Padilla seeks recount in Chula Vista City Council race

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Just six days before newly elected Chula Vista councilman is set to be sworn into office, his opponent is demanding a recount of the votes.

John McCann beat Steve Padilla for the council seat with 18,448 votes -- two more than Padilla.

Padilla is now demanding a recount, claiming there may have been a discrepancy.

“It's extremely, extremely close -- perhaps historically close -- and it's well within the margin of technical error,” said Padilla.

The county Registrar of Voters confirmed the final results Tuesday out of 36,894 votes.

“A win is a win,” said McCann. “We’re very confident that all votes were counted and we came out ahead.”

On the first night, McCann was up by 800 votes but towards the end, things got razor close for the two opponents.

“We seem to have won the absentee votes and tied in the poll votes but the provisional votes were highly, highly on my opponent's side,” said McCann.

Padilla is now willing to spend $40,000 to $50,00 to have the voter's office recount the votes.

The last time the county had a recount was in 2010 when assemblywoman Mary Salas challenged her loss to assemblyman Juan Vargas and still lost.

“We have 0.001 percent difference and out of that many votes, you have to carefully go back and reexamine to know you have an accurate result,” said Padilla.

If Padilla is right, he may get the money back in addition to the council seat.

“I think $40,000 to $50,000 could be spent somewhere else but we welcome the recount,” said McCann.

There are only a handful of days left to challenge the results.

Depending on the number of precincts and whether or not the votes will be counted by hand or electronically will determine the time the registrar’s office will need to produce new results.

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Key Dates and Deadlines

Sept. 24: Sample ballots mailed

Oct. 5: Early voting begins

Oct. 6: Mail drop-off locations open

Oct. 19: Voter registration deadline

Nov 3: Election Day

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