I knew this fact before, but every so often I re-learn that the various websites run by the various agencies of the State of California are of very high quality, and are a wonderful way to spend a quiet Sunday morning while listening to Mozart sonatas, drinking coffee, and frying potatoes and onions.
For example, consider the Secretary of State's website, where you can learn things like:
- processing vote-by-mail ballots is complex
It typically takes weeks for counties to process and count all of the ballots. Elections officials have approximately one month (28 days for presidential electors and 30 days for all other contests) to complete their extensive tallying, auditing, and certification work (known as the "official canvass").
- Meanwhile, there has been a dramatic increase in use of the vote-by-mail system. The 2012 presidential election was the first election where a majority of the ballots cast were vote-by-mail.
- Estimated Unprocessed Ballots for the November 8, 2016, General Election. More than 24 hours after the election "finished" in California, there were 4.5 MILLION ballots not yet counted!
- As the results continue to be counted, the numbers continue to evolve. It is now looking like the overall California turnout will be much higher than I expected, as it's already up to 51% and clearly still climbing.
- The entire county of Alpine has 1,110 people! No wonder there were only 722 registered voters in the entire county. In fact, there are more than 20 counties in California where the total county population is less than 100,000 people. Meanwhile, 21 million people live in the five gigantic Southland counties (Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernadino County).
It is an extremely complicated thing, running an election of nearly 20 million registered voters.
Kudos to the California Secretary of State, and to all the individual county and city agencies that cooperate in the process, for what is, by all appearances, another extremely thorough, careful, open, transparent, and professional result.