Voting ends in California, and the waiting continues
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It’s all over but the counting -- California polls closed at 8 p.m.
A record 18.1 million residents were registered to vote, but turnout isn’t expected to reach the same levels it did four years ago. A Field Poll released Tuesday morning said 70% of registered voters were expected to cast ballots, down 1 million from 2008 totals.
Tallying the votes could take some time this year because more Californians than ever are voting by mail. Election officials say that more than 9 million ballots were mailed to voters, and 3.2 million had been returned by Saturday.
According to the secretary of state’s office, it could take a couple of weeks to get results in any races that are particularly tight.
‘We’re into accuracy, not speed, in California,’ said Nicole Winger, deputy communications director for Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
California, a heavily Democratic state, is expected to be an easy win for President Obama. However, some state races could be much closer.
Front and center is Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax-hike plan, Proposition 30. The ballot measure still leads in the polls, but support dropped under 50% last month, a worrying sign for the governor.
There’s also a collection of tight campaigns for seats in the state Legislature. If Democrats pick up two seats in each house, they will have a two-thirds majority, allowing them to raise taxes without Republican support.
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-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento