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California votes still being counted

The New York Times reported that votes from the California primary on February 5th are still being counted.

Officials throughout the state were overloaded with absentee ballots and have had to go through a slow process of getting them accounted for. Stephen Weir, the registrar in Contra Costa County, just east of San Francisco, has spent the past two weeks ironing out ballots to get them ready to be counted.

“Last election, the clerk ironed about 13,000 ballots,? Weir said. “You’re getting back ballots that are coffee- and God-knows-what-stained. That slows things down, too.? (New York Times)

A high voter turnout and millions of mailed-in ballots has caused slow returns in many counties. In all, 800,000 ballots still need to be processed, election officials said.

In Los Angeles County, around 205,000 mail-in ballots still need tallied. In addition, state officials don’t know what to do with 49,000 ballots that don’t say which party they voted for.

California law allows independent voters to vote in primaries for the Democratic and American Independent Parties. However, they cannot vote for the Republican Party. Voters were supposed to mark which party they were voting for, but many did not.

The results from the primaries, however, are not being questioned. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Democratic Party delegates and Senator John McCain won the Republican Party delegates.

The Vallejo Times Herald reported that it is not unusual for votes to take a while to be counted, according to Napa Registrar of Voters John Tutuer. Tutuer said that many votes come in a few days before the primary and it takes time to sort out the ballots.

The final results will be posted at the end of the month, said Tutuer.