Los Angeles

Orange County May Not Know Elections Results for Weeks

Some analysts have called Orange County ground zero for whether there will be Democratic control of Congress but we won't know for sure who wins some races for days, maybe even weeks.

The head of the elections office in Orange County says they have been gearing up since the spring when they knew they were going to have some competitive Congressional races. A typical midterm election has some 5,000 to 6,000 people working at polling places or in the counting room. On Tuesday, there will be an extra 2,000 to 3,000 people working the polls.

"I have never seen a midterm like this," said Neal Kelley, the Orange County Registrar. "Early, in-person voting is 130 percent ahead of where we were in 2016. That's really kind of the indicator for tomorrow where we can have strong turnout."

Races could have huge national implications. Some 80,000 people have registered in the last 30 days. But even with more resources and workers added, election officials say prepare for results to take awhile.

"I would estimate it's going to take us about three and a half weeks to get the full count complete," he said.

Here's why -- 65 percent of voters in the county use mail-in ballots. Unlike before, Kelley says, many are waiting to drop them off on Election Day.

"If you think about it, it will take us another 10 days roughly to process that many ballots."

Then there are the provisional ballots for voters who are not on the rolls or have some other issue. Also, for the first time in the county, there is same-day registration. People can walk in and do it all at once.

Voters also are allowed to make corrections and if a signature doesn't match the one at registration voters now have up until Dec. 1 to make corrections.

To see what it takes to count one ballot click here.

To verify your mail-in ballot, click here.

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