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ELECTION 2008 : CALIFORNIA

Stacks of ballots await counting

November 06, 2008|Ari B. Bloomekatz | Bloomekatz is a Times staff writer.

Even though most races have been called, election workers Wednesday were just beginning to tally at least 1.6 million leftover provisional and mail-in ballots across California.

Counties have until Dec. 2 to count the votes, according to the secretary of state's office. Some officials said they have more uncounted ballots than normal because of a surge in voting.

In Los Angeles County, election officials estimated that about 566,000 ballots were yet to be counted. At least 375,000 of those were vote-by-mail ballots that were brought to the polls.

About 239,000 vote-by-mail and provisional ballots were still to be counted in Orange County, 220,000 in San Diego County, about 86,000 in Ventura County and 85,000 in San Bernardino County, officials say.

In Alameda County, election workers reported that about 120,000 provisional ballots and an unknown number of mail-in ballots remain uncounted.

Not all counties were able to provide estimates of uncounted votes, and almost all said their reports were preliminary.

Alice Jarboe, assistant to the registrar in Sacramento County, said there were about 140,000 outstanding ballots there.

"Not all of those will count because they have to be verified first," Jarboe said. "We expected a high turnout, and we did get a high turnout. We have all those ballots yet to process."

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

Times staff writers Joanna Lin, Paloma Esquivel and James Wagner contributed to this report.

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