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Sonoma County updates vote total with 25,000 more ballots counted

For 2020 election results, go here.

Sonoma County election staffers had counted about 25,000 more ballots by Friday with nearly 226,000 of the ballots cast counted so far and more than 40,000 additional ballots received but still unprocessed.

The new data, posted to the county’s elections website and provided by Registrar of Voters Deva Proto, point to an estimated turnout of more than 88%, not including about 3,500 provisional ballots. Another update is expected Monday, after more ballots arrive by mail over the weekend, Proto said in an email.

“Everything is going great! Just high volume,” Proto said.

The update included new votes from more than 550 precincts. Dozens of precincts reported no new updates, while others reported hundreds of newly counted ballots.

Measure O, a proposed quarter-cent Sonoma County sales tax for mental health and homeless services, remained above the two-thirds majority needed to pass, but the new batch of results narrowed its support slightly, dropping from about 69% to a little more than 68% in favor.

If the additional 40,000 ballots in hand all include votes on Measure O, it would need about 60% support, or roughly 24,000 “yes” votes, to pass.

Three races for city council seats in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Sebastopol, meanwhile, remain too close to call.

In Santa Rosa’s District 7, Natalie Rogers’ lead over Eric Christensen had shrunk to 201 votes. Rogers, a marriage and family therapist, had just under 43%, while Christensen, who owns a visual special effects company, had just over 40%.

In Petaluma’s at-large election, while challengers Brian Barnacle and Dennis Pocekay were poised to win seats, three other candidates vying for the city’s third seat were nearly deadlocked. As of Friday evening, Councilman Mike Healy had about 13.4% of the vote, Lizzie Wallack had about 12.7%, and Councilwoman Kathy Miller had about 12.1%. About 900 votes separated Healy and Miller.

In Sebastopol, Diana Rich was poised to take one of two seats, while Neysa Hinton and Evert Fernandez were virtually tied in a race for the second seat. Hinton had a narrow lead with 1,837 votes counted as of Friday evening and Fernandez had 1,821.

You can reach Staff Writer Will Schmitt at 707-521-5207 or will.schmitt@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @wsreports.

For 2020 election results, go here.

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