voters wait (copy)

Voters are lined up out the door of the Bay Shore Church voting center on March 3.

Approval of Long Beach's Measure A sales tax extension initiative had trailed from release of the first results on the March 3 election to the seventh update on Tuesday, March 24.

But when Los Angeles County Clerk and Recorder Dean Logan released the certified election results Friday, March 27, the measure passed by 16 votes.

The last swing wasn't much — 25 votes. The results on Tuesday had the No votes ahead by 9. The final margin is 50.01% yes, 49.9% no — 49,676 to 49,660.

According to Long Beach City Clerk Monique De La Garza, there is no automatic recount because the election was consolidated with Los Angeles County and follows Los Angeles County rules. If it were solely a Long Beach municipal election, results with a 1% or less margin get an automatic recount at government expense.

Under the state election code (followed by Los Angeles County), the election official — Logan — can call for a recount, but only if "there is reasonable cause to believe ballots have been miscounted." There has been no indication that Logan intends to call for a recount.

Otherwise, any voter has five days from the certification date to ask for a recount. But the person requesting the recount has to pay for the full cost of that recount.

Garza said in an email that the county clerk has said it would require a daily deposit of $4,200 — and the estimated the number of days to complete the recount is 15-20 days. That puts the rough estimated cost at $63,000-$84,000 for a full recount of a citywide ballot measure.  

Anyone who wants to pursue a recount should contact the Los Angeles Registrar Recorder/County Clerk at electionplanning@rrcc.lacounty.gov for complete details of the process. The request has to be made remotely — the county clerk's office in Norwalk is closed to the public due to the state and county restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The rest of the Long Beach results have stayed consistent throughout the count and remain the same after the certification. The Measure B 1% increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax (hotel bed tax) was approved. There are runoffs in three City Council elections — Robert Fox versus Cindy Allen in the Second District, Suely Saro versus Dee Andrews in the Sixth District and Tunua Thrash-Ntuk versus Al Austin in the Eighth District.

Doug Otto won the District 4 Long Beach Unified School District race outright, and Tonia Reyes Uranga faces Erik Miller in a runoff for the District 2 LBUSD seat.

For all the final election results, go to lavote.net.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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