Measure G: Final Tally Still Yet To Come

A No on Measure G sign hangs from branches in a Fresno neighborhood. A final tabulation has yet to come in the contentious debate over who picks up the city's trash.

The polls may be closed, but the debate over who picks up Fresno's trash is far from over -- and it may be a while before we know the results of Tuesday's special election.

Elections officials on Thursday stopped counting the remaining absentee ballots for about two hours after Measure G supporters said they watched hundreds of ballots verified as valid despite substantial mismatches on the signatures.

In an issued statement, Yes on G spokesman Tim Clark said, "Today, we sought to exercise our rights under this statute. Our goal is for every valid, legally cast ballot to be counted and, for every invalid ballot to be removed from the pool of available votes."

Counting was stopped while attorneys discussed the issue.

After that, County Clerk/Fresno County Registrar of Voters Brandi Orth allowed counting to resume, saying she is confident in the county's voting process.

"The Elections Department has been following established procedures which have been in place for the past 6 years and are in accordance with election law," Orth said. "I believe every legitimate vote should count and we have a process that we are confident in. Therefore, ballot processing has resumed."

Measure G was ahead 262 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting on Tuesday night.

Now, the outcome of the vote that would decide if residential trash pick up would be outsourced or if the city will continue to collect the trash may hinge on the more than 8,000 absentee ballots.