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2022 Election Results In Orange County Are Official

A screen inside a ballot booth that displays an American flag and reads "Your vote has been recorded. Thank you for voting."
A ballot reader at a vote center in Huntington Beach, Nov. 8, 2022.
(Jill Replogle
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The final results from this year's Orange County elections are in — and they show a decline the number of voters compared to last year.

Election results certified late Friday by Orange County Registrar of Voters Bob Page shows that just under 55% of the county's registered voters cast ballots in the midterm election.

That's less than the share who voted in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021, when 62.9% of voters cast ballots. It's also less than the 2018 midterm election, when 71% of O.C.'s registered voters cast ballots.

But Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc., said the percentage obscures the fact that voter registration has ballooned in Orange County — and across California — by close to 400,000 voters in O.C. since the 2014 midterm election. So while the percentage of registered voters was lower during this midterm compared to 2014, there were around 354,000 more votes cast this year than at that time.

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California has added millions of voters by automatically registering eligible voters through the Department of Motor Vehicles when they apply for a driver’s license, ID card or register a change of address.

"The state has done a magnificent job and Orange County has done a magnificent job in changing the way that people register to vote," Mitchell said.

OC Still Leans Toward GOP, But ...

If Orange County were California, Republican Brian Dahle would be governor. O.C. voters chose Dahle over Gov. Gavin Newsom 51.49% to 48.51%, a difference of 28,528 votes.

Newsom easily won reelection, and the race for governor was one of the first California competitions to be called after polls closed on Election Day.

O.C. voters similarly favored Republican candidates for most state administration jobs as well as for U.S. Senator.

But the county's Board of Supervisors is now run by Democrats. The party won a majority on the Board for the first time in decades after Supervisor Katrina Foley won her election against state Sen. Pat Bates to represent the coastal District 5.

There Were Some Very Close Municipal Races

Challengers beat out incumbents in several important city council races by slim margins.

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In Anaheim, Carlos Leon won a city council seat over incumbent Gloria Sahagún Ma'ae by just 78 votes to represent District 2. 

In Santa Ana, Benjamin Vazquez beat incumbent Nelida Mendoza by 80 votes to represent the Ward 2 city council seat. 

Have a question about Orange County?
Jill Replogle wants to know what you wished you knew more about in OC and what’s important to you that’s not getting enough attention.