Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityWhy Senator Melissa Hurtado is asking for a recount in the 16th senate district race | KBAK
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Why Senator Melissa Hurtado is asking for a recount in the 16th senate district race

Senator Melissa Hurtado.PNG
Senator Melissa Hurtado.PNG
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“My race is within a 20 vote margin, I believe it's necessary because it’s so tight for one, and for two there are some questions that I think need further answering," David Shepard, Republican candidate for the 16th Senate district race, said.

That was Shepard on December 14th, after he requested a recount for ballots in all four counties in the 16th senate district, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and Kern counties. Then, Kern County elections registrar of voters, Mary Bedard, told the Kern County Board of Supervisors, after the election was certified, they discovered on December 9th that ten eligible ballots were not included in the final tally.

Out of those ten, five of the ballots did include the senate district 16 race. Bedard said they have petitioned the court to count these ballots, but analysis has revealed that the final result wouldn’t be altered by including these ballots, which Shepard disagrees with.

"The slightest, very slightest of clerical errors out of 136,000 thousand ballots cast could change the trajectory of the outcome, I think Democrats would be doing the exact same thing right now," Shepard, said.

Eyewitness News received a copy of a letter Senator Melissa Hurtado sent to Bedard on December 29th.

"While the mostly complete Shepard recount is reviewing all ballots cast in Fresno and Kings counties as well as half of Tulare county, it only included one-fifth of Kern County. Mr. Shepard's limited recount in Kern concluded without an examination of materials or recount in precincts other than those most favorable to his campaign."

Hurtado is asking for a recount for two-thirds of Kern county ballots.

The recount requested by Shepard did not change the result in the race for Kern county.

Hurtado posted on Twitter on December 10th, thanking voters for voting her in and showing pictures of her being sworn into office.

So if Hurtado was already sworn in, why would she be requesting a recount?

"The reasoning behind this could be that they just want to just secure and confirm that she's won in those districts, just so that there is no question," Anderson, said.

Ian Anderson, Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Taft College, says by law she can't ask for what has already been recounted to be recounted again.

"As far as election code and things go it's absolutely correct that after a recount is completed another individual can request a recount, but they can only request a recount of the precincts that were not included in the original recount," Anderson, said.

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The Kern County Elections department will start the recounting Thursday morning.

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