‘Tens of Thousands’ of Ballots Still to be Counted



The Alameda County Registrar of Voters still has “tens of thousands” of late absentees and provisional ballots to count, spokesman Guy Ashley said this morning. “There are big stacks of them,” he said, adding that there may be more late absentees this year than usual. He said the registrar will have a better handle later today on exactly how many late absentees and provisionals still need to be counted.

Late absentees are ballots that voters fill out at home and then turn in at the polls on Election Day, along with those that were mailed late and arrived yesterday at the registrar’s office. Provisional ballots come from voters who arrive at a polling place, but their names are not on the official roster for that particular location.

The number of uncounted late absentees and provisionals could be substantial. Before the election, Registrar Dave MacDonald estimated that voter turnout in Alameda County would be about 60 percent. In the last mid-term election in November 2006, turnout in the county was 61 percent. However, turnout in the current election, which is based on the number of ballots counted so far, is only about 44 percent.

As of early this morning, the registrar had counted 334,081 ballots out of a total number of 765,885 registered voters in the county. In other words, if MacDonald was right and turnout this year was about the same as in 2006, then there could still be 125,000 ballots that need to be counted from throughout the county. Assuming that a proportional share of those came from Oakland means there could be more than 15,000 25,000 ballots still be counted from the city.