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Election results still not final

Posted: April 15, 2010 10:21 p.m.
Updated: April 16, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County election officials spent Thursday double-checking the validity of hundreds of unopened mail-in and provisional ballots cast in this week’s election, leaving the political fates of two neck-and-neck City Council candidates unknown until sometime next week, officials said.

Meanwhile, the 641 uncounted ballots were being securely stored, according to a statement released by the city Thursday night.

The majority of the ballots are vote-by-mail ballots that were dropped off at precincts on Tuesday. Most of the rest were provisional ballots, which are typically cast by voters who choose to vote outside of their precincts.

In Tuesday’s election, voters returned City Councilwoman Marsha McLean and Mayor Laurene Weste to office.

However, City Councilman Frank Ferry came in with 6,256 votes, just 69 ahead of challenger David Gauny’s 6,187, leaving open the possibility that the yet-uncounted ballots could change the results of the election.

In all, the city received 14,340 ballots — a 16.1 percent turnout from Santa Clarita’s 89,060 registered voters, according to a city report.

The vast majority of the ballots — 9,445 — were mail-in, while 4,895 voters did so in person, the report said.

The city counted 38,524 total votes, as each voter could choose up to three of the 11 candidates.

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