Democratic sweep in California raises GOP suspicion

AP NEWS | 11/5/2018 | Staff
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A combination of recent changes in California’s election rules have lengthened the ballot-counting process and upended traditional voting patterns in a year that Democrats captured a string of U.S. House seats in the state.

Suspicious Republicans have pointed a finger at the state’s dominant Democratic Party, suggesting the changes intentionally left Republicans at a disadvantage.

Democrats - Edge - Vote - Counts - California

Whether Democrats have a clear edge is debatable. What’s not is that vote counts in California now routinely stretch long beyond Election Day. A stunning five million ballots, or more than 40 percent of the overall total, were counted after Nov. 6. Some counties still are tabulating ballots.

The stream of later-counted ballots strongly favored Democrats, reversing what initially looked like winning margins for Republican candidates in high-profile House races.

GOP - Stronghold - Orange - County - Republican

In the former GOP stronghold of Orange County, Republican Rep. Mimi Walters ended election night with a 6,200-vote lead. But Democrat Katie Porter swamped Walters as the vote count continued, winning 58 percent of those tallied after Election Day on her way to defeating the two-term incumbent in the 45th District.

In was a similar case in the neighboring 39th District, where Republican Young Kim was hoping to become the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress. But her healthy election-night edge over Democrat Gil Cisneros vanished when Cisneros claimed 56 percent of the later votes on his way to taking the seat long held by retiring Republican Rep. Ed Royce.

Election - Day - Democrats - Sights - Seats

Heading into Election Day Democrats had their sights on seven GOP-held seats in California. They have won six and their candidate in the seventh has declared victory as his margin increased with vote updates this week.

When the new Congress convenes Democrats expect to have 46 of California’s 53 seats. The GOP will have no members in Orange County, long considered conservative holy ground, and also lost their...
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