California Elections Attorney/Official Says Be Patient – May Be Millions of Votes Left to Count

The 2020 General Election was the first all-mail-in-ballot election under California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s then-executive order, now a law. Since then, many voters still are not sure about the process. And after Tuesday’s California Primary Election, many voters have reservations.

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The Globe spoke with Audrey Martin, an Elections attorney and Elections official for the Republican National Lawyers Association who works on election integrity, as well as with many county registrars.

Martin says California does mail-in voting well.

I told her that right before the 2020 General election I visited the Sacramento County’s Voter Registraton and Election office to learn what happens after a mail-in ballot is dropped off.

What I witnessed was a sophisticated production process replete with checks and double checks.

Martin agreed. She said she doesn’t necessarily agree with all of California’s voting laws, but most county registrars “are very well run.”

Martin said not all county voter registrars have the same computerized capabilities as Sacramento, so when some counties were sharing early totals on Election night, others still had bags of ballots stacked throughout their offices which had not yet been processed and counted.

“Theoretically there could be a lot of ballots to process – it’s usually a big number,” Martin said. Maybe millions? She said with so many people waiting to drop off their ballot, or mailing it on Tuesday, “it takes much more time by registrars on the back end.”

And this happens “because it is so easy to vote in California,” Martin said. There are many options, which also means people don’t always know the way to vote, particularly those who always voted on Election Day in person. The voting-by-mail for them just isn’t clear. For many, they are worried that their mailed ballot doesn’t get to the registrar, so they show up in person on Election Day to cast their vote. Martin said this takes county registrars so much extra time because they have to check the voter logs against the mailed ballots.

In the  Sacramento County’s Voter Registraton and Election office, ballots collected from the more than 170 official collection boxes around the county are sorted by precinct. Those ballots go next to employees operating the machines that slice open the return envelope, and a poof of air allows the operator to lift the ballot out, while a second operator separates but saves the envelope, which are used later for audits.

The ballots are scanned into the computer system, and voter signatures on the envelope are matched to the voter’s signature in the county elections system. If the operator feels the signatures don’t match, the voter is mailed a new signature page, which they fill out and send back.

Deep inside of the elections offices is a production center which resembles the production process in a printing plant bindery. Operators feed ballot return envelopes in stacks into a large machine which scans them, and separates by batches and precincts. Other operators act as auditors along the way. And there are phone banks of employees taking calls about the process.

There are employees in teams of two who analyze the actual ballot for any votes “X’d” out as a mistake, looking for voter intent. If they cannot make out the voter intent, it is left blank.

All of these operations are monitored by “Big Brother” – cameras in every room, from several angles.

With so many outstanding ballots, and 36 days to count them, expect some of the races to tighten up, or other candidates to pull away with bigger leads.


  1. Today June 10, 2022.
    San Luis Obispo (SLO) County is still counting.
    SLO County voter turn out was reported at an exceedingly low % (between 10 & 20%) of registered voters.
    It doesn’t make good sense.
    If there are fewer ballots cast than normal, why does it take longer to count?

    KFBK radio Sacramento reported that San Joaquin County is also still counting.


  2. Disgusted Voter and Tax Payer says

    That’s so they can bring in more of “their” ballots – to change what we ALL voted in the first place!!! Those who count the ballots, control the election!!!! And – PLEASE – don’t bother to try and educate me on the legitimacy of CA elections, I’ve worked them!!!!!!

  3. Mail in ballets and “electronic” voting machines SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!! If you want to, Constitutionally vote, get your fat ass down to your voting poll place. We’ve been doing this for the last 200+ years and have been doing just fine. I’m sure the fasist, communist dems don’t like it, but it’s the only way to get away from the dems voter fraud every year.

  4. Really??? says

    It is a low turn out. If this has been the trend since mail ballots have been available why continue.

    It the numbers are not there then they have failed. Unless the use of the dead, moved out of state, illegals voting is the end game.

    And I believe that is the case.


  6. tracker1 says

    The biggest factor I found in this election was the number of unknowns that contaminated the ballot. That combined with poor information on who is who and what each party feels is the strength of their candidate. The cost of providing that information has become prohibitive for many of the campaigns or the candidate does not provide that information in the sent out public generated pamphlets. Most confusing and often resulting in the only known name on the ballot getting the most votes. There needs to be an on line forum where that information can be read or perhaps refuted when it is lies. There must be other options that would provide the public with additional valid information??

    • Mr. Pickle says

      Agree. On lower ticket elections, rural counties usually – only lists of ONE person running unchallenged. It has a section that ONLY registered persons can be voted in as a Write In Vote, thus confusion. If I don’t want the person who is listed, writing in Mickey Mouse fails, or any other name thus leaving the sole person listed as choice. If left blank, then ripe for somebody to fill in the dot. What we need in this case, is for another line item that says NOT VOTING on the line, thus expression you don’t want to vote. Most DO vote for the person w/o knowledge of who they are, and since down ticket does NOT list R/D/G, etc. as is a non partisan listing is not shown. This needs to be corrected. Same example if you don’t like ANY of the governor candidates. What then? Ripe for fraud if you leave blank……….. Just Say’in!

  7. Mr. Pickle says

    Thinking more on this, perhaps we need MILITARY presence at each counting center. Observation and presence could change cheating, as another set of eyes are watching. To me, changing a vote aka cheating is TERRORISM. As they say, foreign & domestic which changes things from state to federal criminal activity, ESPECIALLY in swing states………. Just my 2 cents.. After 2020, I don’t TRUST the systems. Remember the 18 Wheeler guy, couldn’t get anybody to sign for trailers full of ballots, and the driver under penalty of perjury put his name to it, then the votes changed by a huge amount, and the trailers mysteriously vanished from the face of the earth……………

  8. john kindseth says

    Simple process….If Gavin Gruesom is for it, it has to be crooked.

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