Final vote count on Los Angeles solar ballot measure due Thursday

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With the passage or rejection of Measure B, the solar energy and job creation initiative, hanging in the balance, the Los Angeles City Clerk’s election division will announce the final vote count for the March 3 election on Thursday, March 19. Since the “no” side held a slim 1322-vote–or 0.6%–lead in the unofficial early results, the outcome could change after some 46,000 mail-in, provisional, and damaged ballots are tallied.

The official canvass was originally scheduled for completion on March 24, but election officials announced last week that the final results would be revealed several days earlier than previously slated.

Measure B, which has the strong backing of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, several unions, community organizations, and environmental groups, would amend the city charter to “authorize creation of an L.A. Department of Water and Power program to require production of at least 400 MW of solar power energy by 2014…. To achieve this, the LADWP would install, operate, and maintain solar power installations on properties within the City, and on City-owned airports.”

Supporters and foes of the measure both told the Los Angeles Times that they are confident that their side would prevail, once the votes are counted.

“We still believe in the electoral process and encourage the clerk’s office to swiftly and accurately count those votes so the city and its leaders can move forward,” said Sarah Leonard, spokeswoman for the Yes on Measure B campaign.

Former Daily News of Los Angeles editor Ron Kaye, now a blogger and foe of Measure B, said he’s confident that Measure B will continue to trail even after the uncounted ballots are tallied. Opposition to the measure didn’t pick up steam until two weeks before the March 3 vote, and he expects most of the uncounted mail-in ballots to reflect that trend.

“On election day we won,” Kaye said.

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