Step-by-step, inch-by-inch, West Hollywood City Councilmember Jeffrey Prang is moving toward what looks to be an evitable victory in the race for L.A. County Assessor.
As of yesterday afternoon, the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder’s Office was reporting that Prang had a majority of 50.95 percent of the vote in his race against John Morris, the county deputy district attorney, who had 49.05 percent of the vote.
California state law requires the Registrar’s office to complete and certify results within 28 days. What that office has been slowly counting since the Nov. 5 election are provisional and write-in ballots. Provisional ballots are those in which the voter’s name does not appear on the electoral roll for his or her precinct or the voter’s registration contains a misspelled name or inaccurate address. Those ballots require additional research to validate them.
There are approximately 100,000 ballots remaining to be counted. Given that only about 70 percent of voters in the general election have voted on the Assessor position, that means Prang will have to win at least a slight majority of 70,000 votes. An analysis shows that Prang has a higher percentage lead among the provisional and write-in ballots counted thus far. It that lead continues, as expected, he will win the race.
“It’s statistically impossible for this to change at this juncture,” Prang told WEHOville.
Meanwhile, the West Hollywood City Council will have to decide how to fill Prang’s seat. Its options are to appoint someone to fill the remaining two years of his term or to hold a special election in June. Those options have been the focus of debate among political observers and commenters on WEHOville.com, with some saying the Council should appoint someone to avoid the estimated $150,000 cost of the special election and others saying the decision should be left to voters.