Updated 1:15 p.m.: Alameda County Voter Registrar Dave MacDonald estimated today that at least 140,000 ballots must still be counted in the county. MacDonald estimated that about 100,000 of those were absentee ballots that voters dropped off at the polls yesterday. In addition, there are about 40,000 provisional ballots to be counted. Provisionals are ballots given to voters who show up to the wrong polling place.
The 140,000 or so uncounted ballots roughly dovetails with our earlier estimates. The last two general elections indicated that there were likely between 69,000 and 228,000 ballots left to count in Alameda County. And of those, between 24,000 and 41,000 were likely from Oakland.
As of early this morning, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters had counted 399,662 ballots countywide in this year’s election. In 2010, there were 468,483 total ballots cast. And 2008, the last presidential election, there were 628,545 total votes cast in the county. The large difference between the total 2008 vote and the number of ballots counted so far in 2012 is one of the main reasons why we think it’s still too early to call several races.
The total number of votes this year looks like it will be higher than in 2010, when there was no presidential contest. But it appears that this year’s total count will be less than 2008, when Barack Obama first won the presidency.