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Alhambra Sales Tax Measure Headed for Approval

  • Mary Strouse leaves the Emery Park Vote Center on March 3. The 101 year-old Alhambra resident cast her ballot in the Presidential Primary around 4:00 p.m. with only a short wait to vote. Around 6:00 p.m. the line stretched out the door and around the building. Photo by Helen Arase

  • A line of voters waited to get into Reese Hall at the Civic Center Library for the Match primary vote. Photo by Helen Arase

  • The line of voters stretched around the library toward first street. Those in line by 8 p.m. were allowed to vote. Photo by Helen Arase

  • When polls closed at 8:00 p.m. the end of the voting line snaked outside and around the library, down the sidewalk, past City Hall, ending at the police station. Photo by Helen Arase

Location

Alhambra , CA

 Residents of Alhambra joined the rest of California in voting in the presidential primary on Super Tuesday.  

Alhambra voters were also being asked to decide on Measure AL, a 3/4% sales tax ordinance, which the city projects would raise $8.1 million annually to go to infrastructure improvements including road repair, bridge retrofitting and the filling of ten open positions within the Alhambra Police Department.

The measure required a 50% plus one vote for approval.  Vote totals from the Los Angeles County Registrar- Recorder’s office as of noon Wednesday showed 4,980 yes votes, or 63.50% for the measure and 2,863 no votes, or 36.50% opposed. The vote won’t be officially declared until it is certified by the Registrar Recorder/L.A. County Clerk on March 27 and sent on to the Board of Supervisors for action on March 31.

Voting on Tuesday in Alhambra was marked by some long lines and delays caused by the new L.A. County voting system. Reese Hall in the Civic Center Library was one of four designated polling locations in the city. Lines of voters trying to get into Reese Hall Tuesday evening stretched around the library from second street to first street. Poll workers said that from 6 p.m. on the wait to vote was 2 1/2 hours. 

Some of the delays were apparently caused by the “live” check in system that often took more than ten minutes to update. This delay caused other voters to either use provisional ballots or stand in line to wait for the system to update. 

 Machine malfunctions also played a role in the delays. 

There were 25 of the new voting machines at the library but 10 of them were down at various times Tuesday.  Peak voting hours at Reese Hall were before morning rush hour, during lunch and then from 4 p.m. on. As lines grew late in the afternoon, poll workers suggested to voters that they go to one of the other three locations in Alhambra to cast their ballots and gave them directions to those sites.

The voting problems occurred throughout L.A. County and brought calls for an investigation from County Supervisor Janice Hahn and apologies from LA County Registrar of Voters Dean Logan who acknowledged the problems.

Voting in other parts of the SGV was also of interest to Alhambra.

In Monterey Park, Robert L. Gin, a longtime member of the Alhambra Unified School District’s Board of Education, lost his bid for the second district council seat in Monterey Park. He came in second to Yvonne Yiu who got 29.07% of the vote to Gin’s 25.17%. Yiu got 514 votes to Gin’s 445. 

Approval of a three-quarter cent sales tax measure in Monterey Park was trailing by an almost 2-1 margin as well as a measure on how to use that tax should it be approved.

 In statewide and congressional races, Assembly member Ed Chau received 49.98% of the vote in his re-election campaign. He will face Burton Brink who garnered 26/16% in November. The 49th District includes Alhambra.

Congress Member Judy Chu, who represents the 27th Congressional District which includes Alhambra, got 70.84% of the vote or 61,446 votes and will face Republican Johnny Nalbandian in November. Nalbandian got 12.95% of the vote or 11,233 votes. 

Helen Arase contributed reporting to this story.

  

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