Could the Indio City Council District 2 position finally have a winner? The spread between challenger Waymond Fermon and incumbent Mike Wilson has gone from a few votes to Fermon leading by 138 votes on Monday.
Still, the results aren’t final and even when they are, the counting might not be over. Wilson said he intends to request a recount. The District 2 representative sent this statement to NBC Palm Springs:
“It has become extremely clear in this campaign a practice of ‘ballot harvesting’ took place and those ballots were delivered on election day to stuff absentee ballot boxes.”
Ballot harvesting is a third party collecting completed vote-by-mail ballots and handing them over to election officials.
“…Though not necessarily legal, it is a very unethical practice that has occurred in California this election and is the only state to allow it. These practices, until now, only occurred in other countries that regularly have questionable and fraudulent elections. Mathematically and statistically those extra ballots don’t just show up in a block after three weeks of counting showed this race would be decided by a very small handful of votes. Something is amiss here and we intend to explore it. We are aware of many still unprocessed ballots we know are in our favor as well. Taking this all in to consideration, we intend to ask the county registrar for an official recount.”
Fermon said he doesn’t see a need for a recount but respects Wilson’s desire to have one.
“He has the right to do a recount but we were confident from the beginning from day one,” Fermon said. “We’re still confident now.”
Riverside County Registrar of Voters has approximately 2,000 vote-by-mail and 36,000 provisional ballots that still must be processed.
“We’re confident that we’re going to pull it out and we’re ready to go to work,” Fermon said.
Meanwhile, Indio City Council is making moves assuming Fermon will be the next elected District 2 representative.
“The council members reached out and said when this comes to an end, they’re willing to work with me and get those relationships established,” Fermon said. “We’re ready to go.”
If Wilson requests a recount, it’s not guaranteed he’ll get one. If a recount does occur, it would take place in a location to be determined by the elections official. The swearing in of the winner would then follow.