Bass now leads Caruso by 36,000 votes in L.A. mayor’s race as margin widens despite two late-counting votes
Early Thursday morning, a federal judge in Los Angeles certified that election results in the race for Los Angeles mayor will stand despite two late-counted votes — a pair of ballots from voters who live in communities within the city but voted elsewhere in the county.
The two votes in question were in the city of Lancaster, which is in Los Angeles County but is part of the greater Los Angeles area, where the county and voting districts are more sprawling than are those in the city of Los Angeles.
The judge concluded in his decision that the late-counting vote from another county was “not caused by outside interference with the election,” so it couldn’t be counted as part of the official returns.
On Thursday, the county Registrar of Voters released the unofficial election results, which showed incumbent Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the first Hispanic and first African-American Los Angeles mayor, leading businessman Antonio Villaraigosa for the U.S. Senate by a margin of 40,000 votes.
The two votes in Lancaster, which is about 33 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, appeared on the county’s final Election Day tabulation.
The final unofficial results released Thursday show County Registrar of Voters Director Ed Cota’s office counted the two late-counted votes as part of the official vote, which would have been counted at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Lancaster.
Cota’s office then released the results after running the first round of results up to 5 p.m. Wednesday, which was not counted in the official returns, and then counted both of the late-counted votes as part of the final results.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Villaraigosa said “I believe that the counting of the late-count votes in the Lancaster area is in full compliance with election law.”
“I don’t believe that they impacted the election,” Villaraigosa, 57, said in reference to how he voted in Lancaster. “They don’t change anything about what I’ve said.”
The mayor’s final unofficial results showed him on track for a second term, winning 46 percent of the vote. “I’m going to continue to focus on being a good stew