out and voted for a different candidate.

Erdman said he expects an unusually high voter turnout of 76 or 77 percent in San Joaquin County Tuesday. Only the 2008 election drew more in recent times. That election was highlighted by the open presidential seat that Barack Obama won and Proposition 8, which asked voters whether gay marriage should be legalized in California.

This year, voters have told Erdman that instead of mailing in their ballot before Election Day, they’re spending a lot of time researching information from campaign commercials on TV. Many voters are also waiting to vote in case some new information comes out on the eve of the election, Erdman said.

The hotly contested campaign between McNerney, D-Stockton, and Republican challenger Ricky Gill of Lodi has already generated a high vote-by-mail turnout from Lodi’s 95240 and 95242 zip codes, Erdman said.

Local ballots include the Lodi and Galt city council races, but the greatest interest seems to come from the McNerney-Gill contest. Due to redistricting by the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Lodi and Galt will be in the same congressional state Senate and Assembly District beginning with Tuesday’s election.

Other key local races include:

  • 5th Senate District — Republican Bill Berryhill and Democrat Cathleen Galgiani, both of whom moved to Stockton for the election. Galgiani and Berryhill currently serve in the Assembly.
  • 9th Assembly District — Republican Tony Amador of Lodi against Assemblyman Richard Pan of Sacramento.
  • 12th Assembly District — Republican Kristin Olson of Modesto against Democrat Chris Mateo of Lathrop. This district includes the Victor, Lockeford, Clements and eastern Acampo areas.
  • 13th Assembly District — Democrat Susan Eggman of Stockton against Republican K. “Jeffrey” Jafri, also from Stockton. This district includes Morada, Flag City, Terminous and Thornton.
  • Term limits — Should members of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors and the county Board of Education become eligible to serve a third four-year term? Current county ordinance limits county supervisors and county school board members to two terms.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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