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Nearly 8,000 Uncounted Votes in Close Mission Viejo Election

Over a quarter of the ballots cast in Mission Viejo haven't been counted. As more votes come in, the gap has narrowed between challenger Wendy Bucknum and Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht.

Who won the election for Mission Viejo City Council? New numbers recently released by the Orange County Registrar of Voters reveals the results may change before every vote is counted.

Challenger Wendy Bucknum trails Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht by 247 votes as of yesterday's vote count. That's fewer votes than she trailed by early Wednesday morning after all electronic votes had been tallied. Then Bucknum trailed by 302 votes.

The percentage-difference of the total votes between the two candidates remains the same at .5 percent.

Now 7,918 Mission Viejo votes have not been counted, the registrar website says.

"That was a surprise to me," Bucknum said Friday morning.

In an e-mail to supporters Wednesday, Bucknum said "it looks like we're going to end up a few votes short of our goal of election to the Mission Viejo City Council."

Now her message is different:

"I did send a message out saying it looks like we’re a few votes shy, but I did not have that information about the provisional ballots and absentee ballots."

Schlicht has 23.1 percent of the total vote count and Bucknum has 22.6 percent.

Here are the votes that remain uncounted:

Vote-by-Mails: 5,667

Provisionals: 2,251

Provisional ballots aren't counted until the elligibility of the voter is verified.

Each voter could vote for two of the six candidates for city council on each ballot. So far 57,205 votes have been counted, which make up a maximum 28,600 possible ballots. That means at least 27 percent of Mission Viejo voter ballots have not yet been counted.

Also left to count are the county's estimated 17,000 paper ballots

Shripathi Kamath November 14, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Gap is about the same: CATHY SCHLICHT 15,223 WENDY BUCKNUM 14,955 268. No update so far on the votes left
Shripathi Kamath November 14, 2012 at 06:14 AM
District: Mission Viejo Vote-by-Mails left: 644 Provisionals left: 2,361 Total left: 3,005 Last updated: November 13, 2012 6:19 PM Still no counting of provisionals. Not much headway on the count either.
Peter Schelden November 14, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Great updating, Shri. I'm guessing it will take a long while to verify all of the provisional ballots, which is most of what's left, so we may be in for a bit of a wait for the final tally.
Shripathi Kamath November 15, 2012 at 01:09 AM
And the water torture continues. Latest (November 14, 17:03) CATHY SCHLICHT 15,247 WENDY BUCKNUM 14,977 270 vote difference, pretty much the same as it has been for a few days, and by the looks of it they have not counted many more ballots, perhaps none of the provisionals. Sigh! I feel badly for Ms. Schlicht and Ms. Bucknum. Maybe the provisionals will finally be more decisive. It may come down to how supporters for each vote (does one's supporters do more absentee, was a late GOTV drive by one campaign, etc.) Say Peter, how did I get stuck on the "watch grass grow" detail?
Shripathi Kamath November 22, 2012 at 09:10 AM
Looks like we have a final (does anyone care?) CATHY SCHLICHT 15,892 WENDY BUCKNUM 15,614 The OC vote site no longer indicates provisional ballots (or at least not enough to make the difference) So congratulations to Ms. Schlicht and Mr. Ury for getting re-elected. And good luck to Ms. Buchnam, Mr. Sachs, Mr. Coleman, and Mr. Kiss. It is good that you folks showed interest in representing us, and I hope everyone appreciates the fact that we are lucky to have residents interested in public office. On a personal note, I'd like to spike the football just a little for an informal bet with Dan Avery. I predicted the winners correctly, and even got the order (mostly) right.

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