Last night, former Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) submitted an official request for a recount to the Orange County Registrar of Voters. Judging by recent recount efforts, it is highly unlikely that Correa will be able to overturn Supervisor-Elect Andrew Do’s 43-vote lead.
- In the 2014 general election for the North Orange County Community College District’s Measure J, measure opponents needed to flip 34 votes to block the 55% supermajority to overturn the measure. Realizing a recount would be unlikely to prevail, the opponents went with the unique method of using the recount as an opportunity to examine the provisional ballots, then ended the recount to instead file suit in court to get the provisionals tossed. This case is still pending. However, since provisionals overwhelmingly favored Correa, it is unlikely he would use this method (nor would adding the uncounted provisionals help since there were just a handful of those, so it was far short of 43).
- In the 2014 general election for Mayor of Garden Grove, then-Mayor Bruce Broadwater (D-Garden Grove) sought a recount to overturn his 15-vote re-election loss to then-School Board Member Bao Nguyen (D-Garden Grove). Broadwater threw in the towel when the first day of the recount failed to change a single ballot despite 2,500 ballots being recounted, and Nguyen became Mayor.
- In the 2014 primary election for State Controller, then-Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) sought a recount to overturn his 481-vote loss to then-Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee (D-San Francisco). Perez gave up after one week when he only managed to change 8 votes in approximately 400 precincts. Yee advanced to the general election against Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and won that race to become State Controller.
- In the 2007 special election for the First Supervisorial District (i.e. the election for this same seat eight years ago when none other than Lou Correa resigned the seat to become a State Senator), then-School Board Member Trung Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) led then-Councilwoman Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) by 7 votes. Janet Nguyen then sought a recount and netted 14 votes, thereby changing her 7-vote deficit into a 7-vote lead. Trung Nguyen then went to court and widdled Janet Nguyen’s lead down to 3 votes. Janet Nguyen, of course, went on to serve eight years in the seat before resigning in 2014 to become a State Senator, triggering the 2015 special election. One important caveat in this story, state laws regarding recounts were much more generous in allowing ballots to be tossed back then, and even that was only a 14-vote (or 11-vote if you consider the judge’s rulings) switch.
Do’s 43-vote victory is simply too large a margin for Correa to overcome. I don’t blame Correa for trying, because 43 votes out of 48,626 cast in 101 precincts is tantalizingly close, but he just won’t be able to pull it off.
Do will be sworn in as Supervisor this morning.