The race for the 50th Assembly District in the Santa Monica area continues to be close, with Richard Bloom widening his slim lead over Betsy Butler as the latest batch of vote-by-mail ballots were counted Tuesday.
Bloom, the mayor of Santa Monica, led incumbent Butler on election night by just over 200 votes, and his lead dropped to about 100 when the first batch of mail-in votes was counted late last week.
The margin separating the two Democrats was at 218 after Tuesday's count, the second in which vote-by-mail ballots were fed into counting machines at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's office in Norwalk. The next update is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 16.
Santa Monica Mayor Bloom was pulling in more votes in his hometown and in the cities of Agoura Hills and Malibu. Butler was drawing more votes in the Beverly Hills and West Hollywood parts of the district, according to the Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder's updated count.
Because so many people vote by mail, or drop off mail-in ballots at polling places, close elections are often not fully decided on election night because those ballots must first be validated by election officials.
More than a half-million ballots remain to be counted at the Registrar's office, and it's unknown how many of them are from the 50th Assembly District.