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Politics

52nd Congressional District Race Won't Be Decided Until At Least Thursday

Angela Carone
Carl DeMaio embraces supporters at the U.S. Grant in downtown San Diego, Nov. 4, 2014.

52nd Congressional District Race Won't Be Decided Until At Least Thursday
No new updates in the vote count will be released until 5 p.m. Thursday, according to the San Diego County registrar of voters. The final count is not expected until at least next week.

The heated race for the 52nd Congressional District between Democratic Congressman Scott Peters and Republican challenger Carl DeMaio will stay heated for at least another day.

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San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said no new updates in the vote count will be released until 5 p.m. Thursday, and he doesn't expect most of the ballots to be counted until Monday.

DeMaio holds a 752-vote lead as of the last update, which came early Wednesday morning. About 180,000 mail-in and provisional ballots are still to be counted in the county. Vu estimated there could be 36,000 mail-in ballots and 10,000 provisional ballots from the 52nd District, but he stressed that is a preliminary estimate only.

Vu said the Thursday update will include the count of mail-in ballots received Monday night and Tuesday morning. The count from the provisional and mail-in ballots dropped off at polling places likely won't be posted until Friday and Monday, he said.

DeMaio told reporters Wednesday morning that he had been invited to an orientation for new members of Congress, which will be next week. He said all of the candidates in races that are still too close to call were invited.

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"I believe that when all votes are counted, that we will prevail, and I will have the honor of being San Diego's voice," he said.

DeMaio's campaign also sent an email to supporters Wednesday morning asking for donations to pay for observers to monitor the final vote counting process.

"We did not plan on this in the budget," the email said. It also said the campaign estimates about 40,000 ballots in the 52nd District are left to count.

Vu said when provisional ballots are counted, representatives from the Peters and DeMaio campaigns will be present to watch. No matter how close the vote margin is, he said, it would not trigger an automatic recount. An individual voter or campaign would have to request a recount. That would have to happen within five days after the election is certified, which must be done by Dec. 2.

MaryAnne Pintar, Peters' campaign manager, said Wednesday afternoon that staffers spent all day crunching numbers and feel confident the final results will go their way.

They estimated that if Peters won the same percentage of votes in the remaining ballots as he did with the ballots counted on Election Day, he would "win by a squeaker," Pintar said.

"We're not going to declare victory, but I'd rather be us than the opposing campaign," she said.

In 2012, when Peters defeated Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray, Peters was up by 685 votes before the late mail-in and provisional ballots were counted. Peters wound up winning by 6,992 votes.