Nearly 32% of ballots cast in Los Angeles County in Tuesday’s primary election remained to be counted as of Friday, leaving undecided the outcome of some races, including the contest for district attorney.
County election officials said that a wave of vote-by-mail ballots left at vote centers and still arriving by mail contributed to the number of untallied votes.
The county registrar’s office said it had counted 1,447,938 votes as of Friday. It estimated that 678,050 ballots remained to be counted. The county was accepting mailed ballots through Friday evening, as long as they were postmarked by election day.
With so many votes still outstanding, the outcome of some races still hangs in the balance.
Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey needs to get 50% of the vote, plus one, to avoid a November runoff election. The latest count showed her with 615,864 votes. That puts her just a few votes below 50%, compared with 337,962 for George Gascon (27.44%) and 277,933 for Rachel A. Rossi (22.56%).
Los Angeles County, with 5.5 million registered voters, rolled out a new voting system on Tuesday that was hobbled by reports of broken machines and hours-long waits.
California’s chief elections officer, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, rebuked local officials Thursday over the voting day mishaps.
“I’m beyond frustrated and disappointed in what I saw on Tuesday, and I’m committed to making sure it doesn’t happen again,” Padilla said. “Clearly, voters deserve better.”
The county says it won’t have final certification of the election results until March 27. Officials said they will update totals every Tuesday and Friday until then.