Even after CNN projected on Wednesday that Republicans will win the House majority, five House races in California remained uncalled. That raises a perennial question: Why does it take California so long to count its votes?
More than a week after Election Day, attention turned to some of the outstanding races in California. Tuesday was the last day that county election officials could accept ballots that were postmarked on or before Election Day – meaning the Golden State is just getting started counting some of those late-arriving ballots.
California now mails every registered voter a ballot, a practice that began in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic and ultimately became permanent in September 2021 in an effort to increase voter access and participation. Under state law, ballots postmarked on or before Election Day must be accepted by county elections offices for seven days after polls close.