Silly me, I thought the 2014 election was over last night Nov. 5 at 3:30 am when I saw that 1066 of 1066 precincts were reporting vote counts for Santa Clara County. Several of the local Los Altos races of interest were very close with what I assumed was”full reporting.”
In particular I thought the LASD election results 2014 were done. The Measure N school bond appeared to lose by 1/10th of a percent – at 54.90%. John Swan appeared to edge out Vladamir Ivanovich for the LASD board by a few tenths of a percent.
But it Ain’t Over
The main County Election Results website does not indicate any information about uncounted ballots. It creates the impression the races are done. However the web page for County By County Reporting status does show that Santa Clara County is in FENU status: “Final Election Update. Ballot counting will continue during the 28-day election Canvass period.” The county must complete its work by Dec. 5. Lalahpolitico notes that once an election is “called” by the County Registrar either side has 5 days to ask for a recount.
The Uncounted Ballots are Huge – 100,000
On Nov. 5 the County tweeted that 100,000 ballots – turned in on election day or cast as “provisional” – still had to be processed. This is expected to take at least a week, but could go on till Dec. 5.
The Uncertainty of Initial Election Results is Huge – 30% of total
Here’s the math for estimates. [You can find all the source numbers on the County website links above.]
231,208 ballots were counted Nov. 4- Nov.5 by 3am in SC County in the Governor race. (1066 of 1066 precincts.) I’ll use this as my estimate of total ballots in the County.
9,114 ballots were counted Nov. 4 – Nov. 5 by 3am in LASD on Measure N. (23 of 23 precincts. The number of votes for governor within LASD boundaries is not available.)
That means 3.94% of total ballots counted Nov. 4 – Nov. 5 by 3am in the County were cast by voters registered in LASD.
The SC County Registrar estimates 100,000 unprocessed ballots, per their tweet today Nov. 5.
Apply 3.94% to get the share of unprocessed ballots for LASD voters.
3,942 is LASD estimated number of unprocessed ballots.
3,942 + 9, 114 = 13,055 estimated total number of LASD ballots on Measure N
This means that an estimated 30% of estimated total LASD Measure N ballots remain uncounted.
You can apply this to the LASD Board results too.
With an estimated 3,942 LASD voter ballots still outstanding and unprocessed, both the LASD elections are very much up in the air. When another possible 3,942 votes are applied to the 9,114 already counted, preliminary results could change more than a little.
Sigh, I’m starting to like this mail-in ballot thing less and less. I can remember in prior decades when absentee ballots were maybe 1% of total votes cast. Now they are 30%! We have forever campaigning. And now we have extended counting. It doesn’t feel safe. But there are pros of mail-in ballots: my mom with Alzheimer’s could still vote.