Nearly 605,000 votes have been counted in the Los Angeles mayoral race between Rep. Karen Bass and Rick Caruso. While Bass has the lead, there is no final decision as to who won the race. What’s going on, why is it taking so long and why don’t we know who won yet?
What does it mean when news organizations “announce” a race?
Officially nothing. Despite what we say, poll workers continue to count ballots until all are counted, and candidates do not become elected officials until the ballots are certified. However, when it’s not mathematically possible for the bottom rider to overtake the leader, there’s no longer any reason to keep people waiting for the final official count. At that point, news organizations will declare a race.
Don’t news organizations sometimes announce races before the outcome is mathematically certain?
Yes, if there is an exit poll of the race and the vote count and the exit poll tell the same story about the course of the race, news organizations can sometimes declare a race once the outcome seems all but irreversible.
Is There An Exit Poll In The LA Mayor Race?
So what does the math look like?
At the last count on Saturday, Bass had 306,990 votes or 50.78% and Caruso had 297,527 or 49.22%. That’s a lead for her of 9,463 votes.
How many votes are left to count?
huh? How can that be?
California law requires voting officials to accept postmarked ballots by Election Day if received up to a week after the election. That means there may be more ballots in the mail that the Los Angeles County Registrar hasn’t yet received. How many will be received by the close of business on Tuesday is not foreseeable. It’s probably not a huge number – generally, most ballots arrive within a few days – but no one knows for sure.
How many uncounted ballots does the registrar currently have?
That too is unknown. The registrar does not separate ballots by city until they are counted, so they only know for sure how many ballots are left uncounted statewide.
On Saturday, the registrar’s office estimated that number at 739,300. The vast majority of these are mail ballot papers. Approximately 21,000 are unedited conditional voter registration ballots and several hundred are provisional ballots.
The bureau expects to release the next ballot count this afternoon, according to Mike Sanchez, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder. That’s probably between 100,000 and 150,000 ballots — but again, that’s nationwide. How many will be in the city of Los Angeles is unknown.
“We work 24/7 as fast as possible. So if we can get more in, you know that’s the goal,” Sanchez said Monday morning. Another count update is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
What is the development of the count so far?
On Wednesday morning after Election Day, Caruso was ahead 50.3% to 49.6% (212,430 to 209,621 votes). By midnight Thursday night, another 123,136 votes had been counted, and Caruso’s lead had shrunk slightly to 50.2% to 49.7% (273,941 votes to 271,246 votes). On Friday, the registry office released the tally of another 29,993 votes, and Bass took the lead with 50.38% to 49.62% (289,782 to 285,398). Then, on Saturday, the registrar released the tally of a further 29,337 votes, extending Bass’ lead to the current level.
Is it normal for the leader to change like this?
Yes, a very similar shift took place in the June primary, where Bass went from 5 points behind Caruso on election night to 7 points ahead after all the votes were tallied.
Why is this happening?
In Los Angeles, voters who wait until just before the last minute to drop their ballots in the mailbox or mailboxes tend to be young people, and they tend to be liberal. Conservative voters have shown a strong preference for voting in person on Election Day. Caruso, who was the more conservative candidate, did very well with voters on Election Day, but Bass has gained strength as more late ballots were counted.
Is it like that everywhere?
no In Riverside County, for example, in the very tight contest for the 41st congressional district, the vote count has shifted toward Republican incumbent Rep. Ken Calvert as more late ballots were tallied.
Why does it take so long to count the postal ballots?
Poll officials must look at each ballot envelope and verify that the signature matches the one on file before the ballot can be opened and fed into a counting machine. Ballots received prior to Election Day may be processed ahead of time, but ballots received late must be processed upon arrival.
Is this unique to California?
no Many states still count ballots. In New Hampshire, no one yet knows which party will control the state legislature. The same applies to the State House of Pennsylvania. And there are still tied congressional elections in New York, Oregon and Arizona, in addition to several in California. Many other states also have undecided races, but they don’t get much attention because they don’t affect the overall party balance.
But California seems to take longer, doesn’t it?
Yes. The fact that the state is allowing a week for ballots to arrive extends the counting period. Some states are setting a much earlier deadline, but California wants to make sure every vote is counted, even if counting is slow. Additionally, a large majority of the state’s voters are now casting their ballots by mail or mailbox, which is also slowing counting.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-11-14/when-we-will-know-who-won-the-l-a-mayor-race-and-why-is-it-taking-so-long When we will know who won the L.A. mayor’s race?