Autumntime, and the Counting Goes Slowly

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Eight days after Californians went to the polls in record numbers, there are still an awful lot of ballots left to count, and a few races that could theoretically flip in who we now think has come out on top.

As of this afternoon, a report from the Secretary of State's office showed that more than 1.8 million ballots remain uncounted across California. That includes more than 965,000 vote-by-mail ballots, almost 710,000 provisional ballots, and more than 156,000 ballots that for one reason or another weren't counted by machines on the first pass.

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles County has more uncounted ballots than anyone else -- an estimated 410,000. County elections officials are now in the post-election period where all of this final tabulation takes place, before they can send results to Sacramento for certification.

The question is whether any of these still unknown votes will sway either races for the Legislature, Congress, or for any statewide ballot measure.

The following is from the Secretary of State's official website:

In the 4th congressional district, former GOP state senator Tom McClintock leads Democrat Charlie Brown by 928 votes (though some claim McClintock's lead has grown).

In the 10th Assembly district, Republican Jack Sieglock leads Democrat Alyson Huber by 614 votes.

And in the 19th state Senate district, Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson leads Republican Tony Strickland by 1203 votes.

Meantime, supporters and opponents of Proposition 11, the redistricting measure, continue to watch the proposal cling to what looks like a narrow victory. There are almost 154,000 more yes votes on Prop 11 at this point, out of almost 10.3 million votes counted. Some analysts claimed this afternoon that the final outcome will stay the same.

All of this is just another reminder that while your part in an election may take a matter of minutes (or hours, with last week's long lines); but the work of elections officials begins much earlier... and ends much later.

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new multimedia California Politics & Government Desk.  He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades -- serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and, most recently, as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. He moderated the only gubernatorial debate of 2014, and was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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