The window for people to request a recount for Long Beach’s Measure A, which won by 16 votes, is quickly closing.
The Long Beach Reform Coalition, which spearheaded a campaign against the measure, is seeking donations to fund a recount, which could cost anywhere between $20,000 to $84,000. But the deadline to request that recount is 5 p.m. today, Wednesday, April 1.
Measure A would indefinitely extend the 10-year 10.25% city sales tax that voters passed in 2016. Its proponents said throughout the campaign that Long Beach needs more funds to address infrastructure and public safety needs. Those opposed argued that Long Beach hasn’t been a good steward of the money it’s received from the tax since 2016.
Throughout most of the ballot-counting process, it appeared Measure A would be defeated.
A statement from Long Beach Reform Coalition spokesman Ian Patton said that as of Tuesday morning, the group had already raised more than $6,000 toward the recount effort.
“Clearly,” Patton wrote, “there is a strong desire to know the exact outcome of Measure A and whether it really did just barely pass.”
Mike Sanchez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office, said officials did not have a more definitive estimate of how much a recount would cost because they had not received a recount request as of Tuesday evening, March 31.
The cost for the requester covers labor and equipment; the total depends on how many recount boards are used and how long the process takes. If the recount overturns the election result, the money is refunded to the requester.
Patton wrote that if Measure A is overturned, and the county refunds the money, donors to the Long Beach Reform Coalition will also receive refunds.
Patton said his own estimate, of roughly $20,000, is based on using more boards, which could reduce the amount of time a recount takes.
Although both Patton and City Clerk Monique De La Garza said the recount process could be hampered by social distancing guidelines that are currently in place to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, Sanchez said that was not the case.
“Social distancing,” he said, “would not slowdown or impact the process.”