Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Deadline for mail ballots expires, tallying continues

Melisa Claridad of Sacramento, casts her vote with her 13-month-old daughter, Lily Larsen, in tote, at the Clunie Community Center on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 in Sacramento.
Melisa Claridad of Sacramento, casts her vote with her 13-month-old daughter, Lily Larsen, in tote, at the Clunie Community Center on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 in Sacramento. lsterling@sacbee.com

While the Bernie Bus may have rolled on as California’s fleeting moment in the national political spotlight faded into a memory, election officials are still busy tallying ballots.

Today marks the last day that vote-by-mail ballots will be accepted for the June 7 election. All mail ballots had to be postmarked no later than Election Day.

The Secretary of State’s Office said about 2 million ballots were still uncounted as of Thursday, with more expected to arrive Friday. The backlog means the waiting game for official results may stretch on for weeks.

State law requires county election officials to report their final results to the Secretary of State by July 8. The Secretary of State is given another week to certify the results.

The set up leaves lawmakers biting their nails in a handful of close contests throughout the state.

It’s still unclear if Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, will defend his seat against GOP rival Rudy Mendoza or Democrat Ruben Macareno in the 26th Assembly District in November. Similarly, the verdict is still out on whether the campaign for termed out Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-Baldwin Park, will live to see another election in a race to represent the 32nd Congressional District, or if Republican Gordon Fisher will bump him out of the top two.

Stay tuned for more election coverage as official tallies trickle in.

VIVA LA CAUSA: Following her passing earlier this week, friends and family of Helen F. Chavez will gather Sunday for an all-night vigil in her honor at Villa La Paz Conference and Education Center in Keene. Chavez, the widow of labor leader Cesar Chavez, has been described as the behind-the-scenes rock of the farmworker movement. The public vigil begins at 6 p.m. and a Mass of Christian Burial follows Monday morning.

EQUAL EDUCATION: Less than a third of black students in California finish the A-G high school classes necessary to attend the University of California or California State University, according to report from the research, policy and advocacy organization The Education Trust-West. That unsettling fact will become the focus of a Black Minds Matter forum at the Capitol Saturday, hosted by the policy organization, the Black Parallel School Board and Assembly members Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Shirley Weber, D-San Diego. The groups say the forum, which begins at 11 a.m. in room 126, will touch on ways to close the achievement gap in local schools.

CELEBRATE: Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Napa, celebrates a milestone 60th birthday today. Happy birthday to Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Downey, who turns 75 Sunday.

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