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Yee Passes Perez To Move Into Second in Controller's Race

The state still had 851,428 ballots to process on Monday afternoon to finalize race results.

Betty T. Yee. Photo Credit: bettyyee.com
Betty T. Yee. Photo Credit: bettyyee.com
Written by Steven Herbert/City News Service

State Board of Equalization member Betty T. Yee moved into second place today in the state controller's race, passing Assembly Speaker Emeritus John A Perez, a fellow Democrat, according to an updated ballot count released by the Secretary of State's Office.

Yee leads Perez by 351 votes -- 751,691 to 751,340. Both candidates have 21.7 percent of the vote. Certified public accountant David Evans, a Republican, is fourth with 740,576 votes or 21.3 percent, putting him 1,115 votes behind Yee.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a Republican, leads the six-candidate field with 857,660 votes, 24.7 percent.

Under the "top two" system adopted by voters in 2010, the top two finishers, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election.

Entering today's resumption of counting of unprocessed ballots by county election officials throughout California, Perez, D-Los Angeles, led Yee by 1,760 votes and Evans by 3,597.

The number of ballots remaining to be processed stood at 851,428 as of noon -- 685,181 vote-by-mail ballots, 130,133 provisional ballots and 36,114 ballots that are either damaged and could not be machine-read and need to be remade or were diverted by optical scanners for further review, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

When counting from all precincts was completed early Wednesday, Perez was in second, 2,436 votes ahead of Evans, who was in third. The count of previously unprocessed vote-by-mail, provisional and damaged ballots Thursday put Evans into second, 1,405 votes ahead of Perez.

Perez moved back into second following Friday's count, 2,725 votes ahead of Evans and 3,177 ahead of Yee.

Under state law, county election officials must complete the vote counting by July 4. The Secretary of State's Office has until July 11 to review the materials, resolve any reporting discrepancies and compile the 58 county reports for complete election results.

"With the popularity of voting by mail and the ability voters have to cast a provisional ballot to ensure they are not disenfranchised, county elections' officials work continues for up to a month after Election Day," Secretary of State Debra Bowen said. "Accuracy is the most important element in democracy."

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