California Mail-In Ballots Flip Three Counties As Sanders Vows To Fight On To Convention [Video]

Reno Berkeley

California isn't over yet. In the Golden State, volunteers and poll workers continue to count millions of mail-in ballots, and so far, Bernie Sanders has flipped three counties to his favor. On Friday, the Santa Barbara Independent reported that Sanders had "crept past" Hillary Clinton in vote totals for Congressional District 24, which includes Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County.

Although his lead is small and the vote totals are not final, it shows just how important mail-in ballots are, and how important it is to wait until all votes are counted before calling a winner for the state.

The Independent also reports that the California district still has 13,000 mail-in ballots and 7,000 provisional ballots to count, which could take some time. On Facebook, a Sanders supporter posted a photo of a room filled with bins of uncounted ballots in Santa Clara County.

The user called on volunteers to help with the overwhelming number of ballots. She wrote that Sanders would need 67 percent of the mail-in ballots in order to win. Her description implies that poll workers have given up counting ballots, under the belief that Clinton has already won.

"They don't think he can [win]. Therefore, they are not bothering. The volunteers still are. In two days we have assembled a team of over 300 people who want to do this in all 58 counties."

According to the California Secretary of State's website, vote-by-mail ballots are accepted up to three days after the election. During the count, election officials must verify every voter's signature, registration status and make sure that they voted only once. And because more voters are taking advantage of mail-in ballots, it is a monumental task to get the total count done by the deadline. It is a time consuming process, which is why it does not make much sense to call a winner after the end of election day.

California's estimated total of outstanding ballots remaining to be counted as of June 10 is more than 2.4 million ballots, including provisionals. Social media calls to action have resulted in a flood of offers to volunteer to monitor and count ballots, according to sources.

Even if he still loses California, Bernie Sanders may still force a contested convention in Philadelphia. At the very least, he will fight hard for a more progressive platform with the help of the strongest surrogates and platform committee picks.

Since the California primaries, Sanders has remained adamant on staying in until the convention. On Sunday, several of Sanders' most loyal surrogates met in Burlington, Vermont, possibly to discuss the convention and the platform committee. These included Tulsi Gabbard, Keith Ellison, progressive activist Jim Hightower, and Shailene Woodley, after which he gave a brief press conference.

Sanders first expressed horror and sympathy to the victims of the Orlando shooting. He then segued into the reason for the meeting with his close allies. He thanked the thousands of people who had worked tirelessly on the campaign and reiterated the pledge to work against Donald Trump. It was no concession speech. On the contrary, Sanders vowed to take the campaign fight to the convention despite the outcome of the D.C. vote.

"What today's discussion was about was not only comparing notes about this campaign, but was primarily talking about the future and understanding that election days come and go, but political revolutions are not dependent on election days. That this country faces enormous crisis and that we together are going to do our best to transform this country by bringing millions and millions of people into the political process."

He also reiterated his talking points about education, tuition-free college, protecting the environment, protecting reproductive rights, transforming the energy system, and reforming Wall Street.

At the end of the press conference, a reporter asked him about taking his candidacy to the convention. As Jane and his allies stood behind him smiling, Sanders gave a deliberately ambiguous reply.

"Well, we are going to take the campaign to the convention with the full understanding that we're very good with arithmetic, and that we know... who has received the most votes up to now."

Before the California primaries, The Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity announced a lawsuit alleging widespread election fraud. Attorneys Bob Fitrakis and Cliff Arneback are currently working with the organization to expose how the primaries have systematically been stolen from Sanders.

Part of the reason for this is how much exit polls have differed from the actual vote count. Other issues the lawsuit will touch on are how machines have flipped votes, how election workers have actively tampered with ballots, and the epidemic of voter disenfranchisement.

It will be interesting to see how the final tally for California ballots plays out. As for the convention, Sanders may very well reveal his ace in the hole before all is said and done.

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