Council race still too close to call

Ucovich, Markey separated by only 26 votes
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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The election is not over in the Town of Loomis until the Placer County elections office says it is, and election officials say the Loomis council race is too close to call. Only 26 votes separate council candidate Vic Markey and incumbent Miguel Ucovich, and their positions could change once all ballots are counted in the next two weeks. Sandra Calvert was the first-place winner with 1,239 votes. Markey received 863 votes and incumbent Ucovich received 837. Walt Scherer placed second, but is only 27 votes ahead of Markey. Ucovich is optimistic the outstanding ballots, once counted, could change the election outcome. “I’m still holding out hope. It’s still possible. Maybe the people that voted at the end, voted for me,” Ucovich said. Markey said he is not claiming victory at this point and said, “this thing is not over yet.” “It’s the process that is happening now. It’s a numbers thing. There’s not much separation between Walt, Miguel and I,” Markey said. How often do election results change after all ballots are counted? Ryan Ronco, county assistant registrar of voters, said, “It happens often enough so that we tell people to be careful not to call an election before it’s completely over.” Ronco said 2,600 mail-in ballots were issued to Loomis town residents, but only 1,600 were certified and counted on election day, leaving 1,000 outstanding ballots. “It’s not unusual to see an 80 to 85 percent return of those ballots countywide,” Ronco said. If that formula is applied to the Loomis ballots, there could be 800 to 850 ballots that still must be certified and counted. Ronco said the majority are absentee ballots that were mailed in or dropped off at the polls on election day. All ballots had to be received by the county or at the polls by 8 p.m. on election day in order to be counted. On Nov. 2, three Loomis council seats were up for election. Candidate Sandra Calvert came in first with 1,239 votes, which puts her on the council. Scherer, candidate and current councilman, placed second with 890 votes and also earned a council seat. Markey and Ucovich came in closely at third and fourth and are vying for the third council seat. Jo-Carol Arisman placed last with 717 votes. Scherer said in 2002 he was in fourth position for one of three open council seats on election night, but moved into third position and onto the council once all other ballots were counted. Scherer said it was the only time he remembers it happening in Loomis, but said it could happen again. “In Loomis, 10 or 11 votes can make a difference,” Scherer said. According to Ronco, in Placer County 28,056 ballots must still be counted. Ronco said by law his office has 28 days to count all of the ballots and certify the election, but he expects to have the process completed in 10 to 14 days from election day. No other Loomis races are as close as the council race. In the Loomis Union School District trustee election, Ann Baker, with 4,060 votes, received almost twice as many votes as incumbent Tim Rudolph, with 2,113 votes. For the two director positions open for the Loomis Fire Protection District race, William M. Tudsbury received 1,637 votes, Chris S. Gibson received 1,155 votes, and Russ Kelley received 1,088 votes. Measure A, the term limits initiative, passed after receiving 1,164 yes votes and 938 no votes.