Assemblywoman Mary Salas, D-San Diego, has requested a recount of ballots in San Diego and Riverside counties in hopes of overcoming a 22-vote deficit between her and Democrat Juan Vargas in the 40th Senate District.
San Diego Registrar Deborah Seiler confirmed that Salas made the request just before 5 p.m. Monday. Officials in Riverside said they also received a request to tally their ballots again.
The sprawling 40th District includes all of Imperial County and parts of Riverside and San Diego counties. San Diego was the only county where Salas outpolled Vargas.
Salas will have to pay for the recount out of her own campaign funds.
“They (the Salas campaign) have to front the money each day. They are not under any obligation to continue the recount, and they can stop at any time,” Seiler said.
The cost in San Diego County will be $23,000 to $26,000. Salas is financing the recount and payment is required day-by-day, Seiler added. The recount could be completed within six days, depending on how many workers can be directed to the task, Seiler noted.
Today was the deadline for either camp to request a new count, according to Shannan Velayas, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office.
Recounts need not be district-wide. The 40th Senate District includes all of Imperial and parts of San Diego and Riverside counties. State election law states a “recount may be conducted within any or all of the affected counties.”
Vargas received more than $2 million in help from tort reform and other business groups. Salas was backed by a number of labor unions and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).