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Transit tax measure falling short of required vote

It appears that a Los Angeles County transit tax measure that appeared on this month's ballot is getting too little support, too late and is likely to fail.

The tax extension, known as Measure J, now has 65.88% approval, according to the latest numbers released Wednesday by the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office. That's slightly short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Measure J would extend an existing 30-year, half-cent sales tax for transportation projects that was  approved by voters in 2008 for an additional three decades.

Close to 800,000 vote-by-mail and provisional ballots were uncounted after the Nov. 6 election, when officials reported Measure J had garnered 64.72% support with 100% of precincts reporting.

Officials have continued counting ballots and the approval percentage has inched upward.

County officials reported Wednesday that 2,794,715 Measure J votes had been counted, with 1,841,208 in favor and 953,507 against. 

Election official Talyssa Gonzales said there are approximately 70,000 to 75,000 ballots that remain to be counted. About 96% percent of those ballots would have to approve Measure J for it to pass, a rate radically higher than that seen to date.  

The count will remain unofficial until the final results are certified, probably early next month.

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- Ari Bloomekatz

 
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