Think we can wash our hands of Election Day? I mean, it is Wednesday evening already.
Sorry to report, but Wednesday, the day after Election Day, means that our work has just begun. This election is not over until we say it’s over, days of the calendar notwithstanding.
We’re still counting a lot of remaining ballots. There were Vote by Mail ballots that arrived at the Elections Office on Monday and Tuesday, Vote by Mail ballots that were dropped off at polling places on Election Day, and provisional ballots cast at the polls. Signatures must be checked and provisional ballots carefully reconciled, all of which takes some time.
So that means that we’re still reporting race results. We posted new results on our Web site at 5 p.m. today and will do so again on Friday, the 9th at 5:00 pm and again on Tuesday, the 13th at 5:00 pm.
Some races will be affected by our continuing count. Case in point, San Bruno’s Measure F, which is currently going down by one vote. Yes, one vote. That one vote was counted today – our latest results release around 1 a.m. this morning based on votes counted yesterday showed the measure in a dead tie. Stay tuned to the bitter end; every last vote matters for this one.
As we begin the post-Election Day process, it’s worth noting that voter turnout for this election was unprecedented. And we don’t mean that in a good way. As of now, just 19 percent of the county’s nearly 310,000 registered voters decided to have a say in their local races this year. The number of ballots cast will go up some as we complete our counting, but not by leaps and bounds. The last time we had a Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election in Nov. 2003, the turnout was about 24 percent. In 2001, it was 28 percent.
Yeesh. Not a good trend.
On the plus side, however, of the 58,138 ballots counted in this election so far, 60 percent were Vote By Mail. That’s a 10 percent jump over last year’s Gubernatorial General Election, and a 12 percent jump over the Consolidated Special Statewide Election in Nov. 2005. We like Vote By Mail, and are glad to see that so many registered voters think so too.
Race results are not official until they’re certified by our Chief Elections Officer Warren Slocum and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. It’ll be a while before you hear the fat lady belting any tunes around here.