2 state proposition results remain uncertain days after election

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Ten days after the election, with about 10 million votes counted, California residents are still waiting for the results of two statewide propositions.

Both proposition 53 and 66, which were on the Nov. 8 ballot in California, are “too close to call.”

Proposition 53 would require the state to receive voter approval before it can issue a bond for state projects exceeding $2 billion. The measure is currently losing by more than 250,000 votes.

“I voted Yes on Proposition 53 because I believe rampant spending by the California legislature needs to be held in check,” said Troy Worden, communications director at Berkeley College Republicans, in an email. “Voter approval is hardly an impediment to the effective and responsible functioning of government.”

Solomon Reber Alpert, a member of Cal Berkeley Democrats, said he is against Proposition 53 because he wants the legislature to work independently without being reliant on state residents.

Proposition 66 aims to speed up the death penalty process by changing the appeals procedure for challenging death sentences to take a maximum of five years. This measure is currently winning by more than 250,000 votes.

“Prop 66 … has the potential to lead to the execution of innocent people,” Alpert said in an email. “I wish we had overturned the death penalty (with Prop. 62) … and I hope 66 gets overturned in the courts.”

Worden, however, noted that the death penalty has consistently been supported by California voters and said Proposition 66 makes the death penalty “more efficient” while ensuring the rights of convicted persons are not ignored.

According to Ted Lempert, a campus political science lecturer, some elections remain uncertain for several days because plenty of votes come in after election day and processing them can take some time. He added that ambiguity in the results of state measures is less common than in local races, where the margin is close and the number of votes are comparatively fewer.

“(The election officials) just want to be careful because as you know it takes a while to do the final count,” Lempert said. “If there is even a remote possibility that it’s going to change the outcome, they try not to do an official call.”

Contact Parth Vohra at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @ParthVohra622.