Overview of Results Reporting for May 4, 2021 Special Mail Ballot Election
Election results may take up to thirty days to finalize. Find out why below.
Results are not final at the end of election night. This means that the election night results may be different from the final results.
The Election Night results report will be released at 8:10 p.m. on election night. This report will include Vote by Mail ballots received in the mail and returned at Vote Centers and Drop Boxes prior to Election Day, May 4, 2021 and most Vote Center ballots. See the election results page for exactly which ballots will be included in the results on election night.
During the days and weeks following Election Day, the remaining ballots are counted. These ballots include Vote by Mail ballots received on and after Election Day along with any conditional voter registration ballots and provisional ballots. Under California Elections Code, the Elections Office can count Vote by Mail ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day and received no later than three days after Election Day.
On the Friday after the election, updated results will be posted at 4:30 p.m. Results will continue to be update on days listed in the election release schedule. See the election results page for the schedule of updates to the results. Election results are not final until all eligible ballots are counted.
All Vote by Mail ballot envelope signatures must be verified, ballots extracted from their envelopes, and then scanned before the results can be reported. Conditional voter registration and provisional ballots must be reviewed before the voter’s eligibility can be confirmed and the ballot counted.
Vote by Mail ballots can be “challenged” for a number of reasons, such as the signature on the ballot envelope not matching the voter registration record, or because the voter didn’t sign the ballot envelope. Outreach is done for all voters where there is a signature issue. A voter whose ballot has been “challenged” due to a signature issue can verify their signature until 5 p.m. two days before the election is certified.
One Percent Manual Tally
The one percent manual tally is a legally required election audit that takes place after the polls have closed on Election Day to ensure the accuracy of the vote before the official results are certified. The procedure begins with the randomized selection of precincts from Vote Centers and batches of Vote by Mail ballots through a dice roll using three ten-sided dice. Ballots will then be tallied by hand to verify the reported results. For each contest not included in the one percent manual tally, an additional voting precinct or batch with that contest will be tallied.
Certification of the Election
The results are scheduled to be certified on Thursday, June 3, 2021.