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Two-vote margin in recount returns incumbent to San Gabriel council

Two-vote margin in recount returns incumbent to San Gabriel council
Two teams of city employees and election officials recounted ballots Thursday to determine who won a seat on the San Gabriel City Council in the March 3 election. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

Incumbent San Gabriel City Councilwoman Juli Costanzo was named the winner of a tied election after a manual recount Thursday, officials said.

A machine count of the vote performed last week had both Costanzo and challenger Denise Menchaca at 1,276 votes.

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But on Thursday, two teams of city employees and election officials recounted and found four uncounted votes. Costanzo won three of those, bringing her total to 1,279.

Menchaca's final vote total was 1,277.

If the recount had resulted in another tie, state elections code says a game of random chance would have been the tiebreaker.

Past tiebreakers have included coin flips, hands of pokers and the drawing of names out of a hat.

Councilman John Harrington, Menchaca and Costanzo were competing for two open council seats in the city's March 3 elections. Harrington took the first seat with a total of 1,747 votes.

Costanzo will be sworn in at a City Council meeting Tuesday.

For more San Gabriel Valley news, follow me @frankshyong

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