The current frontrunner in the Merced County District 5 supervisor race, Scott Silveira, commanded 61.46 percent of this week's vote, but there are more ballots left to count.
He needs at least 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff election in November with the second-place candidate.
But Patricia Ramos Anderson, the current second-place candidate who garnered more than 20 percent of the vote, isn't conceding yet.
"Our campaign presses on and looks forward to the certification of votes by June 13," Ramos Anderson said in a Wednesday statement.
There were 12,400 vote-by-mail and provisional ballots, plus mail-in ballots coming in, that still needed to be processed as of Thursday, said Barbara Levey, the Merced County registrar of voters. Some of those ballots were reflected in Friday's update
The Merced County Elections Office won't know how many additional District 5 ballots still need to be counted until next week, Levey said.
"What we're looking at is there are so many candidates running that this type of election always gets rolled down to two candidates," Ramos Anderson said, adding that her campaign noticed the preliminary vote totals from Tuesday weren't reflective of voting patterns and what they saw on the campaign trail.
Silveira currently has 503 votes above the 50 percent mark. So if the combination of Ramos Anderson and opposing candidates Richard De La Paz (13.63 percent) and Lea Z. Hernandez Holguin (4.64 percent) get at least 503 more incoming votes than Silveira, he would fall under the 50 percent benchmark and would need to face the runner-up in a run-off election in November.
Silveira isn't ruling out any outcome.
"I am cautiously optimistic. I am highly confident that we're not going to be going to a runoff," he told the Sun-Star on Wednesday. "I'm pretty sure we're going to be good, but I want to wait to hear it from (the registrar)."
According to the election math, De La Paz could conceivably overtake Ramos Anderson if Silveira falls under 50 percent and De La Paz gains 288 more incoming votes than Ramos Anderson.
But De La Paz believed that was practically impossible.
"I'm not holding off for that," De La Paz said Friday, noting that he already conceded to Silveira. "I'm not going to wait for that. ... We just couldn't get the votes."
While getting the votes to contest the supervisor position in November would be her optimal scenario, Ramos Anderson said waiting was more about making sure everyone's voice in District 5 is heard.
"What's most important is making sure voters' votes have been counted," she said. "Even though we're campaigning, we're bringing up issues we've been working on. And you don't need to be an elected official to get things accomplished."