Monday Morning Thoughts: Yolo, What’s the Hold-Up?

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Woodland, CA – I finally started asking people—current and former public officials, doesn’t it seem like Yolo County takes unduly long to finish its vote tallies?  While Davis doesn’t have any nailbiters, there are some around the county.

According to a release from Yolo County, “The next unofficial election updates will be Tuesday, November 15th and Friday, November 18th by 5:00 p.m.”

In their release, they said, “This election, there was an immense amount of vote by mail ballots returned on Election Day (via the mail, Ballot Drop Box and dropped off at Vote Centers) as well as an unprecedented amount of conditional and provisional ballots (primarily due to same day voter registrations associated with UC Davis students) that will require additional verification and staff time.”

“As such, it is estimated that our office will need the entire 30 days to officially certify the election results,” said Jesse Salinas, Yolo County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters. “Every effort will be made to provide unofficial updates frequently and to certify the election as soon as possible.”

With the tightness of the national races the last few cycles, those of us who follow this stuff closely see how the rest of the country operates.  I’m sure I was not the only person watching for the next drop in Arizona on Friday night and the next drop in Nevada on Saturday that finally led the Senate to be called for the Democrats.

Just about the entire state of Nevada—with multiple super tight races—is now done, except for cured and provisional ballots.

States like Arizona and Nevada were having daily drops from various counties.  Yolo County in the meantime has not even had its first drop.

California clearly is a bit slower—particularly with same day registration and the need to check those ballots.

But, we have seen a number of updates in the nailbiter campaign in Los Angeles for mayor.  We saw updates in Alameda County on Thursday where the DA’s race is too close to call and even San Francisco where the DA’s race isn’t that close but other key races are in doubt.  Across the state, we are waiting on key close congressional races to finalize their vote totals—but just about all them have had multiple updates since Election Day.

In Yolo, there has been no update since Wednesday.  Not only that, the first vote drop was at 8:30 on Tuesday and the next one was not until nearly 1:30 am.  Nothing since.

Yesterday a former public official noted on social media, “Yolo County Elections office understanding of providing updates as they process ballots seems to be different than EVERY OTHER ELECTIONS OFFICE IN THE USA. They gave a count Wednesday morning and their next planned release of numbers isn’t until Tuesday Nov. 15. Really, this is the best Yolo County can do?”

This is a yearly occurrence.  And the griping each time gets louder by people in the community—even those not inclined to grip normally.

Is this a personnel issue?  Do they need more canvassers?  It would be helpful to hear from the office as to how these things can be expedited.

We want them to get these things right of course—it just seems like everywhere else in the country figured out how to do it more expeditiously than Yolo.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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