ORANGE COUNTY, CA — Early voting ballots are in across Orange County, and vote by mail ballots are partially reported as of Wednesday. So how many people voted? In our checkerboard county of red vs. blue districts, Orange County voters showed up at the polls and cast ballots beforehand at polling places and ballot drop boxes to make sure their voices were heard.
According to the Registrar of Voters, nearly 73 percent of registered OC voters turned out to cast their ballots on Nov. 3.
Over 1,288,000 ballots were cast, just under 260,000 of them at voting centers across the county. The preferred voting method in the county was vote by mail ballots that accounted to over 1,028,000 votes delivered via the USPS and drop boxes.
In the presidential race, Orange County voters went decidedly democratic in their selection, tipping their caps toward Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the tune of 54 percent. By comparison, 44.2 percent of Orange County voters selected incumbent President Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Votes cast for Libertarian, Green or American Independent candidates were negligible, and would not have changed the direction of Orange County's vote toward Biden.
Closter to home, from ballot measures to city council races, Orange County made their voices heard in the Nov. 3 election.
As of Wednesday at noon, Newport Beach's Measure Z was trending toward Yes in calling for the addition of Harbor Commission to the Newport Beach City Charter, with 55 percent of the vote saying yes, to 44.8 percent opposed.
Measure BB in San Clemente resoundingly called for term limits among their city council members, with 78 percent voting yes and 21.9 percent opposed.
In an almost even split, Los Alamitos's Measure Y hoped to add a 1.5 cent sales tax and generate a projected $4.1 million a year for providing public safety and neighborhood services, reducing 911 response times. Residents have been counted thus far with 51.1 percent voting yes to 48.9 percent opposed, as of midday Wednesday.
County Supervisors - District 1: There is one seat in play on the County Board of Supervisors: Andrew Do, the incumbent, vs. Sergio Contreras, a Westminster city councilman. Andrew Do won 42.3 percent of the votes in the primary election.
As of Wednesday, incumbent Supervisor Do was in the lead of the vote with 52.7 percent ahead of Sergio Contreras's 47.3 percent.
The District 1 seat consists of Fountain Valley's northern section, Garden Grove, unincorporated Midway City, Santa Ana, and Westminster.
Orange County voters will also weigh in on races for representation in the U.S. Congress.
District 39: Incumbent Cisneros Vs. Kim In A Too Close To Call Race
Voters in the 39th Congressional District, including parts of Northern Orange County, will decide between Gil Cisneros, the incumbent, and Young Kim, a former assemblywoman. In this highly contested race, as of midday Wednesday, Kim was ahead of Cisneros 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent.
45th District: Katie Porter Victorious Over Raths, AP Calls Race
In the 45th District, Katie Porter, Democrat, the incumbent, faced off with Greg Raths, Republican, a councilman in Mission Viejo for the district hit hard by the Silverado Fire in late October.
With 54 percent of the vote over her competitor's 45.7 percent, the AP declared incumbent Katie Porter the victor, once again.
Voters will turn out from Irvine, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, and Rancho Santa Margarita to make their voices heard.
46th District: Correa Wins Over Waters, AP Calls Race
For the 46th District, incumbent Lou Correa, Democrat, faces James S. Waters, Republican, a former postal worker. The district primarily encompasses Santa Ana, Orange, and Anaheim, hard hit by the devastating blow to tourism at Orange County theme parks and subsequent layoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
47th District: Lowenthal Wins Over Briscoe (AP)
The 47th District has incumbent Alan Lowenthal, Democrat, faced off with Republican challenger John Briscoe, school board member of the Ocean View School District. As of noon, Wednesday, 242,416 votes were counted to show Lowenthal won handily in this AP called race. Lowenthal earned 63 percent of the vote compared to Briscoe's 36.9 percent. He will continue to represent North Orange County in a portion of this district, in the cities of Garden Grove, Westminster, Cypress, Los Alamitos.
48th District: Rouda Vs. Steel Race Still Too Close To Call
In the 48th Congressional District, incumbent Harley Rouda, Democrat, faces Michelle Steel, Republican, County Board Of Supervisors Chairwoman. With 336,408 votes counted, up 10 percent from 2016, Steel was ahead with 50 percent of the vote to Rouda's 49.7 percent.
Harley Rouda is best known for ousting long-standing Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher in 2018.
The two faced off in a bitter race, that had Rouda showing an early lead late on election night. By midnight, Steel muscled her way through with a slight lead, showing the slicing division of red vs. blue in the hotly contested stronghold. With Steel making her presence known almost daily amid the coronavirus outbreak in Orange County, as the chairwoman of the board of supervisors, did Rouda do enough across the aisle work to make it matter? This race remains to be called as of this report.
The district includes Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Laguna Niguel.
49th District: Levin Ahead Of Maryott In Too Close To Call Re-Election Bid
Incumbent Mike Levin faced off with Bryan Maryott, a San Juan Capistrano City Councilman, in the battle for the 49th District. With 312,494 votes counted as of noon, Levin has pulled ahead with 54.7 percent of the vote to Maryott's 45.3 percent as of noon, Wednesday.
The 49th spans South Orange County cities of Ladera Ranch, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and north San Diego County.
Two Orange County districts will vote for a State Senator:
State Senate 29th District: Newman Pulls Ahead Of Incumbent Ling Ling Chang (Too close To Call)
29th District - Republican Ling Ling Chang, incumbent, faces Democrat Josh Newman. As of noon, 329,181 votes were counted in this race, up four percent from 2016.
This race is a replay of the vote from 2018, where Chang ousted Newman in a recall. The district includes inland Orange County cities of Cypress, parts of Anaheim, Yorba Linda, as well as SGV cities of Chino Hills and Walnut, all recently hit hard by the Blue Ridge Fire.
State Senate: 37th District: Min Edges Closer To Victory Over Moorlach (Too Close To Call)
37th District - longstanding Republican incumbent John Moorlach is engaged in a too close to call race against Democrat Dave Min, a law professor at UC Irvine. With 448,000 votes counted, up 12 percent from 2016 in this district, Min has, as of noon on Wednesday, garnered 51.9 percent of the vote to Moorlach's 48.1 percent as of this report.
The district includes Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Lake Forest, Foothill Ranch, Irvine, Orange, Villa Park, and Anaheim Hills, who suffered wildfire damage in both the late-October Silverado Fire and Blue Ridge Fire to the north.
Six Orange County Districts Will Vote For State Assembly:
District 65: Quirk-Silva Retains Democratic Seat Over Thacker (AP Called)
65th District - With 158,131 votes counted, up six percent from 2016, the AP called this race for Sharon Quirk-Silva. The democrat and incumbent candidate faced Cynthia Thacker, Republican and retired businesswoman. The district covers a large part of north and inland Orange County, including the cities of Stanton, Cypress, Buena Park, Fullerton, and Placentia.
District 68: Too Close To Call As Choi Edges Toward Victory Over Fox
68th District -Orange County's Registrar of Voters has counted 216,559 votes up 14 percent from the 2016 election for the 68th Assembly District.
As incumbent Steven Choi, Republican, faces Melissa Fox, Democrat, Irvine City Councilwoman, this race is not yet decided, according to the registrar's office. The district includes Lake Forest, Tustin, Villa Park, Orange, and Anaheim Hills.
69th District: Daly Wins Handily Over White (AP)
69th District: With 104,125 votes counted, up 3 percent from 2016, Democrat Tom Daly, incumbent won handily over Jon Paul White, the Republican challenger for the district that encompasses Tustin, Santa Ana, and parts of Anaheim.
72nd District: Nguyen Vs. Nguyen Race Spurs Ballot Uptick By 12 Percent Since 2016
72 District: There were 189,926 votes cast in the race for California's State Assembly 72nd District. In this contested race, Janet Nguyen, Republican and former state senator and former Garden Grove Councilwoman, is in the lead over her challenger, Deidre Nguyen, current Garden Grove councilwoman and Democrat. They battle for the seat left behind by Republican Tyler Diep, who was outvoted in the March primary.
This district includes Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Westminster, Garden Grove, Los Alamitos, and Seal Beach.
Assembly District 73: Davies Wins Over Reinhart (AP)
73rd District: Votes for the hotly contested State Assembly District 73 have been cast, and counted, Wednesday. With 237,987 ballots tallied, up 13 percent from 2016, District 73 has a new Assembly member in Laguna Niguel's Republican Mayor Laurie Davies. She battled democrat Scott Rhinehart, an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.
Davies is the perceived winner of the spot left behind by incumbent Bill Brough, Republican, who was outvoted in March's primary. She will oversee the district that includes San Clemente, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Ladera Ranch, Coto De Caza, Trabuco Canyon, and Mission Viejo.
74th District: Petrie-Norris Vs. Dixon In Heated State Assembly Race - Too Close To Call.
74th District: As of midday, Wednesday, over 226,000 votes were counted for the race of the 74th District of California's State Assembly. This is another record race, where ballots cast have increased by 11 percent from the 2016 election.
Incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris, democrat, had last won 51.4 percent of the votes cast, compared to Diane Dixon's 48.6 percent. Dixon, a Newport Beach City Councilmember threw her hat in the ring to oust Petrie-Norris, who has done steady work along the coast.
This district includes the cities of Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and Irvine.
Orange County residents will also vote for School Districts, Special District Contests of Water, Community services, Sanitation, Library District and Geologic Hazard Abatement.
Most Orange County cities will vote for city council members, some by district. Patch will be following city council elections in:
Orange County has 1.7 million registered voters, according to statistics from the Orange County Registrar of Voters. As of this report, Orange County saw a surge in voter registration in September. According to Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley's office, the county's voters consist of 36 percent democratic voters, 34 percent Republican voters.
The largest unknown in the county is the vast number of voters who claim no party preference. This makes up 24 percent of the vote.
According to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla's office, statewide, there are 21.2 million registered voters, an increase of 800,000 since the primary in March.
Stay tuned to Patch on Election Day for results.
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