As you may have heard or read, there were about 30,000 ballots counted on election night and there are just under 25,000 remaining to be counted in late mail-in ballots, mail ballots which were dropped off at voting precincts, and provisional/conditional ballots.  Everyone wants to know how it will affect various races.

First, the percentages/proportions shouldn’t be too far off what they are.  Anybody with a 5 percentage or more lead is absolutely safe barring a freakish statistical anomaly.  Very likely anybody with a 2 percent or higher lead is safe.  So how does this affect measure K?

I went to the county elections site to check on the numbers in 2014 and 2016.

Again, the late counted votes are about 45 percent of the votes.  I’ve never seen that before.  But setting aside the percentage, in 2016 the late counted votes were about 25 thousand – lower percentage than this year because the election day and early absentees in 16 numbered about 35,000 – 5000 more than were counted this last Tuesday (which is typical of a Presidential election).

In 2014 there were about the same number of election night counted votes as this year, but the later counted votes numbered only about 9000 – a little over a third of this year’s votes.  So basically, the early absentees and election day voting numbers were the same, but we have triple the people submitting mail-ins later or provisional ballots (caveat – not all of the latter will be counted, but I have no idea how many).

So that had me worried.  Why the lack of a difference in the first group but the dramatic increase in the second group?

One answer is we now have same day voting, but I think those are the “conditional” ballots” which only number in the hundreds not thousands from what I’ve heard.

I don’t have any other explanations except for increased interest of the people who tend to vote by mail ballot close to the election. In the past, this group tends to be more progressive than early voters – and maybe just slightly less progressive than same day voters.

The early voters this year opposed K by about 10 percent.  The precinct election day voters supported K by about 14 percent.  Hopefully the 24,000 will support measure K by 12 or 13 percent – if past trends hold.

In 2014 the countywide votes for Governor Jerry Brown increased by 1 percent from final election night report to final cumulative report due to the 9000 late votes counted.

My heart sank when I first glanced at the 2016 figures – from election night final to final cumulative the percentage of countywide votes for Clinton decreased by a percentage point.  But also, the votes for Trump dropped about the same! Meanwhile the Green Party percentage increased by 1 percent and write-ins for Bernie increased by 2 percent!  In other words – the late counted ballots seem to be disproportionately represented by procrastinating hippies!  And maybe students.

So, I can’t ever be absolutely sure until they’re counted.  Was there a last-minute rush of mail-in ballot conservative voters terrified of the caravan?  I can’t completely exclude the possibility, but I think that’s highly unlikely.

You can check all the numbers yourself through this link.