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‘This is mind-boggling': Man who requested District 16 recount says it's taking too long

The recount in the congressional race to replace Anna Eshoo is coming to a close. But the man who requested it says it’s “mind-boggling” that it’s taking more than two weeks to recount the ballots. 

Officials at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters confirmed they’re expected to wrap up Tuesday morning.

For the past few days, staff have been doing something called “reconciling votes.”

Basically, since the votes are counted in batches, they’re finding the votes for this election from those batches – matching them to the correct precinct – and then re-counting them.

“It’s not lost, and it’s not like we found them in a shoe box somewhere. We’re reconciling them and pulling them from the different batches to make sure they’re in the correct precinct before we can say anything or any results,” Evelyn Mendez, Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters PIO, said. 

“This is mind-boggling. The county told us last Monday, a week ago, that it would be done last Tuesday,” Jonathan Padilla said.

He is the man who requested the recount in the 16th Congressional Race, where more than 180,000 votes were cast.

The first count determined Sam Liccardo will move on to November, and Joe Simitian and Evan Low tied for second.

Padilla is upset the recount is taking so long, and it’s also costing the super PAC he’s working with an estimated $12,000 a day to fund.

“The pace of counting has dramatically slowed down. They were doing 40 to 50 precincts a day. Thursday was three, Friday was two. They’re still charging the same amount. There’s real issues with that. You have to ask yourself, ‘is this something where they have a lack of wherewithal to get it done correctly, or perhaps is it something more nefarious?” Padilla said. 

He met NBC Bay Area in San Jose for his first T.V. interview since asking for a recount.

Ten years ago, he helped run Liccardo’s San Jose mayoral campaign. Now, he’s a tech CEO.

Many questions have been raised about who is funding the super PAC that’s footing the bill.

When asked if there had been any talks or any coordination with Liccardo or his campaign to get this recount started or paid for, Padilla said, “There has been absolutely no talks with Mr. Liccardo or his campaign or anybody on the campaign. This was done completely without any of their knowledge. They even want us to do things we’re not necessarily willing to do right now like reveal the donors. We’re going to do that following FEC guidelines in mid-July. The attacks by the government attorneys association are completely asinine.”

When saying “they want us to do things,” Padilla said he was referencing our previous reporting Liccardo’s campaign told NBC Bay Area that Liccardo believes people have the right to know who is paying for the recount.

As for the recount, voting officials say an additional seven ballots have been accepted, and counted in this process.

San Mateo County is done, but Padilla’s attorneys challenged 16 ballots that are still in envelopes there.

Those were originally rejected because they arrived late. 

He’s challenging another 16 ballots in the South Bay for the same thing.

“We don’t know who they are, it doesn’t matter who they’re for. What matters is they should be counted. That’s the underlying principle of counting every single vote in our democratic process,” Padilla said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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