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California Attorney Generals' tallies tighten

L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley at the Police Historical Society the day before the election. He expressed confidence that he'd win the state Attorney General's race.
L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley at the Police Historical Society the day before the election. He expressed confidence that he'd win the state Attorney General's race.
Frank Stolze/KPCC

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County elections officials throughout California are counting absentee and provisional ballots to figure out who the next state attorney general will. San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris leads Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley by just 9,000 votes – of more than 7 million cast.

Elections officials say as many as two million absentee and provisional ballots exist.

In Los Angeles County, a spokeswoman for the Registrar of Voters says they’re going through about 380,000 ballots. Officials verify the signature that’s required with absentee and provisional ballots with the one on the voter’s registration card on file before they count each vote.

Representatives from the Harris and Cooley campaigns have been dispatched to various registrars’ offices to observe the process.

LA’s registrar spokeswoman says the partisans are stationed 25 feet away from the people counting votes. She says that anyone’s welcome to watch the process at the registrar’s office in Norwalk. Officials will update the count each Tuesday and Friday, at 2 p.m.

State law gives counties 28 days to count ballots.

A spokesman for Harris says she won by three percent among votes cast on Election Day, and he expects the final result will be about the same. Cooley’s camp noted that there are more ballots to be counted from counties Cooley won than in counties Harris won.

A Cooley campaign statement says the only certainty is that the tally will be close.