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Recount completed, election unchanged

April 02, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

A recount of several Calexico precincts from the March 5 primary ended Monday with no change in the election's outcome.

The recount was requested by county Supervisor Tony Tirado, who lost the District 5 race to his challenger, Calexico Mayor Victor Carrillo, and Diane Harvey of Imperial, campaign manager for sheriff's candidate Ernie Mendoza, who lost to incumbent Harold Carter.

The recount in the sheriff's race cost $335, paid for by Harvey and private citizens.

Harvey's letter to county Registrar of Voters Dolores Provencio said she specifically wanted to see any unmarked ballots, damaged ballots or any other "not counted" ballots.

She wanted to know why precinct 121013 had 273 voters turn out but only 189 votes were cast in the sheriff's race, Provencio said.


Harvey requested four Calexico precincts be manually recounted: 121011, with polls at Calexico Methodist Church; 121004, with polls at fire station No. 2; 121005, with polls at Vincent Memorial High School, and 121013, with polls at Neighborhood House.

Harvey said she was satisfied with the precincts recounted and dropped her recount request for precinct 121011 at Calexico Methodist Church.

She said Mendoza did not ask her to do the recount, but she wanted to do it out of her own curiosity. About 15,000 people voted in the county but about 3,000 did not vote in the sheriff's race, she said.

Mendoza lost the race by 1,577 votes.

Harvey said of the 3,000 who did not vote in the sheriff's race, 760 people were from Calexico.

"The pattern is you have a lot of people in Calexico who didn't seem to flip the ballot card to vote on the other side (where the sheriff's race was listed)," she said.

Harvey said she didn't know why people did not flip the card. Precinct workers are instructed to tell voters to use both sides of the card and it is written on the ballot in English and Spanish.

She said she learned people who campaign in Calexico need to tell future voters to look for their name. Another option would be to ask the registrar of voters to only have candidates listed on one side of the ballot.

Carter received 55 percent of the vote, for a total of 8,813. Mendoza, a Sheriff's Office chief deputy, captured 45 percent of the vote with 7,236 ballots.

Tirado's letter to Provencio did not state a reason for his recount request. He asked for a manual and computerized recount but after Monday's manual count was finished, his campaign observers were satisfied and dropped the request for a computerized recount.

The manual recount cost Tirado's campaign $335. A computerized recount would have cost more, Provencio said.

Tirado requested recounts of Calexico precincts 121005, with polls at Vincent Memorial High, and 121018, with polls at Kennedy Gardens Elementary School.

Carrillo won by 251 votes with 52 percent of the vote, or 2,392 total votes. Tirado received 47 percent of the vote for a total of 2,141.

Tirado did not return phone calls from the Imperial Valley Press.

Provencio said the certified results were never questioned in the recount requests.

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or

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