Breaking News
More () »

This is why it takes a while to count ballots in California

California has made access to voting very easy and that requires more time to verify.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Some people have questioned why it takes so much longer in California to certify votes, when some other states were able to call all races the same night. 

The simple answer is that California has made it incredibly easy to vote. Every registered voter gets a mail in ballot sent to them, and it doesn’t even have to arrive by Election Day, as long as it’s postmarked by Election Day.

In some states like Florida, you need to request an absentee ballot and if it doesn’t arrive to the facility by the close of polls it doesn’t count. 

Sacramento County Spokesperson Janna Haynes said it’s time for the voter’s mindset to change. 

"We are no longer in an Election Day model," Haynes said. "We are in an election month, or even six to eight weeks, because of the time that elapses between when ballots go out and when we have to certify."

San Diego County Registrar Cynthia Paes agreed. 

"Elections are not a one day event anymore," Paes said. "There's multiple days to vote. If you return your ballot even just a week early, it will be in that county election night. So we are encouraging voters to act early."

One of the main reasons: mail in ballots.

"We have to take several extra steps in order to verify the eligibility of our vote by mail ballots before we can actually count them," Haynes said. "That does take longer, but really, it just means that more people have the opportunity to have their voice heard."

The counties plan on releasing another round of ballot results Friday evening, and have until December 8th to certify the election. 

"We definitely think there should be clear resolution it within the next week for any close contests," Paes said.

Sacramento County is expecting to take a little bit longer than San Diego. 

"While it may not take us every single one of those days to certify the election, we do anticipate that it will take us the bulk of that time," Haynes said. "We still have about 250,000 ballots left to process and tabulate. That's almost twice what we had actually tabulated on the first release of results."

And those votes could make the difference is some close races from the local to the national level. 

There are still 16 congressional seats that have not been called in California yet. 

Some, like the 13th district, there’s less than 300 ballots between the two candidates. In Southern California, there's a race that has a one percent margin. 

California is the state with the most outstanding races not called, so all eyes are on some of they key races here in the Golden State. 

RELATED: CA Props | Live Election Results for Nov 2022

RELATED: Newsom wins California's Governor Race: 2022 Election Results

Watch Related: The red wave that wasn't | Breaking down the midterm election results (Nov 9, 2022)

Before You Leave, Check This Out