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Votes Still Being Slowly Counted 3 Weeks After Election

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By Jorge Casuso

November 29, 2022 -- A trickle of votes were counted by the LA County registrar over the past week, with fewer than 50 of the 3,370 ballots counted countywide cast in Santa Monica.

As expected, the new tallies did nothing to change any of the local races, which were determined long before last Tuesday's counts were released.

Every incumbent will return to office -- many by huge margins -- and every ballot measure but one will go into effect, with most easily approved ("Status Quo Prevails in Santa Monica," November 22, 2022 and "Ballot Measures Nearly Make Clean Sweep," November 22, 2022).

Of the estimated 2,466,429 ballots cast countywide, only 11,405 are left to be counted -- 11,000 mail-in ballots, 400 conditional voter registration ballots and 5 provisional ballots

Given the most recent count, between 150 and 175 of those ballots were cast in Santa Monica.

After Tuesday's results, Rent Board Commissioner Caroline Torosis and Jesse Zwick padded their already large first and second-place leads by 21 votes each in the race for three open City Council seats.

Meanwhile, incumbent Lana Negrete, who officially declared victory on Monday, added 20 votes to her third place finish ("EXTRA -- Councilmember Negrete Declares Victory in Reelection Bid," November 28, 2022).

Of the Santa Monica ballots counted over the past week, 49 were cast in the race for Mayor Sue Himmelrich's transfer tax Measure GS -- 21 of them yes votes and 28 no votes.

In the race for Measure RC, which will drop the current general annual rent adjustment from 6 to 3 percent, 42 votes were cast -- 24 yes votes and 18 no votes.

The next ballot count update will be on Friday, and will include ballots that were missing signatures on the envelope or did not match their registration record, County election officials said.

Those voters have been notified with instructions on how to cure their ballot to be counted. The County Registrar will accept cure notices through Saturday and certify the election results on Monday.

The widespread use of mail-in ballots has greatly delayed vote counting, leaving several races in LA County too close to call days before the final votes must be certified.

Mail-in ballots were initially sent to all California voters in May 2020 under an emergency order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom during the height of the coronavirus shutdown.

Newsom then signed a bill in September 2021 making it State law for all voters to be sent mail-in ballots in all future elections.

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