Local Elections

Hundreds of thousands of votes left to count in Sacramento County

This is the two-hour voting line at Sac State

Hundreds of students stood in line to vote at Sacramento State’s vote center, spilling out the door of Modoc Hall and out onto the sidewalk.
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Hundreds of students stood in line to vote at Sacramento State’s vote center, spilling out the door of Modoc Hall and out onto the sidewalk.

Sacramento County elections officials cautioned Wednesday they could have as many as 400,000 ballots left to count, leaving the outcome of some school board, city council and measure races unsettled for weeks.

The number of outstanding ballots also means voter turnout may have set a record this election.

The county elections office has counted 185,623 ballots as of Wednesday morning. Another 185,000 ballots have been processed but not yet counted, department officials said.

County elections spokeswoman Janna Haynes said between 150,000 and 200,000 ballots were still waiting to be processed. The office will likely receive many mail-in ballots this week, she said.

“There are bags and bags and bags of mail-in ballots (that have not yet been processed),” Haynes said.

Haynes said she expects the vote count to be completed “in two, maybe two and a half weeks.” The next public update of the results is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday.

With all those ballots yet to be tabulated, voter turnout in Sacramento County this election could break a record.

The largest turnout on record was in the November 2016 presidential election, when 575,711 votes were cast in Sacramento County. Turnout for gubernatorial and midterm elections is generally lower than in presidential elections.

Most high-profile races in Sacramento County appear to be settled already. Measure U, a proposal for a 1-cent sales tax in the city of Sacramento, was leading 55.6 percent to 44.4 percent on Wednesday.

Some other races remain close. School board races in Natomas and the San Juan Unified School District are tight.

The margin in the race for a seat on the Galt City Council was five votes on Wednesday.

Just one vote separated candidates for the Isleton City Council.

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