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Some Kings County votes counted twice in state assembly primary, recount lifts Salas

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Some votes cast in Kings County during California's June 6 primary were counted twice by mistake, Kings County officials say.

An ensuing recount resulted in a slight shakeup in the state assembly race for District 32, where incumbent Rudy Salas moved ahead of his conservative challenger, Justin Mendes, after first appearing to have lost.

Both men would have appeared on the ballot in November anyway.

Neither candidate seemed shaken by the correction. Each say they continue to trust the process.

"They got it right," Mendes said by phone Thursday. "They'll definitely be more prepared going into November. And I have faith in the system."

Salas issued a written statement to Eyewitness News:

"I admire the hard working people in the county elections offices. They do an incredible job under enormous pressure and always end up getting it right."


The Kings County Registrar of Voters Kristine Lee said Thursday the county uses machines to count ballots, but the mistakes were caused by human error.

A machine that should've have been reset between "runs" was not, so the count wasn't started over as it should have been. Protocols have been updated to make sure such a mistake isn't repeated, she said.

Although there was a mistake, the county's usual procedure caught it and fixed it before the state's deadline for certifying official results, Lee said.

Nearly 1,900 duplicate votes were removed from the assembly contest. Since more of the duplicate votes went for Mendes, Salas share of the final vote rose, from about 48 percent, to just over 50 percent.

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