Election results from some areas of Los Angeles County were delayed slightly due to dense fog that forced ballot-transporting helicopters to be diverted, according to the LA County Registrar.
Helicopters carrying votes were diverted from Norwalk to the Puente Hills Mall in the City of Industry, where choppers landed in a vacant parking lot. There, a five-person assembly line hauled bags of ballots onto a van from a chopper.
"At this point, it’s not so much a delay," county registrar Dean Logan told NBC4 News around midnight. "We still have a steady stream of ballots coming in from the polling places. Once the ballots are here on site, it moves along pretty quickly."
LA County Sheriff's Department choppers were carrying ballots from outlying areas, including Van Nuys and Lancaster, when the thick layer of fog rolled in.
Logan said there is no shortage of ballots at the registrar's office and the delayed helicopters are not significantly stalling the counting process, though he added the fog may push ballot counting "a little longer into the night."
"It is important that we get all of the ballots here to the Norwalk office safely and securely," Logan said in a statement released earlier Tuesday evening. "We are working with the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department to ensure the safe arrival of the ballots."
Ground transport of ballots was not affected by the fog, officials said.
Polls closed at 8 p.m. in California. All ballots cast in Los Angeles County must be returned to the registrar’s office in Norwalk to be counted.