Outcomes unaffected by late ballots as L.A. County finishes tally

Outcomes unaffected by late ballots as L.A. County finishes tally
A voter in Long Beach casts his ballot in a barber shop doubling as a polling place in the June 3 primary election. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

The final tally of Los Angeles County ballots from the June 3 California primary has been completed, apparently resulting in no race outcomes being changed, election officials said Wednesday.

The tally showed that just 17% of eligible voters participated in the primary.

All the candidates for a given race appear on a single ballot and only the first- and second-place finishers, regardless of party, advance to the general election.

The state's most populous county had some 150,000 ballots left to count after election night. Most of these were mail ballots that arrived before the polls closed on election day but not soon enough to be tabulated that night along with those votes cast at precincts.

Others were so-called provisional ballots, which had to be checked to be sure a voter was qualified or had not cast more than one ballot. Every qualified ballot was counted and included in the final tally.

In one close race, the tally confirmed that activist Sandra Fluke had secured a place on the November ballot in a South Bay state Senate district with a narrow second-place primary finish.

Fluke will face fellow Democrat Ben Allen in the general election after defeating independent Seth Stodder, who had closely trailed her.

In the final tally of the eight-candidate race, first-place finisher Allen, a Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board member, received 25,987 votes, or 22.18%; Fluke got 22,759, or 19.43%, and Stodder, the only non-Democrat on the ballot, won 20,419, or 17.43%

Fluke, a West Hollywood attorney, was thrust into the spotlight in 2012 when conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" for testifying before Congress that health insurers should pay for contraception.

Allen and Fluke will compete in the Nov. 4 election to succeed state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), who is running for Congress.

County Registrar-Recorder/Clerk Dean C. Logan said he expects to certify election results on June 30 and the Board of Supervisors to declare the results official on July 1.

Counties have until July 4 to finish their tallies and report their certified results to the Secretary of State's Office. All but a handful had completed the process by Wednesday.

Follow @jeanmerl for news about Southern California politics.