Primary election: With most votes counted, only Measure F hangs in the balance

Senior Account Clerk Daisy Williams prepares ballots to be counted.
Senior Account Clerk Daisy Williams prepares ballots to be counted at the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s office.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

After the Santa Cruz County Clerk updated the tallies from the June 7 primary election on Tuesday, turnout had surpassed 45%, with the vast majority of the 76,344 votes cast coming via mail.

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After a major update Tuesday from the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s office, counting is nearly complete of votes from the June 7 primary election, with just one race still appearing inconclusive.

That’s Measure F, which would raise the sales tax in the city of Santa Cruz by 0.5% — half of 1% — and boost the city’s general fund by an estimated $8 million annually. As of Tuesday afternoon’s update, the “No” vote was leading by exactly 100 votes, 8,354-8,254.

County Clerk Tricia Webber told Lookout’s Mark Conley on Monday that Measure F was on track to be the only local contest “that will need to wait until certification to be completely decided. And there will be a full hand recount of that contest prior to certification just to be sure of the results.

“The other contests will have around a 35% manual recount to verify. The law says we only need to do 1%, but we always do more and will do a 100% manual tally if the contest is close, like Measure F is.”

With the clerk’s office needing to certify the results by July 5, Webber said, her staff is in the meantime tying up other loose ends including adjudicating same-day-registration and provisional ballots to determine eligibility, waiting for signature cures and other required audits such as examining the write-ins, voter participation history and reconciliation of ballots to votes cast.

One conclusive outcome is that after a slow start, voter turnout had surpassed 45%, in the ballpark with the 47% turnout in the most recent non-presidential June primary of 2018.

Among the ballot measures, the big-ticket rail-trail Measure D trailed by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, with its Greenway proponents having conceded defeat June 8; Measure B (a countywide tax on tourists), Measure C (county disposable-cup tax) and Measure E (city of Santa Cruz district elections) all looked to be passing handily.

Full vote counts from Santa Cruz County’s primary election aren’t expected until Friday, but we’ve seen enough of the...

In the races for Santa Cruz County Supervisor, Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson and Justin Cummings were headed for a District 3 showdown in November, when Jimmy Dutra and Felipe Hernandez will face off in District 4.

And in State Assembly contests, former Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin got a big boost on her home turf to seemingly secure a spot on the November ballot for District 28, likely against former Monte Sereno Mayor Liz Lawler, the only Republican among the four candidates. District 30, meanwhile, was on track to pit Democrat Dawn Addis against Republican Vicki Nohrden.

See our interactive charts below for up-to-date vote counts and percentages.


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