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In Tight Council Race, What Happens If There's a Tie?

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It’s a crazy scenario, but in an election as close as Fresno City Council District 3, it may just happen. What if two or more candidates tie in a primary? Who advances to the general election?
With only 14 votes separating three candidates for second place for the council seat, it is not necessarily a longshot scenario.

“There’s not much to do until we have a better number. What we have right now isn’t even close to accurate. What we know today isn’t really worth worrying about.”District 3 candidate Craig Scharton
Preliminary results show Miguel Arias in first place with 30% of the vote, 445 votes ahead of second-place Daren Miller.
But second place is where the candidates bunch up. Miller, Tate Hill and Craig Scharton all finished in the 14% range.

Update Tomorrow

County Clerk Brandi Orth will update results Friday at 3 p.m. That should in theory show some more separation among Miller (420 votes), Hill (411), and Scharton (406). Although there are still tens of thousands of ballots outstanding countywide, Orth could not break down how many remain for District 3.


A majority vote total, which apparently won’t happen, is needed to win the election outright. In absence of that, the top two advance to the general election.
Unless there is a flat-footed tie for second place.
According to state election law, if the final results show a tie for second place, then the knotted candidates advance to the general election.  That means Arias could face, one, two or even three competitors in November.

Candidates Anxious

The three candidates so close together are waiting things out until the next update.
“There’s not much to do until we have a better number,” Scharton said. “What we have right now isn’t even close to accurate. What we know today isn’t really worth worrying about.”
“Like everyone else, I’m waiting for the absentee numbers to come out,” said an optimistic Hill. “We’ll have a positive outcome with the absentee count.”
Said Miller: “I’m confident but anxious. We put in the work, our due diligence in meeting with people. We were successful in implementing our political plan.”
July 5 is the last day to certify election results.
Fresno City Council District 3 Tally
As of June 7, 2018

Name Votes %
Miguel Arias 865 30%
Daren Miller 420 14.61%
Tate Hill 411 14.30%
Craig Scharton 406 14.12%
Larry Burrus 344 11.97%
Kimberly Tapscott-Munson 252 8.77%
Sean Sanchez 166 5.77%
Write-in votes 11 0.38%

 

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email