Valerie Dombrowski, who missed an outright victory by only four votes in Redondo Beach’s municipal elections Tuesday, says she may ask for a recount of the ballots cast for her and opponent Terry Ward in the District 4 City Council race.
“I’m seriously contemplating it,” she said Friday after an infusion of 20 disputed ballots in the city’s vote totals failed to push her over the 50%-plus-1 mark needed to avoid a May 16 runoff and be declared the winner.
Election officials added the ballots after the county registrar-recorder’s office verified the signatures. They were among 24 ballots pulled aside by polling place inspectors, mostly because the names of the voters did not appear on precinct rosters.
Conferring With Backers
Dombrowski said she would confer with her supporters over the weekend, particularly about the cost of a recount, and then make her decision after the election canvass is completed and accepted by the council Tuesday.
City Clerk John Oliver estimated the recount cost for District 4 at $250. The cost would be paid by the person requesting the recount, unless it changes the outcome of the election, in which case the city pays, he said. He said such requests must be made within five calendar days of the election certification.
Oliver said four of the 20 disputed ballots were cast in District 4, with Dombrowski and Ward each receiving two. The new count left her with 467 votes and Ward with 419.
“Four votes is awfully close,” Ward said. “I wouldn’t blame Val if she asks for a recount.”
But if the runoff is still on, Ward added, “I’ll be out there working hard to win in May. I’ve learned a lot, and with a little change in strategy, I think I’ve got a real good shot at winning.”
In the school board race for two seats, the 20 disputed ballots left incumbent Howard Huizing an unofficial winner with nine votes more than third-place challenger Andrew Deliman. That was a gain of one vote for Huizing.
Incumbent Rebecca Sargent easily won reelection to the other seat on the Redondo Beach City School District board.
Deliman said Friday that he does not plan to ask for a recount since he thinks it “highly unlikely” that the election computers made enough mistakes to reverse the outcome.
The disputed ballots did not affect the District 2 council race, which will continue into the runoff with incumbent Kay Horrell facing challenger Michael F. Ford, or the mayoral runoff between candidates Brad Parton and Frank Bostrom.