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New California Law May Prolong Vote Counts

Tarryn Mento
University Heights resident Kirsten Hubbard votes early in the gubernatorial election at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office, Oct. 31, 2014.

Election Day was two weeks ago, but workers are still counting votes in some California counties. And some close races are still undecided.

Next year, tallying the votes could take even longer. A new California law that takes effect on Jan. 1 will allow election workers to count ballots that arrive up to three days after the election, as long as they're postmarked on or before Election Day. Right now, mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day are not counted.

Kim Alexander is with the non-partisan California Voter Foundation. She supports the new law and says it could mean election workers will have a lot more ballots to count.


"This is good news for voters who've previously been disenfranchised because their ballots have been rejected due to late arrival," Alexander said. "But it's going to be bad news for anxious campaign observers and politicians who are awaiting election results in close contests."

California will join the District of Columbia and 11 other states that count absentee ballots received after Election Day.