David Harmer, the Republican candidate in the still-unresolved California 11th district House race, is looking for funds to help with his post-election vote count fight:
David Harmer, the Republican candidate in the 11th Congressional District, has reached out to donors to raise money for a potential recount in the close contest.
The San Ramon Republican was trailing incumbent Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney by 624 votes this morning, a split that represents about a half of a percentage point of all votes tallied so far. The secretary of state’s website estimates that more than 354,000 ballots remain to be counted in the four counties that are part of the 11th Congressional District. The campaigns have pegged the number of uncounted ballots affecting the race’s outcome at “tens of thousands.”
Citing what he called a “post-election no-man’s land,” Harmer penned an e-mail to supporters to announce that he has “established a separate recount fund within our existing campaign committee.” While the fund could be used to cover the cost of a recount once results are certified next month, the cash can also be used to pay for monitoring the counting of outstanding absentee and provisional ballots.
“To be clear, what’s happening now is not a recount; it’s the original count of ballots that were not tabulated in the hours following the closing of the polls. But funds deposited within the recount account may also be used to monitor post-election vote counting, as we are now doing with absentee and provisional ballots — even if a formal recount is not underway,” he wrote in the e-mail.
How do you have 354,000 ballots uncounted, one week after Election Day?
This is a district that has grown by leaps and bounds since the 2000 census; its population is estimated at 763,111 in Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics.
UPDATE: Ah, this clarifies things a bit. The 11th district includes parts of these four counties, but only small portions of some of them. There are 354,000 uncounted ballots in those four counties, but only a fraction of that total are votes in this congressional district.
Overall, there are 1.4 million votes waiting to be counting in California.