Previously uncounted votes have helped Bernie Sanders slice into Hillary Clinton’s California delegate lead, but only marginally. (Roger Jones / CC 2.0)

California, often the leader in national policy and a test-tube for change, falls behind when it comes to counting votes.

Although it was quickly determined that the June 7 California Democratic primary had ended in favor of Hillary Clinton, in actuality millions of votes remained to be tallied.

But elections officials are closing in on final results. According to the secretary of state’s office, a little over 500,000 ballots (provisional and mail-in) remain to be counted.

And although the number of uncounted votes left many Sanders fans hoping he could take the state, the most recent numbers show that their hopes may be in vain. David Weigel of The Washington Post explains:

Since Election Day, three of the 58 California counties that at first seemed to vote for Clinton flipped to Sanders. A 12-point Clinton victory margin has shrunk to nine points. …

[M]ore than a half-million of the votes counted since Election Day were cast for Republicans. Since June 7, Trump has added 429,509 votes to his total; Kasich has added 68,641 votes, and Cruz has added 60,246.

Many more ballots were counted in the Democratic primary. They just did not break dramatically for Sanders. Since June 7, Clinton has added 692,629 votes, for a total of 2,633,209 statewide. Sanders has added 703,176 votes for a total of 2,205,219. …

The new votes have helped Sanders slice into Clinton’s delegate lead, but only marginally.

As Weigel reports, however, Sanders supporters continue to cling to the idea of a victory in California. Greg Palast, a writer who has repeatedly stated that Sanders would win in the state, spoke Sunday at a “Still Sanders” rally in Los Angeles. “If you count every ballot, Sanders would win by 100,000,” he said, citing his own research into the outstanding ballots. As of this report, Clinton and Sanders are separated by 417,375 votes.

Technically, if Sanders were to take roughly 80 percent of the remaining uncounted ballots, he would come out on top. But this isn’t realistic. As Weigel noted, many of those uncounted ballots are for Republicans, and many votes will be added to Clinton’s total as well.

The real crisis here is that California takes so long to tally votes, and other races throughout the state are still shifting as ballots are counted.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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