Close 2018 Races Report, 11/28: Running Out of Steam


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Not a reflection on the pace of the vote count, which is admirable. Just some amusing memery.

Notable results and non-results:

  • Ashleigh Aitken has cut her deficit against Harry Sidhu from 527 to 484, but that’s with only 341 new ballots counted in the Mayor’s race.  The vote share between Aitken and Sidhu remained at about 56% of the total vote.  (Interestingly, the two candidates who outperformed today were Robert Williams and Rudy Gaono, the main African-American and Mexican-ancestry candidates, which may tell us something about the provisional ballots.)
  • So without further ado, let’s go down to “What’s Left to Vote?”  Ooh, just 12,2o6 ballots left to count, of which  11,689 (95.8%) are in the critical combined (I believe) category of provisionals and conditional voter registrations.
  • The proportion of the ballots containing votes in the Anaheim Mayoral race remains at a remarkably consistent 7.4%.  If that holds up — and look at the section in green below for reasons think that it might increase — then that means that Anaheim can expect only 903 more ballots.  If that comes to pass, we’d expect her to narrow the gap by about 114 more votes, which means that she’d lose by 370 votes.

OK, this next section is a repeat from last time:

  • That projection is not a good sign for Ashleigh, but let’s go through the numbers anyway.
  • Here are the obstacles for her:
    • Not all of those votes will be counted; for some, verification will be unsuccessful or impossible to conduct.
    • We can’t presume that all of those votes are from Anaheim.
    • Even if they are from Anaheim, some may not have voted in the Mayor’s race.
    • Even if they voted in the Mayor’s race, some may not have voted for one of the top two candidates.
    • Even if they voted for either Sidhu or Aitken, not enough may have voted for Aitken.

So does that means its over?  Probably — but not definitely.  The question is whether the remaining ballots are a representative sample of what has come before.  I don’t know — and I’m certainly not going to trust anonymous comments from other blogs by people claiming to know.

Here’s the scenario where Ashleigh wins:

Vote count observers supportive of the Sidhu campaign — and yes, we’d probably be talking about those associated with Disney, because this would be expensive and who else? — could have been challenging these ballots disproportionately from Anaheim.  (For all we know, all of the other ballots in this category have been done.)  They would probably be challenging ballots from certain districts, if they know them, but might simply be challenging ballots from new voters (if they have that information handy) or simply those with female or Latino names.

When a ballot is challenged, a process goes into effect that takes some time to complete.  (I know that this is true of absentees and I believe that it is also true of provisionals.  Could be wrong.)  Now, which ballots would likely be around at the very end of the election (with the exception of damaged ballots)?  Those that had been challenged, right?  It’s not clear that there is an organized effort to challenge ballots anywhere else in the county — or in Anaheim, though I have anecdotal reports — and if there was one in Janet Nguyen’s district it would have been given up days ago as futile.

So these remaining ballots could be very unlike those that have already been counted.  To use a gross analogy, it’s like the last teaspoons-full from a large tumbler of water that has been drunk by a three-year-old child are probably going to be quite different in composition from the first teaspoons-full that could have been skimmed from the top of the container before the backwash and slobbering commenced.

  • Ashleigh could win if:
    • something like the above scenario of ballot challenges did occur
    • it was solely, mainly, or at least substantially focuses on ballots from Anaheim
    • the ballot challenges were biased toward delay or disqualification of the counting of Democratic ballots
    • those ballots that took all of the way to the end to count are more likely to be for the Democrat among the two front-runners than previous ballots

This just doesn’t seem entirely unlikely.  If the lawyers and other observers did a good job of targeting ballots for challenges — and Disney could afford the best, right? — then this is exactly what they would intend to happen.  This is why Republicans in Florida call for a premature end to counting ballots.  And part of a benefit of this (wholly unethical and arguably illegal) procedure is that it makes people believe that a late swing to the Democrat came about by fraud — when it actually came about through biased challenges leading to a skewed sample of ballots being counted last.

So: probably over.  Doesn’t look good for Ashleigh.  Still possible!

More results below!

WHAT’S LEFT TO COUNT?

Total Ballots Left to Count

Total estimated number of ballots to count (after Election Day): 478,911Total estimated number of ballots counted (after Election Day): 466,705

Total Estimated Left to Count: 12,206

Vote-by-Mail Left to Count

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots to count: 127200Total vote-by-mail ballots counted: 127,090

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 110

Provisionals Left to Count

Total estimated number of provisionals to count: 123,000Total provisionals counted: 114,397

Total estimated number of provisionals left to count: 8,603

Vote-by-Mail Returned at Polling Places Left to Count

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls to count: 191,300

Total vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls counted: 191,253

Total estimated number of vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls left to count: 47

Election Day Paper Left to Count

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots to count: 13200Total election day paper ballots counted: 13,115

Total estimated number of election day paper ballots left to count: 85

Eligible Vote-by-Mail Ballots received after Election Day Left to Count

Total estimated number of eligible vote-by-mail ballots received after Election Day left to count: 20,947

Total eligible vote-by-mail ballots counted: 20,672

Total estimated number of eligible vote-by-mail ballots left to count: 27

Conditional Voter Registrations Left to Count

Total estimated number of Conditional Voter Registrations to count: 3,264

Total eligible Conditional Voter Registrations counted: 178

Total estimated number of Conditional Voter Registrations left to count: 3,086

ALL OF THE REMAINING CLOSE CONTESTS! (~1%)

Here are the downballot races that are still close.  I have generally included the static numbers from Tuesday’s OC ROV report and the Secretary of State’s office (for multi-county races) and the trend from the previous reports on Saturday.  In each race, the name in orange is currently barely in and the one in magenta is currently barely out.  (I’m somewhat arbitrarily and selectively drawing the line right around “under 2%,” down 1% from the previous day’s criterion.)

If you know anything interesting about these races and why we should care about them, please speak up!

But let’s start by adding a close county contest to the list that absolutely does not matter — except that it’s probably the result that will be discussed long after the rest of these are forgotten.  Will OC go Blue for Governor?

Governor
Completed Precincts: 1546 of 1546
Vote Count Percentage
GAVIN NEWSOM (DEM) 538,405 50.1%
JOHN H. COX (REP) 536,485 49.9%

This is for bragging rights only.  I’d say that given late trends, it’s almost sure that Newsom does take OC.  Are we therefore “blue”?  Well, we did also go blue in all of the other state executive races except for Insurance Commissioner and Board of Equalization, but I think that we’ll have a better answer in either 2022 or 2026, when Trump is out of our system.  At any rate, at the local level, we’re clearly not.

LAGUNA BEACH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 31 of 31
Vote Count Percentage
* CAROL NORMANDIN 5,857 21.9%
* DEE NAMBA PERRY 5,646 21.1%
JAMES J. KELLY 5,490 20.5%
CHRISTINE DE BRETTEVILLE 5,459 20.4%
MARK NELSON 3,560 13.3%
HOWARD HILLS (W) 751 2.8%

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate, if any

Normandin picked up 35 votes, Perry 21, Kelly 28, and De Bretteville 32.  Kelly’s lead dropped from 35 to 31.  I don’t think that she catches him, but we don’t know if there’s a cache of ballots still out there from this district.  They’re probably running (or ran) out of ballots, but we’ll keep watching.

LOS ALAMITOS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 35 of 35
Vote Count Percentage
MARLYS DAVIDSON 10,348 26.5%
* DIANA D. HILL 9,585 24.5%
* JEFFREY I. BARKE 9,552 24.4%
OLAINA ANDERSON 6,816 17.4%
CONNOR SWAN SMITH 2,817 7.2%

Hill picks up 17.  Barke gains 20.  Margin shrinks from 36 to 33.  We’ll keep watching.

SADDLEBACK VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 128 of 128
Vote Count Percentage
BARBARA SCHULMAN 38,999 32.4%
GREG KUNATH 28,307 23.5%
DAN WALSH 27,144 22.6%
* DENNIS P WALSH 25,881 21.5%

Schulman picks up 142.  Kunath up 96.  Dan Walsh gains 119.  Margin falls from 1,155 to 1,163.  No matter: we’re calling this one over.

FULLERTON JOINT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 1
Completed Precincts: 9 of 9
Vote Count Percentage
REGINA CUADRA 4,272 50.8%
CHESTER JENG 4,141 49.2%

 

FULLERTON JOINT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 1
Completed Precincts: 9 of 9
Vote Count Percentage
REGINA CUADRA 4,247 50.7%
CHESTER JENG 4,130 49.3%
Fullerton Joint Union High School District Governing Board Member, Trustee Area No. 1  LA VOTE!
Candidate(s) Votes Percent
Chester Jeng (N) 2,012 52.85%
Regina Cuadra (N) 1,795 47.15%

Jeng up 217 in LA (down 13), minus Cuadra by 131 (up 14) in OC, equals Jeng up by 86 — down from 113.  That’s a drop of 27, on top of the previous drop of 25, so we’ll keep watching!

HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 37 of 37
Vote Count Percentage
* PAUL R. MORROW 17,536 25.5%
DIANA MARKS 14,515 21.1%
* SHARI KOWALKE 13,612 19.8%
JENNIFER HAYDEN 13,414 19.5%
KARRIE BURROUGHS 9,702 14.1%

Marks adds 43 and is safe.  Kowalke adds 40.  Hayden adds 35.  Lead up to 198.

OCEAN VIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 41 of 41
Vote Count Percentage
* PATRICIA SINGER 17,966 24.6%
* JOHN BRISCOE 15,739 21.5%
* JACK C. SOUDERS 15,431 21.1%
GRACEY VAN DER MARK 12,794 17.5%
KATE HOLMES 11,172 15.3%

This looks over, but we’ll keep watching it because the final margin might matter to future elections.  Singer is safe.  Briscoe adds 20.  Souders adds 26.  VDMark 33.  Margin shrinks from 644 to 637.  Decisive, but one wants even more!

County Supervisor, 4th District
Completed Precincts: 276 of 276
Vote Count Percentage
DOUG CHAFFEE 76,549 50.4%
TIM SHAW 75,283 49.6%

Chaffee adds 363, Shaw ads 337.  I guess I just want to know the final margin here.

CITY OF ANAHEIM Mayor
Completed Precincts: 129 of 129
Vote Count Percentage
HARRY SIDHU 26,389 32.5%
ASHLEIGH AITKEN 25,905 31.9%
LORRI GALLOWAY 12,338 15.2%
CYNTHIA WARD 7,114 8.8%
H. FUJI SHIOURA 3,016 3.7%
ROBERT WILLIAMS 2,818 3.5%
RUDY GAONA 2,501 3.1%
TONY D. MARTIN 1,197 1.5%

See my discussion up at the top of the post.  Very likely Sidhu.

CITY OF BUENA PARK Member, City Council, District 1
Completed Precincts: 8 of 8
Vote Count Percentage
SUNNY YOUNGSUN PARK 1,552 34.8%
* VIRGINIA VAUGHN 1,542 34.6%
W. “VAL” SADOWINSKI 1,366 30.6%

These are from provisional ballots, which by definition are cast on election day.  The margin fell from 14 to 10; Park gained 7, Vaughn 11, and Val 14.  Despite her late troubles, Park is winning in the provisionals.  This is nerve-wracking, but we’ll keep watching.

CITY OF LAGUNA BEACH Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 16 of 16
Vote Count Percentage
PETER BLAKE 4,808 14.7%
* TONI ISEMAN 4,741 14.5%
SUE KEMPF 4,429 13.6%
ANN CHRISTOPH 4,183 12.8%
CHERYL KINSMAN 3,996 12.3%
JUDIE MANCUSO 2,786 8.5%
* ROBERT “ROB” ZUR SCHMIEDE 2,184 6.7%
PAUL MERRITT 2,041 6.3%
LORENE LAGUNA 1,398 4.3%
SUE MARIE CONNOLLY 719 2.2%
ELIZABETH “LIZ” BATES 547 1.7%
ALLISON T. MATHEWS 520 1.6%
JORG DUBIN (W) 252 0.8%

Kempf adds 17, Christoph  16.  Margin now at 246.  Hey, is this over?  Looks over to me.

CITY OF LAGUNA WOODS Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 11 of 11
Vote Count Percentage
* CAROL MOORE 5,439 35.2%
* JOE RAINEY 5,034 32.6%
JUDITH P. TROUTMAN 4,957 32.1%

Moore up by 14, Rainey by 7, Troutman by 9.  Pretty much done, but maybe there’s a cache of ballots out there still to count.

CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH Member, City Council, District 3
Completed Precincts: 76 of 76
Vote Count Percentage
* MARSHALL “DUFFY” DUFFIELD 18,427 50.1%
TIM STOAKS 18,383 49.9%

Duffy continues to widen his lead, picking up 79 to 57 for Stoaks.  Is it dissipated surfers that are voting provisionals for Duffy?  Whatever it is, after trailing most of the way he’s starting to look inevitable.

CITY OF SAN CLEMENTE Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 28 of 28
Vote Count Percentage
DAN BANE 12,121 16.4%
LAURA FERGUSON 8,690 11.7%
* KATHY WARD 8,096 10.9%
GENE W. JAMES 7,448 10.1%
BERNIE WOHLFARTH 5,964 8.1%
WAYNE EGGLESTON 5,958 8.0%
JACKSON HINKLE 5,780 7.8%
JAKE RYBCZYK 5,368 7.2%
DON BROWN 5,261 7.1%
MIKII RATHMANN 4,009 5.4%
ED WARD 3,273 4.4%
TIFFANY JOY ROBSON LEET 2,077 2.8%

Ward up 41, James up 34.  Ward’s still looking good for third.

CITY OF SANTA ANA Mayor
Completed Precincts: 78 of 78
Vote Count Percentage
* MIGUEL A. PULIDO 28,223 50.6%
SAL TINAJERO 27,520 49.4%

Pulido picks up 129; Tinajero gains 146; the margin drops by 17 to 703.  As with Anaheim, challenged provisionals may be at play here, but so far Tinajero’s late gains are so far coming too slowly to make up the deficit.  He has certainly vindicated the faith that many of us had that he would be Pulido’s strongest opponent — and, with Pulido termed out, a plausible successor.  (Well, except that multiple Democrats running will likely split the vote.)

 

CAPISTRANO BAY COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT Director
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 1 of 1
Vote Count Percentage
* MIKE HAACK 47 25.8%
ARDESHIR IRANI 38 20.9%
PATRICK MC NULTY 28 15.4%
CHARLOTTE M. BLOOM 24 13.2%
ROBERT H. BANCROFT 23 12.6%
* KURTIS BREEDING 22 12.1%

No change.

IRVINE RANCH WATER DISTRICT Director
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 246 of 246
Vote Count Percentage
* DOUG REINHART 65,547 26.0%
* STEVE LAMAR 63,620 25.3%
* PEER A. SWAN 53,954 21.4%
ANDREW R. POLLARD 51,983 20.6%
RICHARD A. VANZINI 16,849 6.7%

Swan picks up 247; Pollard gains 275.  Pollard has been gaining in the late ballors, but not nearly enough.  We just want to be absolutely sure on this one, so no early call.

MOULTON NIGUEL WATER DISTRICT Director
Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 86 of 86
Vote Count Percentage
KELLY JENNINGS 31,310 24.1%
* DONALD R. FROELICH 29,356 22.6%
WILLIAM “BILL” MOORHEAD 24,817 19.1%
KEN MADDOX 23,241 17.9%
JOEL BISHOP 11,280 8.7%
SHERRY WANNINGER 9,976 7.7%

Moorhead picks up 80,  Maddox gains 81.  Is over.

L-City of Anaheim, Initiative Ordinance to Increase Minimum Wage
Completed Precincts: 129 of 129
Vote Count Percentage
Yes 45,146 54.2%
No 38,193 45.8%

YES adds 226 votes.  NO adds 111 votes.  Margin jumps from  6,838 to 6,953.  I’m only leaving this up here because of the probable correlation to the Mayoral vote.


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 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. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. 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. A family member 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.)