Controller’s Race, UPDATE 9: Santa Cruz in, All Others In, Now Trawling for Lake


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We’re waiting for the news today on any substantive updates in counting the ballots in the Controller’s race — which doesn’t have to be finished this week, prior to any recount, but is expected to do so. Updates will be posted below, above the pretty picture.

UPDATE 9:  I’m moving to a new item soon, so I want this up front.   The Sacramento Bee has important news for from Lake County for obsessive-compulsive election returns watchers:

Diane Fridley, the Lake County registrar, said Tuesday that the office plans to process 5,263 vote-by-mail ballots Thursday morning and will sometime later deal with 743 provisional and 47 damaged ballots. The office will finish its work no later than next Tuesday’s deadline, said Fridley, who is on light duty following surgery and has only a skeleton staff to help with the ballot work.
I don’t know about you, but I saw the Game of Thrones finale and I do NOT want a staff of skeletons counting our ballots!

UPDATE 8:  As CCCs continue to trickle in, it’s now Yee by 861, up from 857 or down from 867 earlier today, or maybe both.  This morning, it was Contra Costa — I knew they’d be trouble!  They’ve also pasted a target on themselves — if they had an eight-vote move with a 1% canvass (and I presume that that’s what they just did), then they might be considered a ripe target for a recount, on “well maybe the other 99% will give Perez 792 more votes!” sort of logic.  Later, I’ll try to explain statistics to the Perez campaign to head off that logic.

Los Angeles has reported in again, without reporting more votes for either Perez or Yee, and remains in CCU status.  Now so has Humboldt — still CCU.  Monterey reported in today; it was already CCC and it still is.  Nothing is changing the numbers.  Only six counties are still CCU: Amador, Humboldt, Los Angeles, San Benito, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

Los Angeles is finally on the “Completed” list, meaning only Lake and San Benito — with it’s 4 outstanding votes — remain.  (I think that San Benito is mocking us.)

I’ll have “updates within the update” as more CCC counties appear today.  Adding Imperial, San Luis Obispo (already CCC), Tulare (already CCC), Inyo, Plumas, Humboldt, Trinity, Yolo….  None of these are changing the numbers either.

My sympathies to Ms. Fridley on her surgery … but surely the California Secretary of State’s office can send out a non-partisan commando squad to finish up the last 790 for her, couldn’t it?  We’re a pretty civilized state — and Lake County’s probably a pretty nice place to be this time of year.

UPDATE 7: New CCC counties (grayed out from the list below): Del Norte, Mariposa, Sacramento, San Diego, and Tehama.  Santa Clara is still CCU — funny, it wasn’t on my list before; I wonder if it reverted — so I’ll add it now, along with newly CCU Trinity.  The upshot of all those changes is that Yee’s margin is now 877,244 to 876,379, which means that it has narrowed by 2 votes to 865.  The SecState’s site still lists San Benito (4 votes) and Los Angeles (110 votes) on the “uncounted list” along with Lake; it sure looked to me like both came in already.

That’s probably it for tonight; rumor is that Lake says it ain’t coming in until July 4.  Send Yee and Perez in to finish the count themselves!  (Heavily supervised, of course!)

UPDATE 6: This will continue to be the main “results reporting” post for now, but do check out the new story I just posted about how reports that Perez could  erase Yee’s margin based on his Election Day performance in Lake County are very very wrong.

Also, Alpine and Santa Cruz, which were already done, reported in again for some reason late this morning.  It didn’t change the score.  I’ll include more updates here in #6 for a while so long as they’re nothing major.

UPDATE 5: Yee’s margin is now 867, up by 29.  Alpine and Sonoma have both attained CCC status.  Perhaps more importantly, Trinity County is in — though it’s still at CCU status.  Yee won Trinity by 622-442.   OJB had projected Trinity to add 26 votes for Yee, so 29 is obviously within range.

So now Lake is apparently all alone.  Can it really give Perez an 867-vote margin to tie things up?

While CalNewsroom and “Fox and Hounds” have made much of the fact that Perez’s Election Day margin in Lake County was about twice as high as the 7.4% the County currently shows, 87% of Lake County’s 6,053 outstanding ballots are “vote by mail” ballots rather than provisionals or the like, so a 7.4% advantage for Perez — netting Perez 448 votes — still seems like a pretty appropriate estimate for them.  That 6000+ figure represents almost 40% of Lake’s total vote; it’s not that likely to be wholly discrepant from the other 60%!

As noted in the original posting (below the picture), based on the rate for existing ballots, if all 6,053 ballots are counted we’d expect 5,583 of them to cast a vote in the Controller’s race.  Of the entire  9,703 already counted, 23.97% cast votes for Perez and 17.13% cast votes for Yee.  Apply those same percentages to the 6.053 votes left (if all count) and we get 1,451 votes for Perez and 1,057 for Yee — a difference of 394.   Yee would win by 473 votes.  For 474 votes, Perez would need to increase his total by 237 and reduce Yee’s by the same amount, leaving a margin of 1688 to 820.  I doubt that he can more than double her up — but who knows what’s happening up there in Lakeport?  If Yee falls behind and demands a recount at all, it will be here.

ALSO: Interesting story here by Cal Newsroom’s John Hrabe speculating on whether the San Francisco Transit Workers’ Election Day sick-out took a bunch of votes from Betty Yee.  It probably did, so the question is: was it intended to?  I sure hope not.

UPDATE 4:  All counties except San Benito and Los Angeles (which seem to be done), Trinity (which seems to claim to be done but is still marked as FENU) and Lake (definitely FENU) show no more uncompleted ballots.

Here’s the list of CCU counties remaining so we can tick them off (and recolor them as gray) as they convert to CCC status and perhaps slightly jiggle Betty Yee’s current 838-vote lead:

Alpine, Amador, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Tehama, Tulare, Trinity, and Yolo.

Ahhh — Contra Costa and Humboldt, Sacramento and Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma and Tehama!  It seems like only yesterday.  Good times, good times.

UPDATE 3:  Yee is now up by 838 votes.  Amador and Santa Cruz both reported in — both remain at CCU status.  I don’t know if the Santa Cruz count is completed, but that’s my guess.  But they were supposed to bring in 188 votes and this is only an increase of 177 — so where did the other 11 votes go?

The other counties that reported in as now having CCC status since the last update are: Colusa, Kern, Kings, and Sutter.  (So Sutter may be responsible for the 11 net votes for Perez.)  The other counties that reported in since Los Angeles (still CCU) at 1:26 p.m. today without going to CCC status, along with Amador and Santa Cruz, were Sacramento and San Benito.  I presume that this means that both are done except for the 1% canvass.

So, while the CCU counties could come back with more votes even prior to the minor adjustments accompanying the canvass, and the CCC counties apparently can spring back to life, it looks like it’s down to tiny Trinity and big Lake.  With 838 votes to make up, I don’t think that Lake is big enough.

UPDATE 2:  Two more counties have updated results.  One is Los Angeles and the other is … Orange?  I thought that we were already CCC…completed!  Oh well, whatever has happened in our county (and my guess is that it was fixing a small clerical error somewhere), it does not seem to have affected the Controller’s race.  Los Angeles’s results are here:

   JOHN A PEREZ                       Pref: DEM             198,444    27.84
   ASHLEY SWEARENGIN                  Pref: REP             175,078    24.56
   BETTY T YEE                        Pref: DEM             163,619    22.95
   DAVID EVANS                        Pref: REP             103,252    14.48
   LAURA WELLS                        Pref: GRN              38,777     5.44
   TAMMY D BLAIR                      Pref: DEM              33,721     4.73

Our previous reading from our northern and western neighbor was this:

   JOHN A PEREZ                       Pref: DEM             198,417    27.84
   ASHLEY SWEARENGIN                  Pref: REP             175,052    24.56
   BETTY T YEE                        Pref: DEM             163,591    22.95
   DAVID EVANS                        Pref: REP             103,247    14.48
   LAURA WELLS                        Pref: GRN              38,770     5.44
   TAMMY D BLAIR                      Pref: DEM              33,717     4.73

That’s 94 more votes in the race, about what one would expect from 110 new provisional ballots counted, so I expect that LA is done.  On the list at the bottom of this page, I’ve colored it green.  Yee got 28 more votes to 27 for Perez, so her lead is now 661.

UPDATE 1:  Six more counties, as of 10:40, have joined the “CCC” ranks: Calaveras, Fresno, Monterey, Placer, Santa Barbara and Tulare.  Two, Lake and Trinity, remain officially in the “FENU” ranks, though Trinity appears to deny it.  That means that 22 counties remain in the “CCU” ranks.  If the six that came in so far today are any guide, the ones that had been listed as “completed” won’t cause much trouble.  They’re listed in the previous post on the race; I’ll note them here only if they do something notable.

Lake County

They really know how to relax up in Lake County, especially when they are counting votes.

So far we’ve only had three counties convert to CCC status and Fresno — which was supposed to be completed — putting in another CCU update, all of which left Betty Yee up by 660.  To repeat our final update from over the weekend,  Cal Newsroom informed us that Santa Cruz did come in Friday evening after all — and the news was a little disappointing for Betty Yee.

Here’s what things looked like before the update:

Vote Count Percent
DEM – BETTY T. YEE 15,319 36.2%
REP – DAVID EVANS 8,325 19.7%
DEM – JOHN A. PÉREZ 8,160 19.3%
GRN – LAURA WELLS 4,330 10.2%
REP – ASHLEY SWEARENGIN 3,895 9.5%
DEM – TAMMY D. BLAIR 2,248 5.3%
WRITE-IN 64 0.15%
Total 43,562 100%

And here’s what they looked like afterwards

Vote Count Percent
DEM – BETTY T. YEE 15,724 36.10%
REP – DAVID EVANS 8,551 19.63%
DEM – JOHN A. PÉREZ 8,381 19.24%
GRN – LAURA WELLS 4,518 10.37%
REP – ASHLEY SWEARENGIN 3,994 9.17%
DEM – TAMMY D. BLAIR 2,330 5.35%
WRITE-IN 64 0.15%
Total 43,562 100.00%

So, Yee’s added votes were 405 and Perez’s 221 — a net increase of 184 compared to the 270 that had been projected.  (Actually, 1,230 more from Santa Cruz had initially been projected, but I fixed that.)

Amador County also brought in 4 more votes for Yee, 13-9.  So we’re at 188.

Add that 188 to the previous 659 and Yee’s total with six counties left is 847.  What’s left?  We’ll leave Lake County for last.

Trinity is projected to bring in 26 net votes for Yee.   (A handwritten note on its report says that it’s done, but the numbers haven’t changed since election night and the Secretary of State says it still has 521 votes outstanding, so I’m going with the SOS.)  Sutter should bring in 19 net votes for Perez and Los Angeles 5 more, meaning 24.  San Mateo’s 4 votes are expected to split 1 for Perez and 1 for Yee — if anything.  Let’s call those four counties a push and go to Lake County.

Lake County has 6,053 votes out: 5,263 VBM, 743 provisional, and 47 “other.”  It has had a 7.4% advantage for Perez so far — and since these are mostly VBMs out, that’s probably a decent estimate of what’s out there.  Multiply it out and we see an expectation of 448 more net votes for Perez — which would mean a Yee victory margin of 395.  If those five other counties with outstanding votes equal out to 0, what percentage of the Lake County vote does Perez need to tie?

Lake County has thus far cast 8,950 votes in the Controller’s race, out of  9,703 cast and counted overall — meaning that 92.24% of its ballots include a vote for Controller.  So let’s expect 5,583 of those votes to count.  Let’s toss out three provisionals as rejected, making it 5,580.  55.44% of those votes, or 3094, would be expected to go to the other four candidates, leaving 2,486 to be divided between Yee and Perez — 1,243 apiece if they split them 50-50.

So, if all but three of the ballots count and if the same proportion include votes for Controller and if the other four candidates take the same proportion of the vote as they have before — then for Perez to undo a margin of 843 (we’ll call it 844 votes to eliminate the fraction) votes he would need to win the two candidate vote by a margin of 1243+422 to 1243-422.  That’s a raw vote total of 1665 to 821, and that’s 67.0 % of the two-person vote — a 34% margin, or beating her more than two to one!

It’s possible, but not likely.  Yee took 64.7% of the final 2-person vote in Santa Cruz — but that county had had her up by 16.9% before it’s update, and Perez was only up in Lake by 7.4%.  So I still think that Yee wins by triple digits — 395 votes — but the low triple digits wouldn’t surprise me, and double digits wouldn’t shock me.  And so the likelihood of a full or partial recount rises.

So here’s where we stand, with seven counties “out” but two of them (in blue for now) actually “in.”

Amador (122) — Y+1.2% = +2 [County site says +4]
Lake (6053) — P+7.4 = -448
Los Angeles (110) — P+4.9 = 5
San Mateo (4) — expected 0 net change
Santa Cruz (1600) — Y+16.9 = +270 [County site says +184]
Sutter (468) — P+4.0 = -19
Trinity (521) — Y+5.0 = +26

Updates will be posted up at the top as they occur.


About Greg Diamond

Prolix worker's rights and government accountability attorney and General Counsel of CATER. His anti-corruption work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, leading them to work with the Democratic Party of Orange County Chair and other co-conspirators (who had long detested the internal oversight his presence provided) to remove him from the position of DPOC North Vice Chair of in violation of party rules and any semblance of due process. He also runs for office sometimes. Unless otherwise specifically stated, none of his writings prior to that lawless putsch ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Beautiful Bountiful Brea, but while he may brag about it he generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for candidates including Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and (except where noted) without compensation.