Report: Election Results In L.A. Areas Might Take Weeks Due To Mail-In Voting

Report: Election Results In L.A. Areas Might Take Weeks Due To Mail-In Voting

Final election results in Los Angeles regions may be slow to arrive, according to a report from The Los Angeles Times. 

The Times pointed out that the general election results in the area will probably not be known in multiple elections on Tuesday night. Even in the late hours of the evening, the numbers might not show who actually ends up winning specific races.

The change in voting processes from in-person to mail-in voting shifted how Californians vote, as votes are cast weeks before the actual day of the election and tabulation continues for weeks.

“We no longer have election night. We have election season,” Mindy Romero, director of the USC Center for Inclusive Democracy, told the outlet.

The report pointed to the Los Angeles mayoral primary earlier this year, where the results showed former Republican and businessman Rick Caruso ahead of Democratic Representative Karen Bass during the evening of the primary. Bass ended up winning the primary by seven points, but the race still went to the November 8 election since none of the candidates won the votes needed to avoid the fall election.

The end results might not be known for days or weeks in some closely-watched races, such as the Los Angeles mayoral race, as well as congressional elections throughout California. Some will be more evident, such as Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign, as well as Senator Alex Padilla’s race. Both are expected to see victories on Election Night, but nothing is guaranteed.

“If your race is within 10 points at the end of election night, it’s probably premature to call it a win,” Michael Trujillo, a political consultant, told the outlet. “If you’re up 20 [points], you’re probably safe.”

Last year, Newsom signed Assembly Bill 37 into law, which mandated that a ballot be sent to every voter. The law came into place after Newsom and legislators moved to temporarily send ballots to more than 22 million California voters during the fall of 2020 due to the pandemic.

“Last year we took unprecedented steps to ensure all voters had the opportunity to cast a ballot during the pandemic and today we are making those measures permanent after record-breaking participation in the 2020 presidential election,” Newsom said in a statement at the time.

The change could have reverberating effects on the status of election results in the state. During the election earlier this year in June, over 90% of the ballots were sent in by mail and less than half of the total ballots had been counted almost two days after the polls closed, reportedly according to an analysis by Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation.

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