November 05, 2008

Woocher on the Ballot Count and the Propositions in California

Fred Woocher, one of the smartest election lawyers I know and an expert on counting and recounting in California, sent the following to the election law listserv (reposted with permission) regarding whether outstanding mail-in and provisional ballots could affect the outcome of Props. 8 or 11:

    In answer to your earlier question about the likely fate of Propositions 8 and 11 in California, I agree with others that there are many more still-outstanding votes than the 94.6% figure of precincts accounted-for suggested by the SOS website. However, I don't think there's any doubt that Prop. 8 will pass, principally because LA County -- the county with by far the most still-to-be-counted provisional and late absentee ballots -- voted in favor of the measure, contrary to what many might have expected from a highly Democratic county. (I think the large turnout of church-going African Americans and Latinos is likely the reason here.) My personal guess is that the uncounted ballots will break more against Prop. 8 than for it (many are from students and other younger, new registrants), but not nearly enough to turn the tide.

    I think Prop 11 may be a little closer, both because it is currently leading more narrowly and because the recorded vote in LA was indeed tilted somewhat against the measure. But again, I am doubtful that there are enough votes and enough of a "no" vote differential to overcome the existing statewide margin in favor of the measure.

Posted by Rick Hasen at November 5, 2008 11:21 AM