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Santa Barbara Election: City Clerk Decides to Recount ballots

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – November 10, 2009 – City Clerk Services Manager, Cyndi Rodriguez, after conducting a manual audit of election results, has determined that a vote counting machine, in some cases, did not properly read a portion of ballots cast.  As a result, she has decided to do a complete recount. 

“We don’t anticipate that the recount will affect the overall results of the election other than, perhaps, the order for the third and fourth place on the race for City Council,” said Marcelo A. López, administrative services director.  

It appears that the voting machine used by the contracted ballot counters lacked the sensitivity to read some of the lighter shaded marks for votes cast for City Council candidates and Measures D and E.  

The reader problem does not affect the race for Mayor and/or Measures B and C.  In fact, the manual tally results for Mayor and Measures B and C matched the machine-generated results.  The nearly 50% voter turnout is also not affected.

“As part of the process, the elections official is required to verify the accuracy of the election by manually tallying approximately one-percent of the votes cast.  During the accuracy verification process, the City Clerk Services Manager discovered that in some cases the machine-generated results did not match the manual tally,” said López.  

The elections process has many checks and balances, including statistical random sampling of ballots.  “Our checks and balance process worked – we identified the problem and by recounting the ballots we will be able to assure voters that the count is accurate,” said Cyndi Rodriguez, city clerk services manager.

The recount will occur on Thursday, November 12, 2009, at 10:00 am, in the Council Chambers at Santa Barbara City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street.

All candidates, and ballot measure proponents and opponents have or will be informed of the recount.  A public notice of the recount is posted at City Hall.  The recount is open to the public.

The recount must match the manual tally of the verified precinct selected at random.  The city will transmit the updated results in a news release.  The results will also be posted on the City’s election website:  

The projected date for the City Council to certify the election results is Tuesday, November 24, 2009.

For more information, contact the persons listed at the top of this page. 


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