California is still counting votes from Super Tuesday. Experts say that’s normal

By Melissa Goldin,
AP News,
March 15, 2024


CLAIM: California is still counting votes more than a week after the March 5 primary, a sign the election was rigged.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. It is not unusual for California’s vote count to extend long past Election Day and there has been no indication of widespread fraud in this year’s primaries, experts told The Associated Press. Factors that contribute to this lengthy process include the large number of people who vote by mail, provisional ballots and signature verification.

THE FACTS: More than a week since Super Tuesday, social media users are erroneously claiming that California’s ongoing vote count is a sign of nefarious activities related to its March 5 primaries.

“CA now doesn’t know the winner of its Senate primary race 9 days later,” reads one X post that had received approximately 26,000 likes and 11,200 shares as of Friday, the day after it was published. “CA’s elections are RIGGED.”

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County officials have until April 2, 2024, to report final results of the presidential primaries to the Secretary of State and until April 5, 2024, for all other races. The Secretary of State must certify the entire election by April 12, 2024.

Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for equal access to voting and more funding for elections, noted that when a race is close in the state, it highlights the lengthy vote count. A race with a wide enough margin can be called before all the votes are tallied, but that’s not so for ones that are neck and neck.

“Just because something’s slow doesn’t mean that something’s questionable,” she said. “It’s just taking time.”

At the same time, Alexander acknowledged that the slow count “can be very frustrating” for campaigns, voters and election staff. She pointed out that it “opens up the process to criticism and false claims of fraud” and advocated for finding ways to speed up the task.

The California Secretary of State’s Office told the AP in a statement that “there is nothing about vote tallies changing prior to certification of election results that constitutes fraud.” It further explained that the state “has an extensive review process that requires more than placing a ballot through a machine.”

Bryant, Alexander and the Secretary of State’s Office all said they have seen no indication of widespread fraud in this year’s primary elections.

There were 499,847 unprocessed ballots statewide as of 5:18 p.m. on March 14, the latest available data. Processing had been completed for more than 7 million, according to the data. (Full Story)