Reporting results from November 11, on which no updated reports were issued by the Secretary of State due to the Veteran's Day holiday, as well as morning reporting on November 12, updates from Kings, Sacramento, Ventura and Yolo counties dropped Cooley's lead over Harris to 14,174.
It was in afternoon reporting from Amador, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Cruz counties that Harris pulled into a 5,576 vote (.1%) lead over Cooley.
In the Los Angeles County report, 44,813 votes were added to the tallies of the two leading candidates, with Harris receiving 27,531 (61.44%) of those votes, to Cooley's 17,280 (38.56%), as provisional ballots cast on election day worked their way into the results for the first time. While the S.O.S.'s Estimated Unprocessed Ballots report issued at 5 p.m. on November 12 does not seem to have deducted for (at least) the L.A. County votes reported this afternoon, we would estimate that approximately 150,000 L.A. County votes remain to be counted. Should Harris continue to carry those voters in a similar proportion as during this latest reporting period, she should pick up an additional 25 - 30,000 vote advantage over Cooley in L.A. County. (As the percentage of those votes which are provisional ballots increases, Harris well could increase her percentage of advantage over Cooley in L.A. County late ballot counts. Not all provisional ballots will be approved for counting -- expect a 5 to 10% drop-off rate, at least for L.A. County.)
When the S.O.S. updates the Unprocessed Ballots report, we should get a better picture of where the remaining votes will be coming from, and in what volume. Again, we expect Harris' percentages in the later ballot counts to increase even in counties in which she trailed badly as those counties' percentage of provisional ballots increase over absentee (and damaged / remade) ballots increases. (As of 5 p.m. this evening, the not-fully-updated S.O.S.report indicated about 470,000 unprocessed / reported provisional ballots, surpassing the 375,000 absentee ballots at left to be accounted for, along with an additional 53,000 damaged / to-be-remade ballots. (To-be-remade ballots include damaged ballots, ballots which cannot feed into the ballot counting machines in their current condition, overseas faxed ballots and ballots which were cast by vote-by-mail voters directly onto the their sample ballots, rather than onto the computer bubble card used for counting.))
Los Angeles County will issue its' next vote count update on Tuesday, November 16.
In the 11th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat McNerney holds a 1,690 vote (.9%) lead over Republican Harmer. In the 20th C.D., incumbent Democrat Costa holds a 1,107 vote (1.4%) lead over Republican challenger Vidak in the latest reporting period.
Update - 11:00 p.m.:
Jack Leonard at the Los Angeles Times has reported on further updates on the A.G.'s race, based upon the gathering of data from individual counties statewide. At 7:51 p.m., the Times reported that Kamala Harris had taken a 303 vote lead, 4,117,728 to 4,117,425, incorporating just over 150,000 votes more than were in the vote totals reported by us above, due to a lag in reporting by the Secretary of State's office.
The Times article also states that the Cooley campaign has expressed concerns that "Los Angeles County workers have not been following proper procedures for counting ballots", alleging that "[s]ome vote counters have responded to complaints about individual ballots by placing them back in a pile of votes to be counted later"....
From the L.A. Times article:
Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan said Cooley’s campaign had expressed broad concerns but had not issued any specific complaints about the vote-counting process. He said he believed his workers had followed the law.
"I don’t believe there’s been anything raised at this point that is a significant concern," Logan said.The Times quotes Dean Logan as reporting that approximately "80% to 85% of provisional ballots are usually deemed to be valid"; we had earlier suggested a likely 90% to 95% validity rate for those ballots. While we stand by our earlier suggestion, we recognize that the percentage of valid provisional ballots may fall in a wider range than we had earlier reported.
(Provisional ballots will be disallowed if the voter casts a vote outside of his or her county of residence, if the signature does not match that from the voter registration form, if the voter was not registered to vote prior to the deadline for the election (October 18 for the November 2 election), if the voter is a felon who has not completed his / her parole and thereafter re-registered to vote, or if the ballot is otherwise improper.)
Most county registrars throughout the nation will count an otherwise valid vote if the voter's intent can be determined from the ballot; the Los Angeles Registrar's office appears to be no exception to that rule.
We appreciate the work done by Jack Leonard at the L.A. Times in obtaining the county-by-county vote count in this race, and in bringing the status of the A.G.'s race to a broader audience.
For further background and information on these races, see our prior posts, linked near the top of the column on the far right portion of this page.