It's (Almost) Official: Madrone is Humboldt's Next Fifth District Supervisor


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The Humboldt County Elections Office released its final report this afternoon, and the results have challenger Steve Madrone pulling off an improbable upset over two-term incumbent Ryan Sundberg by 118 votes in the Fifth District supervisorial race.

Madrone trailed in all the early election night tallies before pulling ahead by a slim 33 votes in the final election night report. That lead grew with the post-election update released June 21, which showed him leading by 103 votes, or 1.51 percent. The final tally added 15 votes to Madrone's total, with the challenger having taken 50.71 percent of the vote to Sundberg's 49.05 percent.

The results still need to be certified by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors before the California Secretary of State signs off on them, which is statutorily required to happen by July 13.

Under state law, any California voter or candidate can request a recount — so long as they are willing to pay for it — and must opt to do so within five days of the county's certification of the results. Humboldt County also has the first-of-its-kind Elections Transparency Project, which runs all ballots cast in the county though an optical scanner, scrubs their images of any identifying marks and makes them available, with open-source counting software, to anyone wanting to audit the results. For more information — or to request those ballot images — visit


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