71K SF ballots remain uncounted in June primary

Supervisor Scott Wiener retained his narrow lead over Supervisor Jane Kim in the state Senate race after thousands of additional votes were counted since election night, but more than 70,000 ballots remained uncounted Wednesday afternoon.

As of Wednesday morning, the Department of Elections had 78,000 additional ballots to count, including 34,000 vote-by-mail ballots that were dropped off at polling stations on Election Day.

RELATED: San Francisco Election Coverage: June 7, 2016

The top vote earner could change with the final tally in the senate race, but regardless of who receives the greatest number of votes in the primary, both candidates will face off in November after expectedly beating out a third contender, Republican Kenneth Loo.

November’s election will determine who succeeds the seat currently held by termed-out Sen. Mark Leno, representing San Francisco and northern San Mateo County.

By the end of election night, after all polling station votes were counted, Kim was only down by 2,800 votes, a gap of just 1.65 percent. After about 6,700 more ballots in the race were counted, Kim’s gap increased slightly to 1.81 percent. Those ballots were vote-by-mail that came in on Election Day and earlier.

What remains to be counted are about 71,000 ballots, of which 58,000 are vote-by-mail that were mostly dropped off at polling stations, and 20,000 provisional ballots, which need further review such as if a voter’s name wasn’t listed in the voting files.

Counting of the ballots is expected to continue daily until next week. Election turnout is expected to exceed 50 percent, but not match the 65 percent turnout in the June 2008 primary, Elections Director John Arntz said.

In San Mateo, Wiener received 4,967 votes to Kim’s 4,140 votes, or 45.8 percent to 38.17 percent. A San Mateo election official said a tally update on the remaining thousands of ballots wouldn’t be released until at least Friday.

As of election night, with San Francisco and San Mateo votes combined Wiener received 83,310 votes, or 46 percent, to Kim’s 79,682 votes, or 44 percent.

Wiener, who began his campaign earlier than Kim, announced he would run July 1, 2015, while Kim announced she would run Oct. 14. Wiener has raised more money, $1,475,929 to Kim’s $736,911, according to the most recent campaign finance filings.

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