Although the Presidential Election is settled and the California proposition results are clear, a large number of outstanding ballots in Santa Cruz County has many local races too early or too close to call.
According to Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin, there are "more than 30,000 unprocessed ballots left to be counted." A total of 82,271 have already been counted, but if 30,000 is a conservative estimate, then just 73 percent of the Santa Cruz County vote has been tallied thus far.
VotesCount.com is reporting that there are 158,641 registered voters in Santa Cruz County. That number is up by almost 12,000 registered voters since the June election. In 2008, voter registration in the county spiked by over 8,500 between June and November.
The 82,271 votes already counted add up to 51.86 percent of all registered voters in the county. Pellerin's estimate of at least 30,000 uncounted ballots puts the total number of ballots cast at a minimum of 112,271, which would be 70.7 percent of all registered voters. That number looks good compared to the June election, when just 39.83 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. However, it is still far below the voter turnout numbers for the last three Presidential Elections in Santa Cruz County.
In November 2008, 86.65 percent of local registered voters filled out a ballot. In November 2004, it was 83.19 percent and in November 2000, it was 75.24 percent. With a record number of registered voters in Santa Cruz County this year, it would be a surprise if the final tally didn't resemble something closer to the 2008 turnout. And remember, Pellerin said "more than 30,000 uncounted ballots." The actual number of ballots that have not yet been counted could be much higher than that.
In order to break the Santa Cruz County voter turnout record set in the 2008 election, there would need to be 137,478 ballots cast this year, meaning there would still need to be 55,207 oustanding ballots.
The ballots that have not yet been counted include some mail-in ballots, provisional ballots, damaged ballots, military ballots and overseas ballots.
The county will provide a more accurate count of the outstanding ballots on Nov. 9, and will have all votes accounted for by Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.