By Mary O’KEEFE
A little over a week after the city of Glendale polls closed the results is still too close to call a clear winner in the race for two Glendale City Council seats.
Today at 9 a.m. city staff will begin the final tally of the votes. Voters from 50 precincts cast their ballots for candidates vying for two seats on the Glendale City Council. Voters at seven additional precincts in Los Angeles County unincorporated area of La Crescenta within the Glendale Unified School District went to the polls to chose two board members each for GUSD and Glendale Community College.
At the end of election night, April 5, three candidates received votes with a very little margin between them. Rafi Manoukian had 8,968 votes, incumbents Dave Weaver had 8,833 and John Drayman received 8,806. About 3,000 votes, including provisionals and vote-by-mail that came in late, need to be tallied.
Provisional voting, according to the California Secretary of State website, exists in California for two fundamental reasons. The first ensures that no properly registered voter is denied the right to cast a ballot if his or her name is not on the polling place roster due to a clerical, processing, computer or other error. The second reason is provisional voting allows election officials to ensure that no voter votes twice, either intentionally or inadvertently in a given election.
If a voter enters his or her polling place and the poll volunteer does not find their name on the roster they do not turn that voter away but casts their vote via provisional voting.
There are many reasons a name does not appear on the roster, from clerical error to a voter moving into a home in another precinct. There are also incidents when someone is on the roster as a vote-by-mail voter however will go to the polls instead. In some cases a voter who opted for vote-by-mail in one election had been registered as a permanent vote-by-mail voter. Again the error could be clerical or the voter could have forgotten to change the original status.
The city clerk must go through all of these provisionals to make certain the voters did not mistakenly vote twice and that are in fact registered voters.
In addition to provisionals, vote-by-mail ballots are also being tallied. The city clerk’s office counted a majority of the received ballots however had to cut off at one point to concentrate on the polls. Those mail-in ballots will be tallied today.
After an election the city clerk’s office works continually on verifying all ballots. The staff enters everyone who voted into a database and verifies the ballots. Although the instructions on the ballot told voters to fill in the bubble for their candidate many put an “x” or line instead. All those ballots need to be verified.
“The results will be on the website,” said city clerk Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian.
The results will not be considered official until they are presented at the city council meeting on April 18.
The city’s voter information website is www.glendalevotes.org or follow the election results on Twitter @cogCITYCLERK.