By Matthew Hall

Poll workers continue to count the final votes cast during the Nov. 8 election but with the uncounted ballots dwindling, most results are now set.

The only race close enough to be impacted by the uncounted ballots is for Santa Monica College Board and while it’s possible for the results to change, it would require all the uncounted ballots to cast a vote in the SMC race and those votes to be near unanimous.

After polls close on Election Day ballots are taken to the County Clerk’s headquarters in Norwalk. Regular ballots cast during election day and vote by mail ballots received up to that date are counted throughout the night to provide the initial results the next day.

However, counting doesn’t end that night.

Vote by mail ballots are valid if they arrive up to three days after Election Day and additional counting is done for provisional ballots, write-in ballots and damaged ballots. In Santa Monica, there were more than 8,000 of these ballots waiting to be counted following election day.

“These ballots are counted during the 30-day period known as the Official Election Canvass,” said the County Clerk’s office “Ballots require additional review to verify voters are eligible to vote and write-in ballots were cast for qualified candidates.

California state law requires the RR/CC to complete and certify results within 30 days. This provision of the law recognizes the complexity of completing the ballot count and conducting a thorough audit of the election results to ensure accuracy.”

In addition, the law requires a manual verification of the machine counts. About one percent of the total votes must be verified in this way.

As of Nov. 19 there were 3,560 outstanding ballots to be counted for the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica College District. Even if those ballots were unanimous, they would not alter any of the race results except the SMC board race.

As of Nov. 22, the top four candidates for four seats on City Council were: Terry O’Day (15,136 votes/16.31 percent), Tony Vazquez (14,651 votes/15.79 percent), Ted Winterer (14,566 votes/15.70 percent) and Gleam Olivia Davis (14,203 votes/15.30 percent). Davis has 4,501 more votes than Armen Melkonians who is in fifth place (9,702 votes/10.45 percent) guaranteeing victory for the incumbents.

In the race for two seats on the Rent Control Board, Caroline M. Torosis (12,160 votes/34.10 percent) had the most votes. Anastasia Foster (10,877 votes/30.50 percent) had 4,294 votes more than Elaine Golden-Gealer (6,583 votes/18.46) securing victory for Torosis and Foster.

With three seats available for the Santa Monica Community College District, the incumbents remain in the lead with Susan Aminoff (20,061 votes/28.20 percent),  Margaret Quinones-Perez (18,008 votes/25.32 percent) and Rob Greenstein Rader (17,821/25.05 percent). While the incumbents have held their position throughout the count process, challenger Sion Roy remains within the margin of uncounted votes with 15,245 votes/21.43 percent.

The results for all local ballot measures will all stand.

GS/GSH will pass. Yes on GS has 22,505 votes/69.6 percent) compared to 9,830/30.4 percent for the no vote. Yes on GSH has 20,250 votes/62 percent compared to 12,394 votes/37.97 percent for the No campaign.

Measure SM will also pass. There are 25,112 votes/82.99 percent for Yes on Measure SM and 5,148 votes/17.01 percent for the no campaign.

Measure LV will fail. The No vote is ahead by 3,802 votes as of press time. No on LV has 19,100/55.53 percent. Yes has 15,298 votes/44.47 percent.

The county could continue counting votes through Dec. 2 if necessary and detailed breakdowns of votes by precinct will be available pending the completion and verification of the County’s work.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...