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Closer Look at Measure J Results, as LA County Issues Notice of Recount

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 11, 2014

Fullerton activist Tony Bushala filed an official request for a recount on Measure J, the $574 million bond in the two-county North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD).  As a college bond, Measure J requires 55% voter approval to pass.

The LA County Registrar of Voters posted their official notice of recount and an LA County recount costs a shocking $5,074.71-$21,158.49 per day. Orange County has a much more reasonable $600 per day.

NOCCCD has 16 precincts in LA County, where 3,947 votes were cast.  NOCCCD has 522 precincts in Orange County, where 150,171 votes were cast.

Much chatter has been on the recount starting in LA County, as LA County Registrar Dean Logan is believed to be more likely to have erroneous counts than the very competent Orange County Registrar Neal Kelley.  Indeed, the OC Registrar recount in the Garden Grove Mayor’s race was cancelled after one day because not a single ballot changed. (Dean Logan’s role in the 2004 Washington Governor’s race was particularly high profile, as the Republican Dino Rossi led for Governor of Washington in multiple recounts until Logan’s King County found a bunch of ballots for Democrat Christine Gregoire.  Logan left King County to become LA County’s Chief Deputy Registrar in 2006 and became LA County’s Registrar in 2008.)

La Habra Heights (LA County) and Yorba Linda (Orange County) are the strongholds of the “No” vote, where most voters opposed Measure J.  Orange County’s Stanton, Anaheim, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Los Alamitos, and La Habra are the strongholds of the “Yes” vote, as are the unincorporated areas of both counties; voters in these areas voted in favor of Measure J by margins exceeding 55%. OC’s Fullerton, Placentia, La Palma, Cypress, Brea, and unincorporated Rossmoor, along with LA County’s Whittier are the closer areas, where Measure J got over 50% but less than the 55% supermajority.

City/Community Yes No
La Mirada 1 100.00% 0 0.00%
Stanton 2265 65.94% 1170 34.06%
Orange 13 65.00% 7 35.00%
Anaheim 19645 60.51% 12821 39.49%
Buena Park 6942 59.06% 4813 40.94%
Garden Grove 2768 58.62% 1954 41.38%
Los Alamitos 1383 57.01% 1043 42.99%
Seal Beach 1287 55.40% 1036 44.60%
Unincorporated LA County 831 55.40% 669 44.60%
La Habra 2449 55.23% 1985 44.77%
Unincorporated OC (Excluding Rossmoor) 3698 55.11% 3012 44.89%
Fullerton 14308 54.74% 11829 45.26%
Placentia 5562 54.32% 4678 45.68%
La Palma 1819 53.63% 1573 46.37%
Cypress 5675 52.68% 5098 47.32%
Brea 4997 52.59% 4504 47.41%
Whittier 620 52.28% 566 47.72%
Rossmoor 1804 50.73% 1752 49.27%
La Habra Heights 577 45.79% 683 54.21%
Yorba Linda 8136 44.51% 10145 55.49%
TOTAL  84780 55.01% 69338 44.99%

Math should be a nonpartisan issue, so in the spirit of this, I’ll concur with Greg Diamond’s math that overturning Measure J requires tossing 34 “Yes” votes at Orange Juice Blog.

However, I understand why the OC Register states Measure J passed by 15 votes.  With 154,118 votes cast, 55% is 84,765 votes. Measure J got 15 votes more: 84,780.  That does not mean that 15 votes is how to defeat Measure J.

Somehow moving 16 votes from the Yes column to the No column would defeat Measure J.  However, that would be a tall order, as that would literally require the vote counting machines to have counted “No” votes as “Yes” votes 16 times.  That seems rather unlikely, with the increased accuracy of vote counting machines in recent years.

The more likely way to defeat Measure J in the recount would be for 34 “Yes” votes to be tossed, as Diamond’s math explains.  His math and mine agree, but here’s a table that presents it in a different method that may help those confused by Diamond’s description:

“Yes” Votes Tossed Yes No Total 55%
0 84780 55.0097976874862% 69338 44.9902023125138% 154118 84765
1 84779 55.0095057651005% 69338 44.9904942348995% 154117 84765
2 84778 55.0092138389265% 69338 44.9907861610735% 154116 84764
3 84777 55.0089219089641% 69338 44.9910780910359% 154115 84764
4 84776 55.0086299752132% 69338 44.9913700247868% 154114 84763
5 84775 55.0083380376737% 69338 44.9916619623263% 154113 84763
6 84774 55.0080460963455% 69338 44.9919539036545% 154112 84762
7 84773 55.0077541512287% 69338 44.9922458487713% 154111 84762
8 84772 55.0074622023230% 69338 44.9925377976770% 154110 84761
9 84771 55.0071702496285% 69338 44.9928297503715% 154109 84760
10 84770 55.0068782931451% 69338 44.9931217068549% 154108 84760
11 84769 55.0065863328726% 69338 44.9934136671274% 154107 84759
12 84768 55.0062943688111% 69338 44.9937056311889% 154106 84759
13 84767 55.0060024009604% 69338 44.9939975990396% 154105 84758
14 84766 55.0057104293205% 69338 44.9942895706795% 154104 84758
15 84765 55.0054184538912% 69338 44.9945815461088% 154103 84757
16 84764 55.0051264746726% 69338 44.9948735253274% 154102 84757
17 84763 55.0048344916646% 69338 44.9951655083354% 154101 84756
18 84762 55.0045425048670% 69338 44.9954574951330% 154100 84755
19 84761 55.0042505142798% 69338 44.9957494857202% 154099 84755
20 84760 55.0039585199029% 69338 44.9960414800971% 154098 84754
21 84759 55.0036665217363% 69338 44.9963334782637% 154097 84754
22 84758 55.0033745197799% 69338 44.9966254802201% 154096 84753
23 84757 55.0030825140336% 69338 44.9969174859664% 154095 84753
24 84756 55.0027905044973% 69338 44.9972094955027% 154094 84752
25 84755 55.0024984911709% 69338 44.9975015088291% 154093 84752
26 84754 55.0022064740545% 69338 44.9977935259455% 154092 84751
27 84753 55.0019144531478% 69338 44.9980855468522% 154091 84751
28 84752 55.0016224284509% 69338 44.9983775715491% 154090 84750
29 84751 55.0013303999637% 69338 44.9986696000363% 154089 84749
30 84750 55.0010383676860% 69338 44.9989616323140% 154088 84749
31 84749 55.0007463316179% 69338 44.9992536683821% 154087 84748
32 84748 55.0004542917591% 69338 44.9995457082409% 154086 84748
33 84747 55.0001622481098% 69338 44.9998377518902% 154085 84747
34 84746 54.9998702006698% 69338 45.0001297993302% 154084 84747

11 Responses to “Closer Look at Measure J Results, as LA County Issues Notice of Recount”

  1. Greg Diamond said

    “Confused by Diamond’s description”? I understand the individual words in that sentence, Chris, but together they seem to make no sense.

    No, seriously — I’m glad to have someone else covering this who also knows how to count. I presume that you won’t mind my linking to the post where I explain why it would require 16 rather than 15 votes to switch, as if that prospect matters: http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2014/12/measure-j-passed-dont-bet-on-a-recount/

    Tim Whitaker told me that Bushala’s team will seek to review all provisionals, rather than, for example, only those in Stanton, West Anaheim, and student-dominated precincts in Fullerton, which is the right thing to do ethically. So that should leave Measure J’s proponents with ample opportunity to object to any inappropriate challenges, IF they have their act together. (I don’t know their plans.) If we get to the point of seeing disqualifying individual voters based on technicalities or other dubious bases, then I expect that we’ll see this end up in court — unless there are so many such ballots that NOCCCD considers that to be futile. (My presumption is that they’d want to spend some money, given the stakes.)

    Let’s all enjoy one more civics lesson before 2014 ends!

  2. La Miradan said

    Curious as to that one Yes vote from La Mirada seeing as how the only part of the city proper in NOCCCD is a strip mall on the NE corner of Santa Gertrudes and Imperial. The only footprint of that vote is in the SVC under “Ballot Group 257” (pg. 14180) http://www.lavote.net/documents/SVC/11042014_SVC.pdf

    It could be a provisional ballot that may well have been erroneously counted given there is not one registered voter in the city proper within the district. http://www.nocccd.edu/documents/NOCCCD_TrusteeAreas_ApprovedScenario.pdf (TA4-McLanahan)

    • Greg Diamond said

      I’ve presumed (without investigating) that some of the unincorporated area south of Whittier may be designated as being from La Mirada. Do you know? That “9990257A” doesn’t seem like a normal precinct number.

      I don’t find anything on the LAVOTE site suggesting what “Ballot Group 257” is. Maybe an overseas or military ballot?

      What I found surprising looking at that page is that there is a precinct, heretofore unmentioned so far as I can tell in any discussion of the LA County portion of this race, designated as being from Hacienda Heights. (Huh?)

      • La Miradan said

        According to the LA County, that is all officially known as “South Whittier” though it is informally known as East La Mirada.

        Having combed through previous years of results this is the first time I have ever seen “Ballot Group.” Such a designation does not appear in any other year’s election results or SVC. I would like to know myself as there were

        Yep, if you look again at the map linked above you’ll notice that there’s a dotted line right at the northernmost point of NOCCCD. Above that line is the tiny portion of Hacienda Heights. Honestly, community college district lines, at least NOCCCD’s are weird and probably need some fine tuning to follow city limits and communities of interest.

  3. confused la habran said

    is the city of la habra (orange county) no longer in noccd?

  4. […] tally changed — and this is unlike what I had expected and what I unwittingly convinced Chris Nguyen over at OCPolitical to believe — the number of votes tallied in each precinct went up for both YES and NO votes […]

  5. […] County Community College District Measure J case is slated to be heard this morning.  After the initial count showed Measure J winning by a very narrow margin (34 “yes” votes need…, Opponents of Measure J launched a recount in order to examine the provisional ballots cast in the […]

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