California ballots still to be counted: 605,824

129597 full
129597 full

Even though it's been two weeks since California held its primary election, counties across the state are still gathering their results. Statewide, 605,824 ballots await processing, according to numbers released by the Secretary of State Friday afternoon.

Here's an update:

Q: How much longer will it take for California to complete its vote count?

There are 40 out of the 58 counties in the state that are still counting their ballots. All are required to report their final results by July 8.

Q: Why does it take so long?

There are a few reasons for this. One is that California is a very large and diverse state. Another is that vote by mail ballots are slowing things down, and there's been an increase recently in the number of mail ballots turned in at polling places in California. 

"Like many western states, there’s lots of ballots that come in by mail. But because California allows them to be delivered on the day, they have to be processed separately," said Reed College Professor Paul Gronke, who studies vote counts across the country.

Gronke points out that California also has what are called “voter intent” laws. So if, for example, you marked your ballot with an "X" instead of filling in the oval as you should, your vote still counts. But an elections worker has to remake that ballot. 

That slows down the vote count because of the labor involved.

Q: Is the vote gap shrinking between Hillary Clinton, the Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders? And why was the race called so soon?

Yes, on primary day, Clinton was about 14 percentage points ahead of Sanders. As of now she’s 8.9 percentage points ahead.

The Secretary of State and other county elections officials don’t call races, media outlets are making these predictions based on calculations from early results.

Gronke explains that what we’re seeing with the Clinton and Sanders results is pretty common.

He said it is virtually impossible that Sanders will make up the gap with the remaining ballots. "But it’s not at all unusual for the margin to change," he said.

Q: Where does Los Angeles County stand in its count?

L.A. Registrar Dean Logan released numbers on Friday showing an estimated 178,888 provisional, mail in and miscellaneous ballots still to be processed. Turnout at this stage is 39.3 percent based on 1,889,065 votes counted.

Q: What's the latest on the race for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors District 5 seat (northern L.A. County)? 

Outgoing supervisor Mike Antonovich’s chief of staff Kathryn Barger has a lock on the lead and advances to the general election.

The only Democrat in the race, Darrell Park, has widened his lead in second place over state Sen. Bob Huff by about 1,700 votes and appears to be the candidate who will face Barger in November.

Huff's campaign told KPCC that he has no plans to contest the results.

KPCC Senior Political Reporter Mary Plummer has been answering questions on our website about voting. You can find helpful election related tips by visiting the Human Voter Guide page.

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