About 40,000 mail-in ballots remained uncounted in Sonoma County on Wednesday, but they are not expected to change the outcomes for at least two local races: sheriff and the clerk-recorder-assessor-elections chief.
“It’s not over until we count the last vote, but statistically speaking, both those races should be over,” said Bill Rousseau, Sonoma County’s registrar of voters.
Outcomes for other county races also likely won’t change as they were ahead by wide margins, he said.
Just over a quarter of Sonoma County’s registered voters went to the polls or turned in their mail-in ballots early, allowing them to be counted in preliminary returns. By Wednesday, election officials had counted 70,897 ballots, with 49,261 mailed in and 21,636 cast at polling places. There are 268,669 registered voters in Sonoma County.
But thousands more mail-in ballots that were turned in on Election Day or put in the mail remained uncounted Wednesday. Some dropped off their ballots at polling sites, while others slipped them in the mail Tuesday. As long as the ballots arrive by Friday, they’ll be counted.
Rousseau estimated 10,000 mail-in ballots that arrived by mail or were dropped off at the election office Tuesday still needed to be processed or counted. He expects another 20,000 to 30,000 ballots dropped off at polling places or still arriving by mail will have to be processed.
While Rousseau acknowledged his estimates could be too optimistic, he hoped the numbers would get the county close to a 40 percent voter turnout.
Election workers posted the last vote update at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. The county has 30 days to get an official final vote count.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or email@example.com. On Twitter@rossmannreport.