This is why every vote matters

In Orange County, one voter wrongly marked the choice for a school board candidate outside the designated box. The result was a literal tie, leaving the seat’s fate up to the school district.

Five—yes, just five— votes made the difference in the Santee City Council race, giving the nod to Republican Dustin Trotter. Thirty-six ballots were excluded from the original count for reasons including missing or mismatched signatures and a postmark after election day.