O.C. Registrar Says Certifying Election Results on Some Races Could Take Weeks

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The voting may be over, but there are still some races too close to call in Orange County.

KTLA's Chip Yost was outside the County Registrar's Office in Santa Ana, where election officials are busy with more than 400,000 ballots still to be counted.

Those ballots may be the deciding factor in many of those close races.

One contest that many are watching closely is California's 48th District race between Republican Dana Rohrabacher and Democratic challenger Harley Rouda. Wednesday afternoon, Rouda held a lead of just over 2,000 votes.

With over 400,000 ballots still being tallied, of which about 80,000 are in the 48th District, the outcome is still up in the air.

One hotly contested race that did see a decision Wednesday was the race for Orange County Sheriff.

Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes defeated political newcomer Duke Nguyen, who conceded the race and released a written statement on Wednesday.

"I am very proud of how we ran our campaign. We went into this to bring more accountability and trust to the Sheriff's Department. I think we definitely met the goal of educating as many people as possible about the issues in the department. They spent over 1.2 million dollars to keep that change out of the department. However, I think that Don will do his best to serve the people of Orange County.

The need for new found integrity in the department is paramount. I truly hope that Don will move beyond the tribal politics he ran on. We need someone who will take responsibility for the problems within the department and move forward. Especially on the conditions in our jails and the homelessness problem. Barnes cannot continue to say that he will "solve homelessness in 6 months" it is just not that kind of issue. The changes that need to be made cannot happen over night, or by criminalizing everyone who does not have the power to stand up for themselves."

To wear the badge is to serve the public with honor and integrity, and I believe that the department will do their best to do what is necessary."

For the races still too close to call, the County Registrar said candidates and voters just need to be patient.

"Those races may go back and forth a little bit," O.C. Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said. "They just need to be prepared for that, and just sit tight as we go through the next couple of weeks, because the ultimate goal here is to ensure the correct candidate is the right winner."

The registrar said the tallying work could go past Thanksgiving. By law, they have 30 days from the election to certify the vote.

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