Mountain View Voice

News - June 11, 2010

Uncounted ballots leave DA race up in the air

by Jay Thorwaldson

Disclosure that there are nearly 100,000 ballots yet to be counted in Santa Clara County has thrown the race for district attorney into a big question: Will challenger Jeff Rosen's 2,217-vote lead over incumbent District Attorney Dolores Carr evaporate?

The outcome may not be known until late Friday, well after the Voice's press deadline on Wednesday, and will not be officially certified until weeks later.

Both Carr and Rosen have backed off from conceding or declaring victory in the hard-fought race.

In an election night marked by excruciatingly slow posting of results, the final tally wasn't announced until just past 2 a.m.. — giving Rosen a 2,217-vote edge in the D.A. race.

Throughout the night, scores of supporters at election-night parties in south San Jose talked among themselves as results, projected on screens, remained unchanged for long periods.

But there was no visible announcement on the Registrar's of Voters' website page listing totals that there were thousands of votes yet to be counted. Initial results were listed as mail-in totals.

But Rosen took an early lead of about 1,600 votes, which grew incrementally during the evening until the final count was announced by the county registrar of voters at 2:03 a.m.

Rosen had amassed 91,837 votes, or 50.61 percent of the votes, to Carr's 89,620 votes, or 49.39 percent — giving Rosen a 2,217 lead, the largest of the night.

Carr was gracious in her apparent defeat as the totals showed a widening lead for Rosen in the last announcements preceding the 2:03 a.m. "final" results of all precincts reporting.

She made a brief statement that could be used whether she won or lost: "We ran an honest and honorable campaign," she said. "I'm proud of the support we have had, and I'm proud of accomplishments we've made as I've been D.A."

Rosen, in a written statement, said the election is not just about him but about broader issues, including justice. But references to his apparent victory turned out to be premature in light of the huge number of uncounted ballots.

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