City Commission employees will begin sifting this afternoon through election materials in the too-close-to-call race for a Republican City Council at-large seat but a result will not come until at least next week. Candidates David Oh and Al Taubenberger attended this morning's commission meeting, where it was announced that Oh has a 140-vote lead with 96.32 percent of the polling place ballots counted.
Attention now turns to absentee, military, alternative and provisional ballots along with 73 voting machine cartridges that have not been returned to the commission. Chairwoman Marge Tartaglione noted that the cartridges may contain no votes if they were not used in yesterday's election, which had light voter turn-out. There are 1,757 absentee and military ballots so far, 252 alternative ballots and an unknown number of provisional ballots. Military and overseas voters have until Nov. 15 for their ballots to arrive at the commission.
Tartaglione told Oh and Taubenberger they are allowed to observe the entire process but can't interfere and should direct any questions to commission staffers. "If you get boisterous or anything, you will be asked to leave," she warned.
Commission staffers plan to work through the weekend to get the ballots in order. The official count starts Monday morning at 9 a.m.