Report: Nearly a million ballots still uncounted

AP Photo/David GoldmanIn this May 16

AP Photo/David GoldmanIn this May 16

Nearly a million ballots cast in Tuesday's primary election have not been counted yet, Secretary of State Debra Bowen reported Friday.

Elections officials in all 58 counties provided estimates to the state as they wade through ballots dropped off at polls and provisional votes cast on Election Day, which total 991,699.

Several high-profile races were still too close to call, including who finished second for controller, where only 1,400 votes separate Republican accountant David Evans and two Democrats, former Speaker John Perez and Board of Equalization member Betty Yee.

The registrars have so far counted nearly 3.4 million ballots cast Tuesday, which puts turnout at 19.2 percent. With the outstanding ballots, turnout could approach 25 percent, which would be a record low for a regular election in California but better than some forecasts.

The previous low for a non-presidential primary was 33.1 percent in June 2010. Turnout was 28.2 percent in June 2008, an anomaly when the state split the presidential and primary elections.

Many of the uncounted votes are from permanent absentee voters who receive their ballots in the mail but do not return them by mail. More of those voters appear to be getting their ballots early then sitting on them and turning them in at a polling place on Election Day, which delays the vote count, said Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc., a consulting firm that tracks voter data.

Tuesday was the first statewide election in which the top two vote-getters advance to November regardless of their party affiliation.

Experts blame the low turnout on a lack of exciting races to draw voters, such as a competitive race for governor or citizen-led ballot initiatives, which the state Legislature have permanently moved to the general election.

CaliforniaCalifornia NewsCalifornia primary electionsDebra BowenElection Day

Just Posted

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The numbers show nearly 14 percent of San Francisco voters who participated in the Sept. 14 recall election wanted to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from elected office. (Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)
How San Francisco neighborhoods voted in the Newsom recall

Sunset tops the list as the area with the most ‘yes’ votes

Alison Collins says that she and other members of San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education facing potential recall “represent constituents that are often erased or talked over.” <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Alison Collins speaks: Embattled SF school board member confronts the recall effort

‘It’s important for folks to know what this recall is about. It’s bigger than any one of us.’

Is the Black Cat incident a distraction from the recovery of The City’s storied nightlife industry or does Mayor London Breed’s behavior inadvertently highlight the predicament the industry’s been in since San Francisco reinstated indoor mask requirements on Aug. 20?<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)</ins>
Club owners to maskless mayor: Are we the new fun police?

Black Cat affair highlights difficult recovery for nightlife industry

BART’s Powell Street station in The City was the site of a fatal accident on Sept. 13.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

Most Read