Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued a tentative ruling Aug. 13 denying the Long Beach Reform Coalition’s request, and after hearing oral arguments from the county and the coalition’s legal teams, issued a final order upholding his initial decision.
A tentative ruling posted Friday morning denied a request for the court to order county election officials to pick up the tab for collecting the roughly 100,000 ballots cast in last March’s election so they could be counted at a “reasonable” cost.
Unlike statewide contests, for which the governor can initiate a recount, county and citywide elections have no trigger for recounts.
The lawsuit filed Monday seeks legal intervention in a recount that was called off late last month as county election officials and the recount requester argued over the cost of the process.
The recount was halted Monday after county officials told members of the Long Beach Reform Coalition that they hadn’t deposited enough money to continue.
For the first time voters were allowed to cast their ballots from anywhere in the county and now the task of tracking down all of those ballots could be adding to a local recount effort.
Head of the Long Beach Reform Coalition said that the group waited until Wednesday to file its official request with the county to initiate a recount so the group could fundraise; the recount is likely to cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The indefinite sales tax extension needs over 50% to pass and has been making up ground since initial voting results put it in an early hole.
A staff report given to the council Tuesday night revealed that “general economic growth,” departmental savings, a rise in the price of oil and sales tax largely contributed to the roughly $8 million in surplus that the council distributed Tuesday night.