By Mary O’KEEFE
The Glendale election is over but some of the results are still a little too close to call.
This election season in Glendale was anything but dull. There were accusations thrown about and questions of the integrity of candidates, the city staff and media. But in the end it all came down to that lone voter at the polls.
The results are not official until they are presented to the Glendale City Council on April 18.
“The posted figures (on the city votes website) are the unofficial results of the April 5, 2011 Glendale Municipal Election after the closing of polls. There remain 3,153 ballots to be processed which include Vote by Mail (VBM) and provisional ballots. Processing these ballots includes verification of signatures with County Registrar/Recorder records, duplication, and the review of disqualifying requirements of a ballot per the California Elections Code,” according to Tom Lorenz, spokesman for the city. “Following verification, the qualifying ballots will be counted subsequent to the reconciliation of the voting records for Election Day per the California Elections Code.”
Although the official results are not in, there is one result that has garnered so many votes that even if the 3,153 uncounted ballots all are “No” it would still give a “Yes” for Measure S. After the early mail-ins and precinct ballots were counted Measure S received 11,989 yes votes to 5,242 that voted no.
“We are ecstatic that the community has shown its overwhelming support for public education and for our district schools,” said John Garcia, Glendale Unified School District deputy superintendent.
On election night at the Overtime Bar and Grill in Glendale, Measure S supporters were celebrating the passage of the bond that will continue to provide locally-controlled funding to maintain quality education in local Glendale and Crescenta Valley schools. This funding stream originated with the Measure K bond that voters passed in 1997. Measure K funds were used to remodel and update school campuses including a $40-plus million remodeling for Crescenta Valley High School. Measure S funds would be earmarked, according to supporters, for science and technology improvements for school campuses. The passing of Measure S does not increase taxes but maintains the funding that had been funneled through Measure K.
Continuing the status quo seemed to be the theme of the night as far as education is
concerned. Again the official results have not been released however the votes seem to indicate that Glendale school board incumbents Mary Boger and Nayiri Nahabedian will retain their seats. Nahabedian garnered 9323 votes from early voting and prescient ballots, Boger received 7875 followed by their closest challenger, Vahik Satoorian with 6496.
For Glendale Community College Board of Trustees incumbents also look like they will retain their seats with 11,335 votes were casts for Vahe Peroomian and 10,968 for Tony Tartaglia.
The race that is too close to call is for Glendale City Council. It appears to be a race of six brought down to three. Rafi Manoukian received 8968 votes from early mail-in and precinct votes. Incumbents Dave Weaver and John Drayman are close behind. Weaver received 8833 and Drayman 8806. The closest to the three was Chahe Keuroghelian at 6598.
Drayman said he was concerned early on in the campaign of low voter turn out. That had been a recent trend in elections in Burbank and Pasadena.
“We knew we needed to be competitive with absentee ballots,” he said.
Some of those vote by mail ballots were mailed in prior to the election and have been added into the count however many were dropped off at precincts.
“That was a [trend]. Citywide there were 1100 or more mail ballots dropped off at precincts,” he said.
Those along with provisional ballots are what the city clerk is counting now.
The clerk’s office is in the process of checking rosters and placing voters names into the city’s system making certain that there is only one vote for one voter.
City Clerk Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian said overall he was pleased with voter turn out when you add in the vote-by-mail ballots.
“[Including those ballots] we are at about 24% to 25%,” he said.
Kassakhian added that compared to other nearby area elections Glendale percentage was good.
“Of course I would like to have 100%,” he said.
As for Drayman, he waits not knowing if he should be cleaning out his desk.
“I have seen elections before. I realize the numbers really don’t change,” Drayman said. “But I am hopeful.”