Nearly two months after the June election, the scene at the Santa Clara County registrar’s office calls to mind a high-stakes blackjack game without the bright felt table or the waitresses hawking drinks. The registrar’s official behind the table, Jason Mazzone, counts out the ballots from each precinct and then produces the questioned ballots, spreading them out like a dealer showing the house’s hand. A team of political operatives from the San Jose District 4 council race moves forward to photograph the results. This isn’t just an unprecedented second recount of votes in a stunningly close election. It’s also an extraordinary clash of generations and a test of faith in the political process in a district where both the incumbent and challenger are Vietnamese-American.
On one side of the table is the incumbent, Manh Nguyen, a dapper man wearing a sports jacket and carrying a camera he uses to photograph ballots he’s questioned. He’s asked officials to recheck everything from whether a voter’s ballot signature matched the one on file to the validity of duplicate ballots created when an original was damaged.
Nguyen is a cautious, quiet politician who tries to keep reporters from talking to other observers. In his year-plus in office, he has occasionally disappointed constituents. But he wants to keep his job.
“I’m trying to work within the system,” said Nguyen, who is more skeptical of the operations of government. “I should be able to say more soon.”
Full Article: San Jose recount drama tests faith in system – Mercury News.