The vote counting continues today at the San Luis Obispo county election office.
One week ago, Tommy Gong told us this could be a long process. Currently, there’s a battle over 31 ballots which election workers determined don’t match the voter signature on file. The issue is whether the clerk’s office can continue to process those ballots and have those votes counted. That’s what Tommy Gong is doing.
New state law clearly dictates that voters are given until eight days after election day to sign validation forms and have their vote counted. That timeline expired at five Friday afternoon. Regardless, Gong is giving Jimmy Paulding supporters more time to track down the mystery voters and get their identification if the signatures don’t match the signature on file.
Lynn Compton’s attorney’s say there is no legal authority to do this. They wrote to Gong, “Your approach would extend the election voting period in a discriminatory and unlawful manner in order to favor one candidate.” Tommy Gong wrote back that he will continue to accept comparison signature verification until all votes are tallied. He says there is no time limit in the election code for the process of validating signatures.
Gong calls the dispute an unintended consequence of the vote-by-mail ballot. He is expected to release a new count of ballots later today. The last count, released one week ago, had supervisor Lynn Compton leading by only 81 votes.