San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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November 6th, 2008
Provisional ballots could sway the political pendulum in a different direction

After a grueling election season and an abundance of political attacks and promises at national, state, and local levels, San Marcos residents may still have to endure just a little more. The race for the Mayor’s seat is not yet done, but the candidates remain optimistic. Current election results tell a story with incumbent Susan Narvaiz as Mayor, but provisional ballots are challenging that outcome.

Narvaiz said she will not speculate as for the final results of the total voter tally, but is confident her lead will continue and ultimately grant her another term in office. Challenger Dave Newman is thankful for an unexpected viable alternative and said he now has a “second wind.” Newman had accepted defeat on Election Night, but now says he will pursue the new developments out of respect to his supporters, his campaign, and rival Dan McCarthy.

Hays County Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan said the county has 201 provisional ballots, 65 of which are in the city of San Marcos. The ballots have not been included in the current totals and are to be tested by the Election Board on their legitimacy. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 guarantees that a voter can cast a provisional ballot if he or she believes they are entitled to vote. Cowan said provisional ballots are offered to voters when said voter cannot provide a voter certificate and instead brings forth an identification card but their name is not on the registered voters list; the provisional ballot is then sent to the elections office. “We do the research,” said Cowan. “If we were to find that you were registered, then that’s when your vote will be approved to be counted. If you were found out not to be registered, which is the requirement to be eligible to vote, that’s when your vote would not be counted.” Legit provisional votes will be accounted for in the final results expected Wednesday, November 12. The final results will also include over seas votes which are provided, by law, with an additional five days to arrive. Cowan said 10 ballots were mailed out of the country.

The Hays County Elections Office website’s unofficial cumulative report currently identifies Newman as having 3,867 votes, McCarthy with 2,562, and has Narvaiz at 50.08 percent with 6,449 votes. The report’s statistics state Narvaiz is ahead of the 50 percent plus one vote requirement, with 50 percent plus 20 votes.

Narvaiz said every vote cast is important, but said she understands the specific significance of the provisional ballots. Narvaiz said she currently has the needed amount of votes to be Mayor and will retain “high-hopes” for the final results come Wednesday. “It’s not over ‘til it’s over,” said Newman.

News Editor

Photos by Christina Zambrano & Andy Sevilla

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0 thoughts on “Provisional ballots could sway the political pendulum in a different direction

  1. Pingback: QUOTE CORNER : Newstreamz San Marcos

  2. Interesting to see how all of this will pan out. I dont know if the provisional ballots will really have much of an affect on the outcome, most often than not, the county does put forth strong efforts to identify those who are registered to vote, and usually provisional ballots dont count in big numbers. However we’ve had tons of surprises this November, I cant wait to read about this on Wednesday.

  3. I’m curious about how the city council meeting on Monday is going to play out with everyone assuming, but not entirely sure, that Narvaiz was re-elected.

  4. Pingback: San Marcos mayoral seat too close to call : Central Texas Real Estate

  5. The City Council is scheduled to meet on November 17, at 5 p.m. to canvass election returns and swear in newly elected City Council Members, followed by a reception. Hays County Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan told me the final results **are expected** to be tallied and completed on Wednesday Nov. 12, which provides for enough time, five days, before the Council meets.

  6. I’m a new voter this year (thanks to our great president-elect Obama)so I’m not entirely sure how the political arena works… so with that being said, is Susan Narvaiz the mayor-elect? from my little and perhaps naive research on other local newspapers, they say she did win re-election, however Newstreamz says that she’s in the lead but her re-election is not yet certain because of provisional ballots and overseas ballots that have not been counted. Who’s telling the truth? what is really going on? I’m a little confused, but very interested. Like I said this is my first year voting, and I want to understand what is going on.

  7. Paul Angel,

    Mayor Narvaiz currently has 50.08%. This is not counting provisional and overseas ballots. If they drop her below 50%, she and Dave will have a runoff. If she maintains her narrow margin, she will be re-elected. Regardless, Narvaiz has claimed victory anyways and acting as if the provisional ballots don’t count. Sadly, most of the other news organizations (who don’t want to get on her bad side) are keeping quiet about this runoff possibility. Thank Newstreamz for reporting the full story.

  8. JUST IN …. The provisional and oversea’s ballots have been reviewed and counted and Mayor Susan is still the winner !

  9. I can confirm what Elena said; only a few (4?) provisional ballots where counted, and they split roughly 2-1-1 Narvaiz-Newman-McCarthy.

    It’s still important to note than nearly 50% of San Marcos wants someone other than Narvaiz as mayor. Hell, 20% think an undergrad who can’t even legally drink would do a better job than her. So anyone who thinks Mayor Narvaiz has some sort of voter mandate (excluding extending bar hours) is talking out their ass.

  10. She has just about as much of a mandate as “The One”, PEOTUS Obama! Regardless of a mandate, she is still OUR mayor just like Obama is OUR president.

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