Polls close in California; now the counting begins
Voting stations across California were scheduled to close at 8 p.m., but voters waiting in line at the end of polling will still be allowed to cast ballots. The counting begins immediately at 8 p.m.
Many races could be decided within hours. But in extremely close contests, it could take days or even weeks for a winner to be declared. Statewide tallies can be found at the California secretary of state's elections website and county election office websites.
Topping the ballot was the presidential contest between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, plus the race for one of California's U.S. Senate seats between Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco and Republican Elizabeth Emken, an autism activist from Danville.
The California ballot also included 11 statewide initiatives, including Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's measure for a tax increase that he said will stave off major cuts to school funding. Voters also faced a decision on whether to repeal the state death penalty, and whether to eliminate unions' primary political fundraising tool: deductions from members' paychecks.
There were more than 300 local ballot measures in cities, counties and school districts across the state, most of them to increase taxes or approve school bonds.
This election had an unusually large number of competitive races for California's 53 congressional seats, and the outcome could play a role in whether Republicans or Democrats control the House of Representatives.
One hundred seats in the California Legislature were at stake. Democrats are hoping to win a two-thirds supermajority in state Senate. A two-thirds vote of each house is required to raise taxes and overturn gubernatorial vetoes, among other actions. Neither party is expected to win a supermajority in the Assembly, however.
ALSO:Posh polling place in Brentwood: valet parking, smoked salmon
-- Phil Willon
Photo: Voters mark their ballots at Alin Party Supply in Lakewood on Tuesday. Source: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times.