Interesting piece in the Orange County Register on one potential effect of the California Voting Rights Act:
More than three weeks after the election, most contests on Orange County voters’ ballots have long since been settled – but until the last hundred ballots were tallied on Friday, a handful of races remained in limbo, the number of votes between victory and defeat counted in the double or even single digits.
Close races certainly happened before, but as more OC cities and school districts have switched from at-large to district-based voting, they appear to have become more frequent/likely.
Up until Friday, in a mix of 10 city council and school board races, the margin between the prospective winner and the second-place candidate was fewer than 100 votes, and in two of those, the difference was five or fewer votes.
“Before I left, the transition (to closer contests) had already started,” perhaps as far back as the 2016 election cycle, former OC Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said.