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Voter turnout a third of February's

• Only 16% in L.A. County turned out for Tuesday's election

Posted: June 5, 2008 2:36 a.m.
Updated: August 6, 2008 5:03 a.m.

In February, "Super Tuesday" attracted California voters, young and old, to the ballot box in record numbers.

With no presidential candidates on the June ballot, many of those same voters decided to stay home Tuesday and wait until the General Election in November to cast their votes.

Approximately 657,218 voters in Los Angeles County, or 16.56 percent of those registered, participated in the state's final election before the presidential election on Nov. 4, according to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office
The lackluster turnout was a dramatic decrease from February's primary election, when the County Clerk's office reported a 46.07 turnout (1,820,758 voters).

Despite the low turnout, a few major issues and important offices were placed on the June ballot, which was California's final primary election of 2008.

Two competing and controversial state measures, which pundits believed would compensate for a lack of big names on the ballot, were decided Tuesday.

Proposition 98, a broad measure supported mostly by landlord groups, failed to garner enough votes for approval. An overwhelming number of voters in Los Angeles County - 68.4 percent, or 424,722 votes - rejected the measure, which would have amended the state Constitution to phase out rent control.

If approved, it would have also barred agencies from forcing property owners to private developers yet allowed the eminent domain of property for public uses, such as schools and roads.

Prop. 99 approved

Conversely, Proposition 99, a competing measure placed on the ballot by associations representing counties, cities and renters, was approved. More than 63 percent of county residents approved the measure, which did not make changes to rent control laws and was more narrowly defined about eminent domain than Proposition 98.

Statewide, approximately 62.4 percent of voters approved Proposition 99, while nearly 61 percent of voters rejected Proposition 98.

"By placing a second eminent domain measure on the ballot, opponents of private property rights created enough confusion between the ballot measures to defeat Proposition 98," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. "Proposition 99's loopholes will allow eminent domain abuse to continue. Its purported home protections do not apply to all homes, and not one business, family farm or place of worship."

In addition to the two state measures, outcomes of two local offices were also decided on Tuesday.

Three county supervisor seats were up for election, including the fifth supervisoral district, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.

Incumbent Michael D. Antonovich secured an eighth term as county supervisor, handily disposing of his opponent, 30-year-old Mark Hinze, by a wide margin.

According to the County-Clerk's office, Antonovich received 94,049 votes, or 78.97 percent. Conversely, Hinze, who ran under the Party for Socialism and Liberation ticket, garnered 25,047 votes, or 21.03 percent.

"I want to thank the citizens for this vote of confidence and for the honor and privilege of representing them," Antonovich said Tuesday evening. "My office will continue to provide our communities with quality, responsive, proactive constituent service."

A judgeship was also up for grabs, as voters had three attorneys to choose from for the Superior Court opening in its 82nd office, which includes portions of the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys.

Mike Lee, a criminal prosecutor and Valencia resident, was the odd man out in the three-person race, earning 121,118 votes, or 28.06 percent.

Runoff in November

Superior Court referee Cynthia Loo received a plurality of the votes, with 188,241 voters (38.95 percent) supporting her. Thomas Rubinson, a 17-year deputy district attorney who served in the Hardcore Gang Division, was a close second with 173,972 votes (35.99 percent).

Since neither Loo nor Rubinson earned a majority of the vote, both will face each other again in a runoff election on the November 4 ballot.

Several other candidates ran for their respective party's nomination in state or federal representative contests.

While most candidates ran unopposed, Ferial Masry and David Hare battled for the Democratic nomination for the state's 37th Assembly seat. With 1,365 votes (64.45 percent) Masry secured the party's nomination and will face off against Republican nominee Audra Strickland in November. Hale earned 753 votes (35.55 percent).

Also earning nominations for the General Election in November are:
• Republican Cameron Smyth (Incumbent) and Democrat Carole Lutness, 38th State Assembly district;
• Republican George Runner (Incumbent) and Democrat Bruce McFarland, 17th State Senate district;
• Republican Tony Strickland and Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson, 19th State Senate district;
• Republican Howard "Buck" McKeon (Incumbent) and Democrat Jackie Conaway, 25th U.S. Congressional district.

All five offices will be on the November ballot for a final vote. The race for the 19th State Senate district is to fill the opening left by Sen. Tom McClintock, who was termed out of office. McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, who is seeking to represent California's 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, beat Doug Ose for the Republican nomination in conservative Granite Bay, approximately 25 miles northeast of Sacramento.

According to the County Clerk, official election results for the Statewide Primary Election will be certified by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on July 1.

Certification of the election results will follow a 28-day detailed vote canvassing period.


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