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How To Monitor Tonight's Election Results As They Come In

Ballots being tabulated during the November 2016 general election (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk)
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Are you so excited about Tuesday's local election? Us too! We know waiting is hard, so here is everything you need to know to monitor the ballot results as they come in.

The Process

Election results are managed by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office. After the polls close at 8 p.m., inspectors at the individual polling places reconcile everything and then take those ballots to a check-in center, according to Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk administrative services manager Adrian Avelar. That process can take anywhere from 35 to 40 minutes, depending on the volume of ballots and how much work the inspectors have to do to close up. The Sheriff's Department then collects said ballots from the 70-some check-in centers around the county, and takes them to the Registrar's headquarters in Norwalk, where they get counted. According to Avelar, the process happens in waves. "Once they receive a certain amount of ballots returned, the Sheriff will take off, and they'll continue receiving until they receive all of them. Each polling place is assigned to a specific check-in center."

The Timing

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The first count, which is composed of vote-by-mail and early voting results, will be released around 8:30 p.m., if not slightly earlier. There may still be some vote-by-mail and early voting results counted after Election Day, but the first count will include everything that's been tabulated so far, according to Avelar.

The second count, composed of the first ballots coming in from the polls, will be released around 9 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. (though that too could happen sooner).

From then on, results will be released about twice an hour until they're completely tabulated. Avelar reports that the time when Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk actually finishes counting depends on the election. "For a larger general election, it could be well past midnight, but for a smaller election it could be a bit quicker. It depends if we run into any incidents, or any challenges that prevent us from getting to a hundred percent as quickly as possible," he explained. "It shouldn't be too late tonight. I'd [estimate] around midnight."

How To Check The Results

So, where can you actually see that first count, come 8:30 p.m.? The Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk will be updating the results as they come in here.

At the very top of the page, you can see how many precincts are reporting so far. Scroll down to navigate through results from the different cities and races across the county (or use the handy "Jump to..." bar at the top of the page).

The Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's site will also provide live information on progress at those check-in centers, which you can view throughout the night here. If you look at that page, you can see the number of check-in centers, where they are located, and what their status is. Once you see them closed, it means that all the ballots have come in from that location.