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Inyo County elections officials announced Sunday night that Big Pine resident Mark Tillemans has won the Fourth District seat on the Inyo County Board of Supervisors by 10 votes.
In the County Elections Officeâ€™s fifth and final report on ballot totals, the numbers from the Fourth District show Tillemans with 784 votes (50.32 percent) to incumbent Marty Fortneyâ€™s 774 votes (49.68 percent).
The final tally comes after an exhaustive, six-day counting and verification process.
As with any election in Inyo County, a volunteer staff worked into the night Tuesday to tally all poll votes and release a first report to residents. From there, election volunteers begin tallying provisional ballots, which require a careful review to ensure the voter who filled it out is eligible to cast a ballot.
Provisional ballots may come in from citizens who live outside Inyo County, residents who have changed their address since registering to vote or who registered to vote in the election late. Before provisional ballots are added to the countyâ€™s total voter turn-out, elections staff must verify that it is valid.
As recently as Friday, the District 4 election was still too close to call, with only 12 votes separating the two candidates and approximately 200 provisional ballots that needed to be verified and counted.
Tillemansâ€™ margin of victory over Fortney is just one in a long-line of close elections in Inyo County. Four years ago, in the Fifth District, Supervisor Richard Cervantes beat challenger Michael Dorame by one vote.
â€śIn Inyo County, your vote counts,â€ť Inyo County Clerk-Recorder Kammi Foote said. â€śThroughout history there are a number of local races that were won by one or two votes.â€ť
Fortney will serve out the remainder of his term, which expires at the end of December. Tillemans will be sworn in at the first board meeting in January.
â€śIt has been a privilege to serve the County of Inyo and I would like to thank all my supporters,â€ť Fortney said. â€śI would like to wish Supervisor-elect Tillemans the best and I will support him.â€ť
Fortney said he would make himself available if Tillemans has any questions about beginning work as a county supervisor.
Again, Tillemans was unavailable for comment as of press time Monday.
The final election results did not impact the outcome of any other election, with Matt Kingsley taking 55.53 percent of the votes in the Fifth District and incumbents David Stottlemyre and Laura Smith and newcomer Patricia Gardner winning the three available seats on the Bishop City Council.
â€śAll ballot totals are included in theâ€ť fifth report, Foote said. â€śI will be asking the Board of Supervisors to certify the results on Nov. 20. Until the Board certifies the results, these are still considered Semi-Official results.â€ť
Anyone who wishes to request a recall must wait until after the Board of Supervisors certifies the election results.
Fortney said he would not be requesting a re-count.
For a full list of guidelines concerning recounts, visit www.inyocounty.us/Recorder/ElectionResults.