By JP Crumrine
As of early Friday morning, Nov. 11, about 240,000 ballots from Election Day Nov. 8 remain to be counted. About 10,000 ballots are provisional. As a result, the leaders from Tuesday night have changed in some races and may continue to change as more ballots are counted.
For example, U.S Congressman Ken Calvert now has taken a lead over his Democratic challenger Will Rollins. With about 118,500 votes cast, Calvert’s lead is about 1,300 votes or 1% of counted votes.
In this district, the number of registered voters is 463,351 and turnout, based on ballots counted, has been about 26%. In 2020, with a different district configuration, 368,000 votes were cast in Calvert’s district. Two years earlier, in 2018, 230,000 votes were counted. So between 33% and 50% of the votes in District 41 have likely been counted.
Greg Wallis, Republican candidate for the 47th State Assembly District, drew closer to Christy Holstege, the Democratic candidate. In Riverside County, she maintains an 8,900-vote lead with nearly 75,100 counted. But the San Bernardino portion of the district, about 30% of the total district voters, has strongly supported Wallis. In total, Holstege’s lead is 3,600 votes.
In Riverside County, total ballots counted is about a third of registered voters. Of the remaining uncounted ballots, it is unknown how many are from this Assembly District.
In other state legislative races, Eduardo Garcia, the Democratic Assemblyman, maintains a significant lead over his Republican opponent Ian Weeks. Garcia’s total district vote count is 54.4% or about 4,400 votes However, in Riverside County, Garcia and Weeks are much closer. Only 420 votes separate Weeks from Garcia. In 2018, 63,000 votes were cast in Garcia’s district.
And Republican Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto expanded his lead over Democrat Brian Nash for the 32ndState Senate District seat. Seyarto has 62.2% (90,468 votes) out of nearly 145,325 votes counted.
Riverside County makes up about 80% of the district, which includes portions of Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.
With 844 votes counted for the three Idyllwild Fire Protection District seats, there was no change in the order of the candidates. Newcomer Stephanie Yost is still first, followed by incumbents Rhonda Andrewson and Dan Messina. Commission President Henry Sawicki trails Messina by 34 votes for the third seat and may be upset.
In 2020, turnout was about 92% and 2,350 votes were cast for three candidates. In 2018, about 2,500 votes were cast for four candidates. As of Friday morning, 1,560 votes have been cast for the four candidates.
In the Hemet Unified School District race for District 7, which includes Hill communities, former law enforcement officer Jeremy Parsons leads incumbent Megan Haley and challenger Al Fernandes. Parsons has a 333-vote lead over Haley with 3,600 counted.
In the only Riverside County office race, challenger Brian Benoit has expanded his lead over incumbent Paul Angulo. On Thursday morning, Benoit had 54% of the vote and an 18,900-vote lead over Angulo (46%).
Based on total county registration, turnout appears to be about 33% at this point with more than 200,000 ballots to count
In the race for 5th District supervisor, incumbent and Board President Jeff Hewitt still trails his challenger Yxstian Gutierrez, Moreno Valley mayor, by 2,950 votes with 51,673 counted, about 20% of registered voters in the district.
As of Friday morning, it appears the Democrats swept the statewide races. Every Democratic candidate from Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials, including U.S. Senate, are still ahead. With the exception of Malia M. Cohen, Democrat for controller, all of the Democratic statewide candidates have garnered at least 57% of the vote. Cohen, with a near 450,000-vote lead, had 53.6% of vote in her race.
So, Newsom, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Attorney General Rob Bonta, Treasurer Fiona Ma and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara were all re-elected. Incumbent Tony K. Thurmond will continue as superintendent of Public Instruction.
And Sen. Alex Padilla won his election to finish the term of former senator Vice President Kamala Harris, and won his re-election for a full term beginning in January.
However, in Riverside County, the majority of voters favored the Republican candidate in all of these races. The Republican advantage in Riverside County will not be nearly sufficient to offset the statewide results.
The most recent statewide vote counts have not changed the results for the propositions on the ballot. Three (Props 1, 28, and 31) appear headed for approval and four (26,v27, 29 and 30) are losing.
California voters overwhelming declined Prop 27, the online sports wagering measure. So far, 83.4% of voters chose “No” for Prop 27. Its companion, Prop 26, the sports wagering on Tribal lands proposition, garnered only 69.8% “No” votes also appears defeated.
Prop 29, the third kidney dialysis proposition, could only capture support from 30.1% of voters. The third consecutive defeat for a dialysis measure.
Prop 1, the reproductive freedom amendment to the state Constitution, received a “Yes” from 65.1% of voters. Both Prop 31, prohibition on sale of flavored tobacco products, and Prop 28, directing more funding to art and music education in schools, garnered 62% support.
The closest proposition contest is Prop 30, the tax on high incomes to fund zero-emission vehicles, is trailing with 59.2% opposed.