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LVUSD Provisional Ballots Now Counted, Confusion Cleared

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Counting for the LVUSD election mostly took place on Tue night and Wed morning, but the final pieces -- the provisional votes -- still needed to be counted. This is now complete. Votes are unofficial until certified, but at this time, the total votes (from highest to lowest) are as follows:

3197 Lesli Stein
2844 Angela Cutbill
2583 Dallas Lawrence
2300 Mary Jo Ammon
2142 Ray Pearl
35 Sharon Kaiser

This election and the count was confusing -- and it especially had impact for LVUSD's third seat. If you are interested, see below for more detail. But, as of now, the updated numbers show the winners as Lesli Stein, Angela Cutbill and Dallas Lawrence. This vote will be certified a few weeks from now, and then it becomes official. Westlake Village, despite being smaller than both Agoura Hills and Calabasas, was the deciding factor on the LVUSD race.

Why was this so confusing?
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For this election, LVUSD votes came from a variety of sources. As the City of Westlake Village does sometimes, the City ran its own election. When there's a City Council election, this saves the City money. When there isn't a city election, then all of the election process is administered by the county (as it was 4 years ago) and reported by the County. Running its own election also gives the residents a very close up look at democracy in action. The public is not only able to watch the vote counts on TV, but one could easily go down to City Hall and watch the process in person.

In preparing for the election, and the Westlake Revelations monitoring page, the City told Westlake Revelations that the counts would be done by approximately 10pm on Tue night, and then sent to the county. It turns out that these were actually sent to the County the next day, but that's not really relevant. Before the election, the City suggested that we talk to the county about how they handled the LA County counts, specifically in regards to the numbers that Westlake Village sends the County.

What was confusing is that LA County told Westlake Revelations that they would ultimately include the Westlake Village counts in the LA County counts. Late on the evening of election night, when numbers started to not make sense, we were suspicious of that information from LA County. By early morning Wed, we determined definitively that this was not the case, and that the counts from LA County, the City of Westlake Village, and Ventura County needed to be added together. In other words, despite what the county told us, LA County never included the City of Westlake Village votes -- they never should have said that Westlake Village will be included in the County counts. Hence the confusion.

As an aside, Sharon Kaiser had originally filed and then decided not to run due to professional time commitments. LA County was responsible for notifying Ventura County of the change, but apparently didn't do so.