Almost a full day after polls closed, counties across the Bay Area still had hundreds of thousands of ballots to count — almost half of the number cast in a couple of cases.
And that’s to be expected as more and more California voters turn to mail-in ballots, which take longer to count, elections staff and experts say.
“This is the new normal,” said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. “We vote for a month and count ballots for a month in California.”
What’s also lengthened the tallying time is a state law that went into effect in 2015, which allows vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by Election Day and received up to three days later to be counted. Such ballots previously had to be received by Election Day.
As a result, many of the ballots sent close to Election Day don’t get into the hands of counters until later.