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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Automated Registration Starts at DMV in April – Here’s a Few Facts

March 30, 2018 - In just a few days visitors to DMV will experience a new addition when conducting transactions – proactive voter registration options. In 2015 California’s new “Motor Voter” bill was signed into law. However, it could not go into effect until California’s statewide voter database was operational and data issues were solved.

Now, when people conduct driver’s license transactions, they will also be asked to affirm their eligibility to vote and will be given the choice of opting out of registering at that time. If individuals do not opt out the data will be transmitted to the Secretary of State, where eligibility will be verified and names will be added to the voter rolls.

This is not “automatic” registration, such as in Oregon, where people do not have the option to opt out at their local DMV. For the system to be operational, California’s DMV and Secretary of State must ensure that the appropriate firewalls are in place to not register people that are not eligible.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

California Ballot Rotations 101

March 24, 2018 - California has one of the most complicated rotation laws in the country - the order of candidates on the ballot will rotate, depending on where voters live in Orange County.  For most contests we arrange the names of the candidates according to the randomized alphabet for the First Assembly District.  Then for each succeeding Assembly District, the name appearing first in the last preceding Assembly District will be placed last, while the order of the other names will remain unchanged. Got all of that? The practical effect is that while a candidate may enjoy first position on the ballot in one city, they may be last in the neighboring city.

You can view the random draws on our website.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Voting System Test for Lake Forest Special Recall Election

December 18, 2017 - Accuracy testing of Orange County's voting system will take place Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. for the January 2, 2018 City of Lake Forest Special Recall Election.

The Logic and Accuracy test is required by law to be performed prior to each election. Logic and Accuracy tests will include proofing the programming of the ballot, each ballot style and each contest position on the ballot (in this case a single ballot style and a single contest). All previous tests of the voting system have proven it to be 100% accurate.

The process is open to the public.

WHAT: Logic and Accuracy Test

WHEN: Tuesday, December 26, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Orange County Registrar of Voters, 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana, CA

 

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Public Notice of Random Draw for Lake Forest Special Recall Election

December 18, 2017 - Pursuant to California Election Code section 15360 (d) this serves as public notice that we will be conducting a random draw of 1% of our precincts in the January 2, 2018 City of Lake Forest Special Recall Election to be used in a manual tally of votes cast. This manual tally is used to verify the electronic tally of our voting system and the vote-by-mail tally system. The random draw will occur on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. The manual tallies will follow the random draw and will take place until complete. Both processes are open to the public. Our office is located at 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana, California.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Cancellation of Measure "OO", City of San Clemente, Increase in "Hotel" Guest Tax Recount

December 9, 2016 - Today the City of San Clemente officially withdrew their request for a recount of the ballots cast in the 2016 November 8th General Election, Measure OO - City of San Clemente, Increase in "Hotel" Guest Tax contest.

The recount was scheduled to begin on Monday, December 12, 2016 beginning at 9 a.m. and is now cancelled. The final, official certified results of the San Clemente election can be found on our website at ocvote.com.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Public Notice Measure "OO", City of San Clemente, Increase in "Hotel" Guest Tax Recount

December 7, 2016 - Pursuant to California Elections Code section 15628 the Orange County Registrar of Voters will be conducting a recount of the ballots cast in the 2016 November 8th General Election, Measure OO - City of San Clemente, Increase in "Hotel" Guest Tax contest.

The election was conducted on November 8, 2016. The recount process will begin at the Registrar of Voters office, 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana, on Monday, December 12, 2016 beginning at 9 a.m. Details on the recount status will be located on our website at ocvote.com.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

November 8th Presidential General Election final ballot counting complete and certified

December 6, 2016 – Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley has just certified the official results of the Presidential General Election held on November 8, 2016.

Total turnout from the election was 80.7% with 45.3% of voters casting their ballot by mail and 33.6% of voters voting in their polling place. 2% of voters chose to vote early in one of six Orange County Vote Centers. In the 2012 Presidential General overall turnout was 67.3%, vote-by-mail voting was 34.2% and polling place voting was 32.8%.

The Orange County Registrar of Voters produces detailed reports focusing on overall turnout, turnout by precinct, turnout by districts, turnout by cities, and more. These detailed reports can be found in the "Results" section by visiting ocvote.com.

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Post Election Rundown: Some facts about OC turnout and precinct comparisons

November 27, 2016 - Overall turnout for the 2016 Presidential Election is currently 10.2% higher than the 2012 Presidential Election. Overall turnout for the 29th State Senate District is 12.9% higher than the 2012 Presidential Election. A fact often overlooked is our extensive list maintenance that took place in 2013 - reducing overall registration by 350,000 countywide. The practical effect? In 2012, a precinct with 500 registered voters and 135 voters voting, would show a turnout of 26%. That same precinct, in 2016, with 350 registered voters and the same number voting (135) would show a turnout of 37.14%.

We've taken a close look at the 318 precincts that have the same precinct number in both 2012 and 2016, and have at least 1 voter registered in the 29th Senate District.

155 of these precincts had a percentage change in turnout greater than 12.9%, which would be expected, since this is near the median. Some precincts have seen a large increase in turnout percentages for various reasons. Below are examples representing the precincts with the highest increase in turnout percentage:

  • Precinct 13091 saw an increase of 50% turnout, which is the highest increase in this district. In 2012, the precinct had 6 registered voters, and 3 votes. In 2016, there are 3 registered voters and 3 votes.
  • Precinct 17628 had the next highest increase in percentage turnout. The current percentage turnout in this precinct is actually lower than the average turnout for the 29th State Senate District. The reason for the sharp increase is due to a low turnout in 2012. The low turnout in 2012 can be attributed to an unusually large turnout in precinct 17624, which was at the same polling place. Although voters were given a correct ballot, the precinct number was incorrectly reported as 17624.
  • Precinct 13391 had an increase in turnout percentage of 33.6%. The boundaries of this precinct changed in 2016 due to recent changes in district boundaries. The registration dropped from 547 voters to 86 voters, and this precinct became an all vote-by-mail ballot precinct. 

The examples above demonstrate the reasons for large changes in turnout percentage. 

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Post Election Rundown: What's the latest on our post-election ballot counting?

November 19, 2016 - As of this morning we have approximately 92,484 ballots left to count. Here's the breakdown of those ballots:

Vote-by-mail ballots: 2,277
Vote-by-mail ballots dropped off at polls: 5,227
Provisional ballots: 83,376 
Election Day paper ballots: 1,342
Late eligible ballots: 262

The vast majority of paper ballots left are in two categories:

1.  Needing duplication (the ballot was damaged and could not be scanned, it was a military ballot voted on a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, or there are extraneous identifying marks on the ballot)
2.  They are orphan ballots and must be matched with the missing page

The bulk of ballots left are provisional ballots - these ballots have been sorted by cities (not districts within cities) and Assembly and Senate districts. We are currently working on the 29th Senate District race and the 49th Congressional District race. As of last night we have about 11,000 provisional ballots remaining in the 29th SD and 5,200 in the 49th CD. Our operations will continue today with our next update scheduled for 5pm on Monday.

A rundown of ballot estimates left can be found here. 

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Orange County Elections
Orange County Elections

Post Election Rundown: Sorry, what is an "orphan ballot" and how can it effect an election?

November 19, 2016 - There are many phases to post election ballot counting - especially as you begin the process of final checks prior to certification. As races narrow, any change can be dramatically highlighted - but they can happen.

Orphan ballots are single page ballots that "might" be missing their second page. This can generally happen in one of two ways:

1.  The voter (and this is the most common) mails their two-page ballot in with only a single page included.
2.  During high-speed processing the first or second page of a two page ballot becomes separated during the processing.

Because we must scan a complete ballot during the bulk of ballot processing, orphan ballots are set aside, or "rejected".  Once we have completed the majority of ballot scanning we then go on the hunt for the missing ballot pages. This is not finding a needle in a haystack, it's finding a kernel of rice in a wheat field. Although it sounds daunting, we have perfected this process. We utilize teams, armed with barcode scanners, and we begin the painstaking process of searching through about 670,000 paper ballots, or 1.2 million sheets of paper, looking for those single "orphan ballots".

What if the voter truly did not return the second page? Once we have made that determination then just the page that was returned is scanned. But if we do find the second page then we scan it as a "single ballot". This is how a very tight race can change by one or two votes all the way to final certification.

Who said elections were easy?

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