Yesterday someone tweeted at us:
Has anyone wondered WHY it takes longer to count votes than years past? Shouldn’t we be getting faster as technology evolves. Why doesn’t this seem to matter to anyone? Other countries like Brazil have their results in a day or two but here we are….— Darren J London (@DRL707) November 9, 2022
It’s a fair question! We assayed an answer:
Because it takes more time to verify/process/tally vote-by-mail ballots, which are now ubiquitous. Funny you mention Brazil — they do everything electronically, no paper trail. It’s quick, but there are downsides!— Lost Coast Outpost (@LCOutpost) November 9, 2022
Yes, technology is amazing, but we made a conscious decision not use technology to its full effect in this realm of our lives. And for good reasons! One reason: We want to make voting as easy and accessible to as many people as possible. Second reason: We want to make sure the vote is accurate and secure. And that means poring over lots and lots of individual ballots and records to make sure that no one attempted to vote twice, or to vote if they are not eligible to vote, and etc.
Way back when, early in the electronic voting machine era, the county had machines that could beam their tally back to home base via the Internet right after the polls closed. But then the world cottoned on to the fact that there were such things as hackers, and some of those hackers were taking an interest in the electoral system. So, instead, the county never let those machines go online. Instead, they physically drove them back to Elections HQ after the polls closed, pulled their SD cards and plugged them into a secure computer to count the vote. That took longer. Mail ballots, of course, take much longer still.
So here we are! There are at least three high-profile local races that we won’t know the results of until, perhaps, weeks from now. They are:
|CLERK-RECORDER/REGISTRAR OF VOTERS|
|EUREKA CITY COUNCIL, THIRD WARD|
|EUREKA CITY COUNCIL, FIFTH WARD|
Someone has won, but we don’t yet know who. Anyone can make a semi-educated guess, based on the way that late-counted votes have historically leaned leftward, but we only have one example of that in the post-pandemic, universal vote-by-mail era, and in at least one of these cases it’s hard to know what “leftward” means. Plus the fact that there are untold tens of thousands of votes left to count.
Do you think you know who has won these races? If so, please let us know by telling us via one or more of the following pollz.