DiFi: Don’t call the race before CA polls close

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is urging television networks to reign in their presidential predictions until polls close here on the West Coast, lest an early call sap California voters’ will to cast ballots in today’s final hours:

This Election Day marks a historic moment in our nation’s history. The stakes couldn’t be higher, and voter turnout in precincts across the country is expected to set records.

In California alone, we expect a record 13.6 million voters to cast their ballots. These voters will cast ballots for President, for local offices, for state Assembly and Senate, and for Congress. And they will decide critical ballot measures that will determine the future direction of California for years to come.

These include Proposition 1A, the high-speed rail bond; Proposition 3, to renovate and expand children’s hospitals; Proposition 5, which would divert tens of thousands of drug offenders from prisons and jails; and Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California.

However, today’s morning papers carried stories indicating that the television networks may release their predictions of the Presidential Election outcome before polls close on the West Coast. This would be a disservice to the tens of millions of voters in the West, and I strongly urge the networks to delay any precipitous announcements until voters have had their full opportunity to vote.

It’s critical that all California voters have a say in all of these contests, including the ballot measures and contests for down-ballot offices. I strongly urge California voters to cast ballots today, regardless of any news on the Presidential Election that may come out before the polls close.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.