2.8 million ballots yet to be processed in CA

A woman prepares to vote at Mountainview Elementary School in the 2018 election. Dan Watson/The Signal

California processed more than 1.1 million ballots over the weekend and has yet to process 2.8 million more in the Nov. 3 General Election as of Monday, which includes 194,700 remaining to be counted in Los Angeles County, according to the state’s daily unprocessed ballots update.

The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office has processed 428,221 vote-by-mail ballots dropped off at ballot drop boxes or mailed back via the United States Postal Service, and 2,980 vote-center ballots since the polls closed on Nov. 3, according to Dean Logan with the County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

In L.A. County, the preliminary estimate of outstanding ballots to be processed as of Monday afternoon marked 194,700, which include 99,500 vote-by-mail ballots, 87,000 conditional voter registration ballots, 2,000 provisional and 6,200 that have write-ins, are damaged, need to be remade, or require further review. The total election result count is now 4,153,568, which accounts for 72.74% of eligible voters in the county, according to Logan.

A majority of the ballots that still need to be processed are mail-in ballots. The county has received 2.44 million mail-in ballots, according to the state’s daily update.

The significant number of mail-in ballots is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in every registered voter being sent a mail-in ballot that can be filled out and sent back without visiting a polling station.

The time for ballots to arrive at county elections offices was extended by the state and mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3, and received by the county elections official no later than 17 days after the election, will be processed and can be counted, according to state officials.

“It typically takes weeks for counties to process and count all of the ballots,” state officials said in the daily update. “Elections officials have approximately one month to complete their extensive tallying, auditing and certification work.”

The update adds that California state law requires county elections officials to report their final results for presidential electors to the Secretary of State by Dec. 1, and all other state contests by Dec. 4. The Secretary of State has until Dec. 11 to certify the results of the election.

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