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As ballot count continues, San Diego election results still unclear

With San Diego County officials still counting hundreds of thousands of mail ballots, final results in some close races — such as the 49th Congressional District and the city of San Diego’s Measures B and C — might not be known for a week or so.

In the 49th District, Levin was leading by two percentage points Wednesday, a narrower margin than in earlier returns on election night.

In San Diego, two contentious ballot measures remained very close. Measure B, which would end no-fee trash pickup for single-family homes, was trailing by just under a percentage point. The race for Measure C, which would lift the 30-foot building height limit in the Midway District, was tighter still, with 50.15 percent of votes in favor and 49.85 percent against.

Officials have projected turnout of 60 percent for this election. By Wednesday morning, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters had released results totaling about half of that, with 565,982 ballots counted — representing 29.4 percent of the county’s 1.9 million registered voters.

The first batch of results released on election night included mail ballots received before Election Day, along with ballots cast at vote centers during early voting between Oct. 29 and Nov. 7.

After the polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, workers packed up all ballots cast in person at the vote centers that day and delivered them to the registrar’s office. The next sets of election returns released late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning reflected ballots cast in person on Election Day.

If turnout is as expected, that would still leave about half a million ballots to be counted before final election results are announced, the registrar’s office said.

County officials said that figure is a projection based on the number of mail ballots they have already received by mail, in ballot drop boxes and at vote centers, as well as on the numbers of ballots cast in previous elections.

In last year’s gubernatorial recall election, 59.93 percent of registered voters in San Diego County cast ballots, and in the 2018 midterm that figure was 66.42 percent.

Under California law, all registered voters receive a mail ballot, and the vast majority of San Diego voters cast their ballots by mail. In the June primary, more than 93 percent of voters cast mail ballots.

Some of those remaining ballots have already arrived at the registrar’s office and are ready to be counted, while others are still in the mail.

By law, any ballot postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 15 is valid, so additional ballots will trickle in over the next week. All provisional ballots cast on Election Day must also be verified and counted.

The county’s next release of unofficial results is scheduled to be posted by 5 p.m. on Thursday, and additional releases may take place every two days after that.

California law requires election results to be certified by Dec. 8, and the registrar said it will use the next month until then to ensure the results are accurate. The final certified results will be posted on that date.

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