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With perhaps a half-million ballots left to count, final San Diego County election results may take a week

Poll workers sort and process mail-in ballots at the San Diego County registrar of voters office.
(Adriana Heldiz / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The registrar of voters office projects voter turnout of 60 percent and has counted about half of the number of ballots it expects.

With San Diego County officials still counting hundreds of thousands of mail ballots, final results in some close races — such as the city of San Diego’s Measures B and C — might not be known for a week or so.

Measure B, which would end no-fee trash pickup for single-family homes, was trailing by just under a percentage point Nov. 9. The race involving Measure C, which would lift the 30-foot coastal building height limit in the Midway District, was tighter still, with 50.15 percent of votes in favor and 49.85 percent against.

Officials have projected turnout of 60 percent for the Nov. 8 election. By the next morning, the county registrar of voters office had released results totaling about half of that, with 565,982 ballots counted — representing 29.4 percent of the county’s 1.9 million registered voters.

Here are running vote totals in races and issues in the Nov. 8 general election of key local interest in the La Jolla area.

The first batch of results released on Election Night included mail ballots received before Election Day, along with ballots cast at vote centers during early voting between Oct. 29 and Nov. 7.

After the polls closed at 8 p.m. Nov. 8, workers packed up all ballots cast in person at the vote centers that day and delivered them to the registrar’s office. The next sets of election returns released late that night and early Nov. 9 reflected ballots cast in person on Election Day.

If turnout is as expected, that would leave about a half-million ballots still to be counted before final election results are announced, the registrar’s office said.

San Diego voters are mixed on the ballot measure, which would strike the entirety of the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan area from San Diego’s coastal zone.

County officials said that figure is a projection based on the number of mail ballots they have already received by mail, in ballot drop boxes and at vote centers, as well as on the numbers of ballots cast in previous elections.

In last year’s gubernatorial recall election, 59.93 percent of registered voters in San Diego County cast ballots, and in the 2018 midterm that figure was 66.42 percent.

Under California law, all registered voters receive a mail ballot, and the vast majority of San Diego voters cast their ballots by mail. In the June primary, more than 93 percent of voters cast mail ballots.

Some of the remaining ballots have already arrived at the registrar’s office and are ready to be counted, while others are still in the mail.

Two other initiatives — one that would allow child care facilities in city recreation centers, and one that would end a city ban on union-friendly project labor agreements — appeared headed for approval in early election returns.

By law, any ballot postmarked by Election Day and received by Tuesday, Nov. 15, is valid, so additional ballots will trickle in over the next week. All provisional ballots cast on Election Day must also be verified and counted.

The county’s next release of unofficial results is scheduled to be posted by 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, and additional releases may take place every two days after that.

California law requires election results to be certified by Thursday, Dec. 8, and the registrar said it will use the next month until then to ensure the results are accurate. The final certified results will be posted on that date.


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