OC Election Update: Time To Call Senate District 29 For Ling Ling Chang

After yesterday’s OC Registrar of Voters update, it’s highly likely Democrat Josh Newman’s unlikely political journey has come to an end – and it’s time to start addressing Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang as Senator.

29,746 ballots have been counted in the last two days, and Newman is not only failing to close the gap – he is falling further behind. At this stage of the game, if you aren’t gaining ground, you’re losing ground because the universe of uncounted ballots is only getting smaller – meaning the percentage the second-place candidate has to capture keeps getting bigger.

Congratulations to Ling Ling Chang, who once again has emerged victorious from a bitter and hugely expensive election battle.

Anaheim Districts 1 and 3
Tait Slate candidate Denise Barnes once again expanded her lead over Steve Chavez Lodge. Yesterday, the neophyte candidate led by 183 votes. 443 ballots were counted and now she is ahead by 187 votes.

It’s near-certain Barnes will take this. She’s been expanding her lead for the last week, and the universe of uncounted ballots is dwindling, meaning Lodge will have to take a huge chunk of those votes in order to prevail.

In District 3, leftist academic Jose F. Moreno picked up 42 votes, whittling Councilman Jordan Brandman’s lead from 279 to 237 votes.

The question is whether there are enough uncounted ballots in District 3 to allow Moreno to overtake Brandman? It’s hard to say, but odds are Brandman hangs on to win a squeaker.

Lost in that vote watching is the fact that once the four Anaheim city council races are decided, there will be a drawing of straws to determine which district will ex post facto be designated the short-term, two-year seat. When Anaheim expanded the size of the council from four to six members and shifted to by-district elections, one of the four seats on this year’s ballot had to be a two-year term in order to have three council seats up every election cycle. The normal method would have been to designate one of the seats the short-term, two-year seat ahead of time; that’s what Garden Grove did.

However, normal and Anaheim are often strangers – and under the city’s settlement agreement with Moreno and the ACLU, the short-term seat is designated after the election by having the four winners draw straws. Whoever draws the short straw gets a two-year term. If that turns out to be either Brandman or Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring, they will be barred from running again due to the term limit provisions in the city charter.

1st Supervisor District
This contest is also ripe for calling. Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez is making little headway against the substantial lead held by Supervisor Andrew Do:

6,450 ballots were counted in yesterday’s update, and Martinez picked up 200 votes – but still trails Supervisor Do by 5,762 votes.

How Many Votes Left To Count
The OC Registrar of Voters has counted 158,616 ballots since the day after Election Day, and still has 215,781 to go. Those remaining ballots break-down as follows:

4,277 vote-by-mail ballots left (91,529 counted so far).

67,087 vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls left (67,087 counted so far)

108,000 provisional ballots left (none have been counted)

22,500 Election Day paper ballots left (none have been counted)

13,917 vote-by-mail ballots received after Election Day left (none have been counted)


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