The Registrar of Voters has counted nearly all non-SB 29 ballots. 450 absentee ballots that arrived in the mail on Election Day have been counted, leaving only 100 left. 3,860 absentee ballots dropped off at the polls have been counted, leaving only 96 left. All 181 Election Day paper ballots cast at the polls have been counted. The 788 provisional ballots are still out there, so 4,481 ballots were counted in the fifth set of results, and only 984 of the non-SB 29 ballots remain. 2,440 SB 29 ballots arrived yesterday, and while there are still some SB 29 ballots that will arrive today and tomorrow, those will be fewer in number than 2,440.
The fifth results (yesterday’s count) show:
|STATE SENATOR 37th District, Short Term|
|Completed Precincts: 248 of 248|
|JOHN M. W. MOORLACH (REP)||36,393||50.3%|
|DONALD P. WAGNER (REP)||31,870||44.1%|
|NAZ NAMAZI (REP)||2,490||3.4%|
|Louise Stewardson (W)||1,589||2.2%|
In the fifth results, Moorlach gained 2,185 votes, Wagner 1,883, Namazi 131, and Stewardson 221. Looked at another way, Moorlach gained 2,185 votes (49.4%) while the other three won 2,235 (50.6%). (61 undervotes/overvotes were counted yesterday, but they don’t count toward the total since they didn’t cast a valid vote.)
In the fourth results (final Election Night count), Moorlach was averting a run-off by 247 votes. In the fifth results (yesterday’s count), Moorlach is averting a run-off by 222 votes.
So after counting 4,481 ballots yesterday, with 3,424 left, plus the small number of SB 29 ballots that will arrive today and tomorrow, it would take an unusual reversal of fortune for Moorlach for a run-off to occur. In every iteration of ballot counts, Moorlach has dropped no lower than 49%. For a run-off to occur, he’d have to drop to 44% or less in the remaining ballots – that’s not going to happen.
With Moorlach’s victory, it appears the road to the California State Senate from Orange County runs through the Hall of Administration. When was the last time an Orange County Supervisor lost a bid for the California State Senate? The last four Supervisors to run for Senate have been successful: Lou Correa in 2006, Patricia Bates and Janet Nguyen in 2014, and John Moorlach in 2015.