How long it may take to get the general election results?

Posted at 9:43 AM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 12:43:16-05

A voter's work is done, but for the Kern County elections office, the counting process is underway. 23ABC's Kristin Vartan has a look at how long it could take before we find out when votes are official.

As of now, we still don't have the official results for the general election in California, so here's the timeline we could be looking at.

"The California system was meant to be slow. It's slow by design for purposes of making sure that fraud isn't being committed. It's slow for purposes for making sure every vote counts. It's slow for purposes of making sure that the franchise of voting is actually protected," said Cal State Bakersfield professor and political analyst Ivy Cargile.

Slow and steady counting will determine the results of the presidential race. The California Secretary of State reports that California has 30 days to verify votes. That means that the presidential and local election results can come in as late as December 3rd.

Provisional ballots and vote-by-mail are the forms of voting responsible for a slower voting process.

"It's not going to add a crazy amount to the time to count, but it does take more time because they need to verify signatures," explained Bakersfield College professor and political analyst Allen Bolar. "They need to verify if you voted in the polling place with a provisional ballot, you didn't also send in a mail-in ballot."

  • The Secretary of State also reports that from Wednesday, November 4th until the 20th, counties like Kern are still collecting and tabulating election results from in-person and vote by mail ballots.
  • Then on November 20th, the final day for vote-by-mail ballots will arrive at each county registrar.
  • November 25th is the last day for the county registrar to notify of challenged ballots.

As of early Wednesday morning, all 694 precincts have voted, and 141,134 ballots have been counted.