CARLSBAD — About 7,100 provisional ballots have yet to counted in the special election regarding Measure A.
Last night, it appeared the measure was defeated by a 186-vote margin, however, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters announced it still must count provisional votes. The unofficial tally from Tuesday’s count was 16,727 no votes to 16,541 in support.
Michael Vu of the registrar of voters office said the mail ballots will be counted first and expects the provisionals to be added to the count most likely on Monday.
The campaign was the most expensive in county history with more than $10.5 million spent, although the grassroots effort of Citizens for North County only generated about $100,000 in contributions including a $75,000 donation from the Westfield Corp. The Australian-based company is a rival of Caruso Affiliated, which aimed to develop 48 acres for a luxury retail space and 155 acres of open space including hiking trails on the south shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.
The results are in and Measure A was narrowly defeated by voters on Tuesday.
In the unofficial results released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, the measure gathered 16,727 (50.28 percent) votes against and 16,541 (49.72) for, a difference of 186 votes.
A furious rally on Tuesday appears to be the deciding factor as Yes on A mustered a lead of more than 2,000 votes from absentee ballots. Voters on Tuesday, however, came in large numbers opposing the measure and rallied to squeeze out a victory.
An earlier post incorrectly called the race a win for Measure A supporters.
In a surprising turn, the No on A push has trimmed the lead for Measure A to less than 500 votes.
In the latest poll results, the yes votes account for 15,536 (50.74 percent), while the no vote is at 15,083 (49.26). The opposition began the night trailing by more than 2,000 votes as the absentee ballots were counted and released at 8:01 p.m.
Since then, opponents of the controversial luxury retail center have chipped away at the lead. This latest round of votes marks the biggest jump as the opposition sliced five percent off the lead as 78 percent of precincts are reporting.
In the latest return of votes for Measure A, the opposition has gained a bit of ground.
The San Diego County Registrar of Voters released the results with 14,004 (53 percent) for the measure and 12,377 (47 percent) against with 38 percent of precincts reporting.
The second release of votes concerning Measure A are in.
The San Diego County Registrar of Voters released the second round just before 10 p.m. The current tally has the yes vote leading 13,146 (54 percent) to 11,234 (46 percent) with 10 percent of precincts reporting.
The opposition, however, did gain some ground in the latest count. After trailing by more than 2,000 votes from the absentee count, the opposition has trimmed the lead to 1,912.
Initial returns from the special election show Measure A supporters in the lead.
Upon the first release of more than 23,000 mail-in ballots, Yes on A leads 54.72 percent to 45.28, or 12,813 to 10,602.
The early returns cover the absentee ballots for the proposal to commercially develop 26 acres on the south shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.
Both sides expected a close vote coming into Tuesday. According to the Registrar of Voters, about 24,000 absentee ballots were cast.
The opposition, meanwhile, has an uphill battle to climb if they are to win the election. The National University System Institute for Policy Research in San Diego analyzed Tuesday’s early ballots and other trends.
According to Vince Vasquez of the NUSIPR, more than 9,000 ballots were expected to be cast on Tuesday plus thousands of completed absentee ballots to be turned in at the polling locations.
Based on the current results, however, the opposition would need at least 5,607 votes (62.3 percent) of the 9,000 ballots cast to take a one vote lead. To win, the percentage would likely have to remain the same or increase based on those estimates.
Read Friday’s Coast News for further breakdown of the election.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.