Elections officials across California have more than 4 million ballots that have yet to be checked or counted, a number that's almost half as large as all the ballots tallied so far from Tuesday's election.
The official total — 4,362,087 ballots — will undoubtedly change and possibly even grow over the next few days. Three counties, including vote-rich San Diego County, did not submit an estimate of unprocessed ballots for Thursday night's statewide report.
In addition, California law says that any ballot postmarked by election day can still be counted if it arrives as many as three business days late. State officials have extended this year's deadline to Monday, because that third day, Nov. 11, is a federal holiday.
With the election over, 24 California state lawmakers are jetting overseas on their annual migration for fact-finding and trade missions, this year to locations including Germany, China, the Czech Republic and Hawaii, officials confirmed Thursday.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) is leading a three-legislator delegation that was scheduled to leave Thursday night for a 12-day trip to China to help boost economic ties between that country and California.
“Speaker Rendon is part of a trade delegation to learn about various ways our nations collaborate economically,” said spokesman Kevin Liao. “Given recent events, it has become even more urgent to assure our global trading partners that California is still open for business.”
Meanwhile, voters rejected Proposition 65, an initiative that would have sent the proceeds from a 10-cent fee imposed on consumers who don't bring their own bags to a state fund for environmental projects.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Californians should do their part in helping unify the country after the surprise election of President-elect Donald Trump, but also insists the state will "stay true" to its principles.
"With the deep divisions in our country, it is incumbent on all of us — especially the new leadership in Washington — to take steps that heal those divisions, not deepen them," Brown said in a written statement on Thursday afternoon. "In California, we will do our part to find common ground whenever possible."
Several legislative races are still too close to be called, but leaders of the California Legislative Women's Caucus say they expect to lose two seats each in the state Assembly and the Senate.
If the trend in the closest races holds, women will hold 10 of 40 seats in the state Senate, and 17 of 80 positions in the Assembly, according to California Women Lead, a nonpartisan association that recruits and trains women to run for public office.
California's top elections official lashed out Thursday at one of President-elect Donald Trump's new immigration transition team members, calling the selection a "threat" to communities of color across America.
"Mr. Trump’s selection of Kris Kobach to the immigration transition team sends a deeply troubling message that telegraphs an imminent assault on our collective voting rights and civil rights," Padilla said in a written statement.
Proposition 66, which aims to speed the death penalty process in California, is still pending official approval, with election returns showing 50.9% of voters supported it.
But former state Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp and lawyer Ron Briggs, who wrote the proposition that reinstated the state's death penalty nearly 40 years ago, are already trying to block the implementation of the ballot measure's provisions.
Proposition 66, which was written by death penalty prosecutors, would require the judge who originally heard a case to hear initial petitions challenging a death penalty conviction, instead of the petitions going to California Supreme Court. It also would limit the appeals process to within five years of a death sentence.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday began his 2018 bid for governor after a three-year hiatus from the political limelight, joining a heady field of candidates that is expected to grow larger in the months ahead.
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris spent the final day before election day hop-scotching from San Diego to Los Angeles, urging supporters to go to the polls to back down-ballot Democrats in tight races.
Applegate told the crowd, a mix of students, union workers and party loyalists, one of the major reasons that Issa was on the ropes was because of the “racism, bigotry and misogyny” of Donald Trump, whom Issa backs.