Thursday, January 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Pérez gives up on vote recount, but system’s flaws are shown

walters column sig

By
From page A11 | July 23, 2014 |

One can categorize politicians by many indices – honesty, intelligence, effectiveness and ideology, for instance.

One of the more reliable, however, is what one might call self-identification. Does the politician, regardless of other qualities, see politics primarily as a civic duty – something separate from family and/or professional career – or as the essence of his or her persona?

The former can lose an election – former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush come to mind – and simply get on with the rest of their lives.

But to the latter, losing an election is a traumatic, life-altering event, so they will go to extraordinary lengths to remain in office.

That probably explains why John A. Pérez insisted on a recount after failing to gain a spot on the November ballot for state controller by a scant 481 votes.

That was the margin separating him from fellow Democrat Betty Yee for second place in the June primary and the right to face Republican Ashley Swearengin, who finished first, on Nov. 4.

Pérez, a former speaker of the Assembly, seemed to take the race for granted and was shocked when he lost by such a tiny margin.

Thereupon, Pérez started spending for a recount in counties and precincts that looked the most promising for gains, only to be disappointed when the initial tallies gave him just a few more votes. Last Friday, under increasing pressure from other Democrats, he pulled the plug.

So Yee, a member of the state Board of Equalization, will face Swearengin, the mayor of Fresno, and that matchup is probably bad news for Republican hopes of capturing a statewide office. Yee isn’t a sure thing, but Swearengin would doubtless have had a better shot against Pérez.

The other takeaway from this slightly bizarre series of events is that California’s recount process stinks, dependent on a losing candidate or a voter putting up substantial amounts of money to count specified precincts.

Had Pérez actually closed the gap, Yee could have responded with a recount of her own and the process could have become a logistical nightmare by conflicting with deadlines for printing voter handbooks and ballots.

We dodged that bullet this year only because Pérez decided that continuing his recount was counterproductive. But it should be a wakeup call about the fundamental conflicts between our laws governing primary election recounts and the election calendar.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution – mandate complete recounts at public expense when an outcome is too close to call. Twenty other states and the District of Columbia do that, although their margin thresholds vary a bit.

With a reasonable threshold, recounts would be very rare and their cost, about $3 million for a statewide tally, is an infinitesimal amount for protecting the integrity of the ballot.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him as [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
1st release for birds with mysterious goo a success

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Travis starts work on Functional Fitness Center

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Boy Scouts to screen award-winning film

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Church makes ready for health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
4-H Annual Presentation Day returns in February

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Vacaville SWAT team serves search warrant

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Real estate occupancy continues to climb

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Council backs beer, wine sales for Vacaville store

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Vacaville police seek help to find sex offender

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Sweep by sheriff’s team nets 4 arrests

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 3 Comments

Fairfield police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

US / World

 
Air Force probing alleged ‘treason’ remark by general

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Expect tiny tuxes but no real puppy love at doggy weddings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Second arrest in student stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Large salmon release planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Violations mount for toxic recycler

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Quake rattles N. California coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police seek law to alter Google app

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Marshals track down missing treasure hunter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Drunk’ excuse falls flat in Vandy rape trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Euro coast guards scramble to locate Syrian ghost ship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Chinese regulators go after online sale of fake goods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Investigation stems from police-involved shooting outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hezbollah missiles kill soldiers

By New York Times | From Page: A6

 
ISIS extends hostage deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Tape: Scientist offers to build nuke bomb targeting New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

India now has 322 billion reasons to fix economy

By William Pesek | From Page: A7

 
Don’t brush off bullying

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 29, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Just be honest and come forward

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
A truly misinformed writer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 23 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Deadbeat boyfriend ruined my relationship with my granddaughter

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope Jan. 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Theater legend Joel Grey reveals that he is gay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 2 Comments

 
Super Bowl advertisers aim not to offend

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hoping to make All-Star team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Rodriguez wrestlers pull out 34-24 win over Wood

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
GM John Schneider has been architect of Seahawks’ success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woods returns to Phoenix with plenty of memories

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tony Stewart acquires national sprint car series tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Solano men cruise past LMC for biggest win of season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Korda, Lewis, Munoz tied for lead at LPGA season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Head of NCAA enforcement: Academic misconduct on rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Chicago Cubs’ Ernie Banks statue moved downtown for tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Kobe Bryant has surgery, expected to be out for 9 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9