BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It has now been more than two weeks since the midterm primary election in California. Here in Kern County, we still are waiting on tens of thousands of ballots to be processed – leading some concerned residents to deem our pace of counting votes as slow.
The leaderboards in our local races haven’t changed since election night, but we have received a few updates since we last brought you the numbers, and we have at least two interesting developments.
In the 22nd Congressional district – The AP called Democratic Bakersfield Assemblyman Rudy Salas will move on to the General Election. We’re still waiting to see who he will face in November – currently, Republican incumbent David Valadao holds second place, but conservative Republican Chris Mathys trails Valadao by only about 1,400 votes.
Another interesting update – in the race for the 35th Assembly district. Both Leticia Perez and Dr. Jasmeet Bains automatically will move on to the General Election – but we’ve seen the numbers tighten significantly since election night. Perez pulled out to an early, sizable lead – but Dr. Bains now trails Perez by fewer than 700 votes.
We’ve seen very little changes in our other races – but election workers still have more than 40,000 ballots left to count in Kern.
A group of residents who regularly speak at Board of Supervisors meetings about our elections process has expressed concern that Kern is slower at processing ballots than other counties. Registrar of voters Mary Bedard pointed to the fact that Kern has given more updates than many other elections offices.
We have 437,535 registered voters here in Kern as of 15 days before the election, according to the Secretary of State.
There are six California counties with a similar number of registered voters: Fresno with 498,759, San Francisco with 496,649, San Joaquin with 383,636, San Mateo with 433,638, Sonoma with 304,003 and Ventura with 506,453.
The number of registered voters in a county is important for comparison purposes, because typically, this is related to the number of people who vote and the number of ballots the office has to process. Very generally, the more to count, the longer it takes.
As mentioned, according to the Secretary of State’s unprocessed ballot count, Kern still has 43,093 unprocessed ballots. Fresno County has 1,300 ballots left. San Francisco is sitting at just 20 remaining. San Joaquin has 16,602 left. San Mateo at 44,000 left. Sonoma has 400 to go. Ventura has 1,145.
As you can see, Kern is not alone in still having thousands of ballots left. But it does have significantly more left than all of the counties with a similar number of registered voters except for one, San Mateo.
Lastly, let’s take a quick look at the frequency at which counties have updated their election results. Our most recent update in Kern was on Monday.
In California, 39 of 58 counties have not given an update at all this week. More specifically, 18 counties have not updated their election results since last Wednesday.
County election officials have until July 8 to send final results to the Secretary of State, who will then certify the results on July 15.
We should note, these number are fluid and will change as more results come in. These are the numbers as of June 22 .