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Santa Monicans Overwhelmingly Vote for R, Against 8

By Jorge Casuso

November 20 -- Santa Monicans overwhelmingly backed a measure to boost funding for public transit, while voting at an even higher rate than San Franciscans to defeat a statewide ban on same-sex marriage, according to an analysis by The Lookout of the November 4 election results.

In the still undecided battle over Measure R -- the countywide half-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects in Los Angeles County -- Santa Monica voters cast 26,249 votes in favor of the measure and 7,778 votes opposing it.

The local yes vote amounted to 77 percent of the ballots cast, far more than the 66 percent needed for the measure to pass.

As of Tuesday, Measure R was ahead with 1,922,453 votes, or 67.51 percent, to 925,226 votes, or 32.49 percent, according to the latest figures released by the Los Angeles County Registrar.

There are still some 185,000 votes to be counted, most of those provisional ballots, according to the Registrar.

As more votes are counted, it will likely become more difficult for opponents to garner the necessary margin to defeat the measure. In terms of raw votes, Measure R's lead increased from 16,675 last Friday to 23,051 on Tuesday.

While the fate of Measure R still hangs in the balance, the successful measure to ban same-sex marriage was soundly defeated in Santa Monica, where 28,842 voters opposed the ban, while 8,308 supported it.

The 78 percent no vote was even higher than the 76.5 percent no vote in San Francisco, the bastion of the state’s gay community. Only 22 percent of Santa Monica voters favored Prop 8, compared to 52 percent who approved the measure statewide.

While none of Santa Monica’s 54 precincts voted for Prop 8, 54 of San Francisco’s 580 precincts did so. Most of the precincts were Downtown and in areas with large concentrations of blacks and Asians, who tended to view the ban more favorably.

While San Francisco’s population is 30.8 percent Asian and 7.8 percent black, Santa Monica’s is 3.8 percent black and 7.3 percent Asian.

According to an election analysis by the San Francisco Chronicle, “the more white people living in a precinct, the more likely it was to vote against the proposition. The opposite was true for precincts with many Asian or African American residents.”

The only Santa Monica precinct where the margin was even remotely close was in a pocket of the Pico Neighborhood with a high percentage of black residents. Voters there defeated the ban with 388 no votes to 292 yes votes.

By comparison, the largest margin against the ban on same-sex marriage was in a precinct in Ocean Park, long considered Santa Monica’s most liberal area. Voters there cast 693 votes against Prop 8 and 76 votes in favor of the measure.





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