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Second Ripon council seat still a toss up
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RIPON — It was almost a photo finish Tuesday night for one seat on the Ripon City Council with Dean Uecker and Carolyn Jensen having only six votes separating them in the contest.

As of Wednesday afternoon the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters had logged Uecker with 1,746 votes and Jensen with 1,740.  Still outstanding are the absentee and provisional ballots.

Chuck Winn was re-elected with 1,937 votes. Ballots were cast for two council positions.
“It’s a horse race and I’m fast, baby!” Uecker said while at lunch the day after the vote.

He recalled in the last city council election that he and Chuck Winn were separated by 100 votes with other contenders behind them in the race.
“I’m a little bit shocked it came down to where it is,” he said of the vote.  Uecker said all the candidates worked hard – all qualified people.  He complimented Carolyn Jensen for working hard on her campaign as well.

As for the eventual outcome of the election, he said it wouldn’t bother him one way or the other, but he did admit having a high level of anxiety Tuesday night while watching the returns at the Pizza Plus restaurant with his supporters.

Jensen said there is too much up in the air about who has actually won the council seat to be too concerned about it right now.  She quoted election officials in saying there are about 1,000 votes yet to be counted between provisional and absentee ballots – adding there are some 8,000 such ballots yet  to be counted county-wide.

A provisional ballot comes into play when questions arise about a person’s actually eligibility to vote.  It may be caused by a lack of an ID or when the voter’s name doesn’t appear on a precinct’s list of voters – or a questionable spelling on a name or an incorrect address.

A voter is guaranteed the right to cast a provisional ballot when they exhibit the belief to vote through the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Uecker said he and his wife had been planning to go on vacation next week, noting they were buffering their plans to see how the election results turned out.  It’s the anxiety that is going to be on your mind, he said.