Vote counting enters 2nd week, several South Bay races still too close to call

Industry, CA, Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - Ballots are received, sorted and verified at the LA County ballot processing facility. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A week after Election Day, and several South Bay races are still too close to call. Among the, the race for Santa Clara County sheriff, and San Jose mayor.

The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters office said Tuesday roughly 94,000 ballots need to be counted before they can have the results certified. It could take another three-days before one-of-two candidates can claim the top job at City Hall.

Election officials and volunteers have worked 12 hours a day to bring closure to Decision 2022.

"Over the weekend and on Veterans day, we’re processing 7a.m. to 7p.m. And we have all hands on deck. So it’s quite a long process," officer spokesman Michael Borja said.

As of Wednesday morning, several thousand votes separate mayoral candidates Matt Mahan and Cindy Chavez.

The margin is also razor-thin for the two men vying to be the next Santa Clara County sheriff.

In a statement emailed to KTVU, Kevin Jensen said, "I am grateful that we have gained ground since the night of the election, and now we’re over 49%. With over 20% of the votes left to tally we are very hopeful that I will finally get the chance to right the wrongs from the previous Sheriff…"

Bob Jonsen also emailed a statement, "I am optimistic about the returns, but there are still thousands of votes to be counted," Jonsen, said. "If the votes remain in my favor, I am ready to begin working with the amazing men and women of the Sheriff’s Office…"

Political science experts said the inability of some candidates to declare victory due to the closeness of their race, is following a national trend.

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"Polls show the electorate is more and more divided. That is all voters are getting pushed to the extremes," Dr. Nolan Higdon, a Cal State University East Bay political historian said. "A lot of people can vote three four weeks before the election day. That’s going to garner a lot more participation. It’s gonna prolong the election cycle."

A third, extremely close race, is that of mayor for the City of Santa Clara. Incumbent Lisa Gillmor leads challenger, 6th Dist. councilman Anthony Becker by 571 votes.

The registrar is providing updates of the vote tallies at 5p.m. each day.

Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on Twitter @JesseKTVU and Instagram @jessegontv