SAUSALITO (KPIX 5) – Two weeks after Election Day, the race for a seat on the Sausalito City Council is still undecided. As of Monday night, the vote margin is razor thin.
It looks like the winner may come down to votes from those who waited until Election Day to register, along with mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Election Day that continue to arrive.
Ian Sobieski’s first run at political office has been quite the roller coaster ride.
“On Election Night, I was down something like 60 votes,” he said. “By the end of the week I was down 29 votes. By last Wednesday, I was up 10 votes and as of Friday, I’m up three votes.”
In Sausalito, voters chose between six candidates to fill three offices. As of Monday, Sobieski was just edging out incumbent council person and former Mayor Joan Cox for that third spot.
Each got about 1,800 votes but only three separate them with about 55 ballots still to be counted.
“What is that…3/100ths of a percent, right now?” Sobieski said. “So, it’s a small margin. Does it astound me? History’s full of cases of people being elected by one vote, even.”
At the Marin Elections Office, they’re preparing to tally the county’s remaining provisional ballots.
Registrar of Voters Lynda Roberts said most are from people who waited until Election Day to register to vote at a polling place.
And, of course, the Postal Service is still delivering ballots.
“We’ve had a few come in every day that are postmarked on time,” Roberts said. “So, we still may get a few stragglers.”
After massive early voting and near record turnout, Sobieski’s political fortunes will be decided by postal stragglers and voters who decided at the last minute.
It may seem like lot for a political newcomer to handle, but Sobieski said, after the last few weeks, he now feels like a seasoned veteran.
“What’s sort of fun is, I now have the full feeling of having lost and having won, almost the full feeling. And so, I get them both,” he said. “But, um, I’d be happy just to have the answer by now.”
Sobieski may get that answer on Wednesday when the county says it will report the outcome of the provisional ballot count. But California law allows ballots arriving by mail with a valid postmark from November 3rd or earlier to still be counted as late as Friday.