Controller Race: Perez’s Lead Expands, Mendocino not yet Logged; Sonoma Count will wait a week, Yee Looks Strong.

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UPDATE 3 (4:15 p.m. 6/18):

OK, Mendocino has now been logged, along with additional results from Butte, Siskiyou, Monterey — and Orange(?) (I thought that we were done last Friday!) All of those updates leave Perez up by 932.

Yee’s margin in Monterey ends up being 6,170, or 12.9%.

Based on CalNewsroom’s report — — the remaining ballots in Lake County (pro-Perez) will be largely be offset by those in Humboldt (pro-Yee.) The remaining ballots in Los Angeles and Fresno Counties (pro-Perez) will largely be offset by those in Placer (pro-Yee). The big 14,000-vote tally from Contra Costa is likely to be a push.  (This presumes for now that all provisionals count.  They won’t — and that generally helps Yee.)

So the question is whether the combined total from Yee-dominated Santa Cruz and Marin (average of about 15.3% for 13,500 votes) and Yee-leaning Sonoma and Yolo (35,000, about Yee +4.3%) will exceed 932 plus whatever barrel-scrapings Perez might or might not manage from the rest of the state. Without examining the barrel-scrapings, a straight projection suggests that it will — by about 2,500 votes. That would be a margin of a little over .06%.

UPDATE 2 (6:00):  With the Counties of Butte, El Dorado, and Monterey now reporting, Perez’s total grows to 859,226 and Yee’s to 857,537.  This update cuts Perez’s lead by only 103, to 1,689.  Butte (which had had 527 uncounted votes) and El Dorado (which had had 206) weren’t even mentioned in the analysis below.  Monterey had been projected to bring in about 1060 votes for Yee, so this is disappointing for her.  As a marker (one that I wish I had also calculated earlier today, so I could estimate how many votes came in from Monterey!), the total number of votes cast in the Controller’s race is now 3,947,857.

UPDATE: Instead of what should have happened (as described in the original story, after the photo), and what probably still will happen, Los Angeles County came in big this afternoon for John Perez. Meanwhile, despite its results being there for the picking, Mendocino County was not included in the Secretary of State’s 2:21 p.m. update.  Only San Francisco, Yuba, and a big chunk of LA have come in today.  As a result, Perez has opened up a lead of 1,792.  We can say now even more than before, though, that it won’t likely last.

Let’s focus on the big Kahuna.  Here’s what the LA results looked like this morning:

   JOHN A PEREZ                       Pref: DEM             191,248    27.88
   ASHLEY SWEARENGIN                  Pref: REP             167,971    24.49
   BETTY T YEE                        Pref: DEM             157,731    22.99
   DAVID EVANS                        Pref: REP              99,672    14.53
   LAURA WELLS                        Pref: GRN              37,053     5.40
   TAMMY D BLAIR                      Pref: DEM              32,332     4.71

And here’s what they look like now:

   JOHN A PEREZ                       Pref: DEM             197,456    27.92
   ASHLEY SWEARENGIN                  Pref: REP             172,799    24.43
   BETTY T YEE                        Pref: DEM             162,529    22.98
   DAVID EVANS                        Pref: REP             102,555    14.50
   LAURA WELLS                        Pref: GRN              38,470     5.44
   TAMMY D BLAIR                      Pref: DEM              33,476     4.73

Do the math — we know you like it! — and you see that Perez has gained 6,208 votes and Yee 4,798 votes — a net gain of 1,410 for Perez.  That’s important — but there’s something else important too — the overall total of new votes counted, which gives us a sense of how much powder LA has left in its arsenal.  (That’s why all six candidates are listed above.)

The total ballots cast for LA County went from 792,115 to 817,449, an increase of 25,334.  Of those new ballots, 84.0% — 21,278 — cast a vote for Controller.  Including gains for Swearengin, Evans, Wells, and Blair, LA’s total vote in the race rose from 686,007 to 707,285.

So, how much does LA have left in its tank?  Los Angeles started out the week with an estimated 30,232 uncounted ballots, 23,430 of them provisionals — not all of which will count.  So, if every provisional was counted, LA could have as many as 6,802 ballots left — of which 84%, or 5,714, would be expected to have votes for Controller.  Estimating 28% cast for Perez and 23% for Yee, Perez would get a boost of another 286 votes, leaving him with a lead of 2,078.  If more provisionals are disqualified, they would reduce that number — with the greater proportional loss probably coming from Perez.

And, as you’ll see from the original article posted below, Perez has already lost 756 of that margin with the results in Mendocino County (plus the draw in Santa Barbara.)  So that would leave Perez with an estimated lead of at most 1,322 while we await Humboldt, Sonoma, and the other counties.

Sonoma leans  almost as much towards Yee (4.6%) as Los Angeles does towards Perez (4.9%), which — with 28,000 ballots outstanding, probably makes up that margin right there.  If not, and taking out LA and Mendocino, the seven other counties with the most outstanding votes should do the job for Yee.  The largest two — San Joaquin and Contra Costa, with a combined 36,000 outstanding votes — are pretty much evenly split between the two candidates with a tilt of less than half a percent towards Yee.  But the other five favor Yee.  Placer (8,500, +3.8%), Monterey (8,160, +13%),  Santa Cruz (7,270, +16.9%), Yolo (7,180, +3.3%), and Marin (6,200, +13.8%) offer a combined 37,300 votes with about a 10% lean towards Yee — meaning another 3,700 for her margin.  Another 40,000 or so outstanding votes in other counties may remain — but Perez is not likely to gain ground there, as they tend to lean towards Yee.

Perez needed a touchdown and a two-point conversion from the Los Angeles results to win the race (barring a somehow successful recount.)  He kicked a field goal.  Barring the highly unexpected, Yee will win.

Mendocino County Line

Mendocino finishes its count to put Betty Yee up by 376. The Sonoma County line of ballots left to count is longer.

Original story, as of noon on June 17:

Virtually nothing is happening on the Secretary of State’s website showing the ballot count in the Controller’s race, where Democrats John Perez and Betty Yee are vying for the right to take on Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin in November.  And it looks like it will be at least another week before we know the outcome.

But OJB can report that, based on what is currently listed on the websites of counties that haven’t reported since the week of the election and comparing them to the results on the SOS site, based on what is now known Yee will have once again pulled ahead in the race.

On the SOS site, Perez currently leads Yee by a 380 vote margin — 852,444 to 852,064 — a margin of .022%.  In this morning’s update, Yee gained 8 votes and Perez 0.  Friday afternoon, the margin had been 852,243 to 851,921.  That’s not a whole lot of counting being reported.

The counties of Humboldt, Lake, Madera, Mendocino, Modoc, Placer, Sierra, Sonoma, and Trinity still haven’t reported since their Final Election Night Updates (FENU) two weeks ago tonight.  Santa Barbara hasn’t reported in since Friday, Jun 6.  Every other county has reported late enough that it makes sense that it was their final report, although only six counties — Riverside and San Bernardino, as well as Glenn, Lassen, Napa, and Stanislaus —  have officially closed their books.  Some people appear to have a fix on how many ballots Los Angeles still has outstanding, but so far as I can tell that information isn’t available on its County Clerk’s website.

News sites have largely stopped writing about what’s going on.

So, out of desperation, I did something I don’t usually do: reporting.

First, I called the Sonoma County Clerk’s office, as Sonoma is reportedly the county with enough ballots left outstanding to counter whatever happens in Los Angeles, and asked them what was going on.  They said that they don’t report interim results after their FENU report; they wait until they’re done.  When will they be done?  Maybe in a week.  Definitely not the entire (what the person I spoke to reminded me is an) allowable 28-day period!

So, until then, we will most likely not know the outcome.  I didn’t call Humboldt, Lake, Madera, Modoc, Placer, Sierra, and Trinity — but their county page vote totals match the ones currently on the SOS site, so their policy may be similar to Sonoma’s.

Two other counties did apparently finalize their results, though, without it yet being reflected on the SOS page.

In Santa Barbara, Yee’s total grew from 13,543 votes to 13,846 votes — and increase of 303 votes.  Perez’s total, meanwhile, grew from 12,556 to 12,861 votes — an increase of 305 votes.  So that increases Perez’s margin by … 2 votes!

In Mendocino, though, Perez’s total grew from 1.546 votes to 2,915 votes — an increase of 1,369.  Yee’s total, though, grew from 2,228 votes to 4,353 votes — an increase of 2,125.  Yee thus picks up 756 votes on Perez in Mendocino — or 754 in both Mendocino and Santa Barbara.

That means that, unless additional counties report some numbers in time to make it into an update later today, Perez’s lead of 380 votes becomes a deficit of 376.

Remember — each candidate can, at their discretion, choose to recount only parts of the state.  So, if it stays this close, maybe a Perez recount in Los Angeles and Imperial might be forthcoming.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)