Secretary of State’s office announces it’s still counting ballots, as margins between SCV candidates widen

Dan Watson/The Signal

Though the polls have closed since the Nov. 6 election, county elections officials are still counting provisional and mail-in ballots.

“County elections officials are hard at work processing and counting ballots,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a prepared statement. “In California, we work to ensure every ballot is counted properly and every ballot is accounted for.”

Updates as of Wednesday at 1 p.m. reflect new numbers in races concerning the Santa Clarita Valley. In general, the initial winners now have stronger leads.

In the 25th Congressional District, Democratic winner Katie Hill was leading incumbent Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, with 53.6 percent of the vote and 121,336 ballots. Knight’s total is 46.4 percent and 105,110 ballots.

Hill’s lead was previously 51.26 percent of the vote when Knight conceded on Nov. 7, before additional provisional ballots and mail-in ballots were counted.

Christy Smith, the 38th Assembly District Democratic winner, unseated Assemblyman Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita, with 51.2 percent of the vote and 89,468 ballots. Acosta was at 48.8 percent with 85,417 votes.

Smith previously was at 50.6 percent of the vote when Acosta formally conceded to her on Nov. 14, after a narrow race in which the assemblyman initially pulled ahead of Smith on Election Night.

Santa Clarita had a few other close races. In the Saugus Union School District: Chris Trunkey, incumbent trustee for the district’s area no. 5, defeated challenger Sharlene Duzick, but by a 225-vote margin. Trunkey had 51.73 percent of the vote with 3,367 ballots as of Wednesday afternoon, and Duzick was at 48.27 percent and 3,142 votes.

Duzick and Trunkey were initially separated by 144 votes after all ballots were initially counted on the morning of Nov. 7.

David Barlavi, the winner of trustee area No. 1, led Evan Patlian by 312 votes on Wednesday afternoon. Barlavi won 38.69 percent with 2,512 votes, while Patlian was at 33.89 percent and 2,200 votes. On Election Night, the two were separated by just 70 votes, according to

After Election Night, each California county has 30 days to finish processing their ballots.

Vote-by-mail ballots that were postmarked by Election Day and received three days after the election will be processed as valid. Provisional ballots are carefully checked after all other ballots are processed to verify that the voter is registered and has not cast another ballot for this election, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

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