Final March election results show Measure A passes by 16 votes, continuing extra 1% sales tax

Long Beach City Council district map

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan released final certified results of the March 3 elections on Friday, March 27 for local, county and state measures and officials. Here is a recap of results affecting Long Beach:

Both tax measures on the Long Beach ballot passed, one by a very narrow margin.

Measure A– extending Long Beach’s extra 1% sales-and-use tax beyond its end date of 2027– passed by a slim margin of 16 votes, with 49,676 voting in favor and 49,660 against.

Mike Sanchez, spokesperson for the LA County Registrar, told the Signal Tribune in an email that although it only passed by 16 votes, canvassing and counting votes for Measure A followed the California Elections Code.
“The legally required 1% post-election manual tally, which included all contests and ballot measures, validated the accuracy of the count of those ballots– which included Measure A– with no variances,” he said.

The elections code’s requirement of a “1% manual tally” to verify accuracy of the automated count refers to officials counting votes by hand in a random selection of 1% of voting precincts, plus in one precinct not included in that 1%. Officials then compare the manual tally with the machine tally to verify that both are the same.

Any voter can request a full or partial recount within five days of the vote certification by contacting the Long Beach City Clerk’s office. However, the voter must pay the full amount of expenses for the recount.

Long Beach voters had first approved the 1% sales-tax increase in 2016. Measure A’s passing now allows the City to extend the tax indefinitely past its original sunset date of January 2027.

The City projects the tax to continue generating about $60 million each year to support emergency-response services, police and fire departments, and parks and libraries.

Measure B also passed, with a nearly 20% favorable margin, allowing the City to increase a hotel tax rate from 6% to 7% to fund Long Beach arts and cultural programs with the expected additional annual revenue of $2.8 million.

LA County Measure R passed with nearly 73% approving, amending the county’s code to increase the authority of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission to investigate sheriff-related issues and develop a plan to reduce the jail population.

Though LA County Measure FD had nearly 53% approving, it fell short of the necessary two-thirds votes to pass. The measure would have allowed the County to levy a six-cent parcel-tax to fund firefighter and paramedic emergency-response personnel and equipment with an expected annual tax revenue of $134 million.

And though State Proposition 13– authorizing the state to issue $15 billion in bonds to repair and construct schools, colleges and universities– had 54% voter approval in LA County, it failed at a statewide level, with 53% voting against.

Local officials
In local primary-nominating elections (PNE), the top two candidates in three Long Beach City Council races– and two vying for a Long Beach Unified School District school-board seats– will face each other in run-off elections for the four-year positions.

Candidates must win the March PNE by 50%-plus-one votes or the top two candidates in each race run off against each other in the Nov. 3 statewide general-election, according to the Long Beach City Clerk’s office.

Robert Fox and Cindy Allen each garnered about 27% of votes for the District 2 City Council seat and will run against each other in November. Jeannine Pearce, who currently occupies that southernmost-district seat, did not run for reelection.

Suely Saro and incumbent Vice Mayor Dee Andrews are the top two District 6 City Council candidates. Saro reaped 2,819 votes, or nearly 45% of the total, about 15% more than the 1,799 votes for Andrews. Third and fourth place candidates Jeanette Barrera and Eduardo Lara each earned about 20% of votes.

District 8 saw much closer PNE results as Tunua Thrash-Ntuk won 38% of votes while incumbent Al Austin won 31.75%, edging out third-place candidate Juan Ovalle by a margin of 141 votes. Thrash-Ntuk will face Austin in the November election to represent the district, which includes Bixby Knolls.

In the races for two Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) board-member seats, Doug Otto won for District 4, beating out Davina Keiser and Nancy Valencia by more than 50% of the vote. Otto earned 14,400 votes compared to 7,046 for Keiser and 6,675 for Valencia and so will not have to face either in a run-off.

For the District 2 LBUSD school-board seat, Tonia Reyes Uranga received nearly 43% of votes compared to Erik Miller’s 37%. The two will face each other in November, with third candidate John Mathews out of the race, having received about 21% of votes.

State officials
Incumbent Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) won the seat for U.S. Representative for the 47th Congressional District that includes Long Beach and Signal Hill. Lowenthal earned nearly 50% of the vote with next-closest candidate John Briscoe (R) earning 13.65%. Democrat Lena Gonzalez of Long Beach will remain State Senator representing the 33rd District that includes Long Beach and Signal Hill. As the only candidate, she earned 100% of 109,428 votes.

And incumbent Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) will continue representing the 70th Assembly District, which includes Long Beach and Signal Hill, in the California State Assembly, beating David Thomas (R) with 74% of votes compared to 26% for Thomas.

With 76% of votes, Janice Hahn will continue as LA County Supervisor representing the 4th District that includes Long Beach and Signal Hill.
Jackie Lacey will continue to serve as LA County District Attorney, garnering nearly 49% of votes compared with 28% for George Gascon and 23% for Rachel Rossi.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won 39% of LA County’s Democratic votes over Joe Biden’s 28%, or 581,041 compared to 418,912.

Of Republican voters, 88%, or 305,883, voted for President Donald Trump as the Republican candidate.

LA County has 5.5 million registered voters, of which 1.3 million, or 62%, are registered Democrats and 386,000 Republican, according to the LA County Registrar.

About 2.1 million people in the county voted in the March 3 election, or 38.5% of the total registered, according to Sanchez. A little more than half, or 54%, mailed in their ballots while 46% cast them at voting centers with newly implemented electronic systems.

However, Sanchez noted that the number of people who voted in this election is less than the 42% who voted during the June 2016 presidential primary, even though the new system provided voters with 10 additional days to vote, same-day voter registration and greater accessibility in terms of languages and disabilities.

“With these tools now in place,” Sanchez said, “we hope that as LA County voters become more acclimated to the new voting experience, voter participation will increase.”


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