If you ever thought your vote didn’t really matter, Tuesday’s election is another reminder that it does. Or at least, it can.

As of late Thursday, Democratic Attorney General candidate Kamala Harris was leading Republican Steve Cooley by one-tenth of a percentage point.

In the East Bay’s 11th Congressional district, incumbent Democrat Jerry McNerney leads Republican challenger David Harmer by just 134 votes — a virtual tie.

The Secretary of State’s office has no idea how many ballots are still to be tallied by counties. Could be tens of thousands, could be a million — mostly absentee ballots dropped off at polling places on election day. Los Angeles County alone has nearly 400,000 ballots to count.

Local officials have until the end of November to finish counting … but the State has asked counties to update their numbers by Friday, November 5.

Of course this isn’t new. In the 1990 Attorney General’s race, San Francisco D.A. Arlo Smith led Republican Dan Lungren by 29,000 votes after election day. But Smith ended up losing to Lungren by a similar margin after all the votes were counted — more than two weeks after the election.

And in 2002 it took about three weeks for Democrat Steve Westly to finally win his race for State Controller over Republican Tom McClintock.

So, it could be a while until we have finality. Of course, then there’s always the chance of a recall.

Attorney General, 11th Congressional Races: Still Counting 4 November,2010Scott Shafer


Scott Shafer

Scott Shafer migrated to KQED in 1998 after extended stints in politics and government to host The California¬† Report. Now he covers those things and more as senior editor for KQED’s Politics and Government Desk. When he’s not asking questions you’ll often find him in a pool playing water polo. Find him on Twitter @scottshafer

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