More than 2.5 million ballots from California's June 7 primary are still uncounted, sparking questions about the results of the presidential contest in which Hillary Clinton emerged the winner and leaving the fate of local races in the air as poll workers continue to grapple with reports of voter difficulties.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the uncounted ballots would put the total voter turnout at around 8.5 million, or around 47 percent of all registered voters. While the results are unlikely to impact Clinton's win in the state, Bernie Sanders said Thursday he expected the final tally would show a closer race—one more in keeping with polls that predicted a nail-biter.
"I look forward to the full counting of the votes in California, which I suspect will show a much closer vote than the current vote tally," Sanders said after a meeting with President Barack Obama, who then went on to endorse Clinton.
Los Angeles County, which on Tuesday voted 57 percent for Clinton versus 42 for Sanders, reported more unprocessed ballots than any region at roughly 616,000. San Diego County, where Clinton won 55 percent to Sanders' 44, had 285,000 uncounted ballots.
Many of those were 'provisional' ballots, which are given to voters whose party registration cannot be determined on the day of the election. The LA Times wrote on Tuesday:
Instead of a quick in-and-out vote, many California voters were handed the dreaded pink provisional ballot — which takes longer to fill out, longer for election officials to verify and which tends to leave voters wondering whether their votes will be counted.... hundreds of Californians complained of voting problems to the national nonpartisan voter hotline run by the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law.
Dissatisfaction with the voting system has become widespread this election cycle, as Sanders supporters rail against convoluted election rules and his treatment by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the corporate media, which came under fire earlier this week for claiming Clinton had clinched the party's nomination before Californians—and voters in five other states—even had a chance to cast their ballots.
But as Freedom of the Press Foundation co-founder Trevor Timm wrote in an op-ed on Wednesday, it's not just the Sanders supporters who feel disenfranchised by the system. "Virtually every major campaign in both parties griped about how the other was winning at some point during this campaign, and along the way almost all of them were right," he wrote.