Mail-in ballots will determine whether Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas can declare victory or if he and Council member Armando O’Caña will head to a runoff election.
About 133 mail-in ballots are still out and those postmarked May 5 are expected to trickle in through Friday. Later that afternoon, the ballot board will convene to review the votes and the results will then be canvassed during the next city council meeting on May 14.
The unofficial numbers from Saturday’s election had Salinas with 49.97 percent of the vote, which is 3 votes short of avoiding a runoff. O’Caña had 41.63 percent of the vote.
Following the election results on Saturday, Salinas said he would request a recount but on Tuesday, said he would wait until the remaining mail-in ballots were reviewed.
O’Caña said he and his team are excited to be in the runoff and will focus on getting new voters to turn out.
“We’re reorganizing, regrouping and going forward,” he said.
O’Caña said he was disappointed with the result of the early votes and mail-in ballots that were announced soon after the polls closed Saturday but kept an open mind over the pending mail-in ballots.
“Keep in mind that any mail-in ballot that comes in may go three ways. It doesn’t go one way,” he said.
If a runoff election is needed, it will be held together with the runoff for the city council Place 4 seat on Saturday, June 9.
Early voting will run from Tuesday, May 29, through Tuesday, June 5, but will be closed on Sunday, June 3.