State Controller Recount Could Extend Beyond November Election

The tight race for state controller appeared to be dragging out even further this week, as Fresno County Clerk Brandi Orth said the recount in her county wouldn’t begin until mid-August. Orth’s comments come on the heels of a recent survey from the secretary of state’s office showing that the recount could extend well past the November general election and perhaps into January

There are 212 out of 447 precincts in Fresno where ballots must be counted by hand. Once the process begins, Orth expects it to take about 10 days. Hand recounts in the counties of Kern and Imperial began on Friday and are expected to take up to two and three weeks respectively. A recount in 495 precincts in San Bernardino County will soon follow with completion expected to take 8 days. 

Former Assembly Speaker and state controller hopeful John A. Pérez filed papers on July 6, requesting hand recounts in 15 counties where he defeated Board of Equalization member Betty Yee. The two are competing for the chance to face off against Republican challenger Ashley Swearengin, who finished first in the June 3 primary. Yee won second place over Pérez by just 481 votes.  

Political analyst and former Republican legislative aide Tony Quinn said the uncertainty ultimately benefits Swearengin.

"The longer it goes on, it puts doubt into the process, and makes it harder for Yee to go out and raise money," Quinn said. "All of this helps Swearengin. This is a break for her that they can't decide who her opponent is."

Read more about the recount here.