Still a few ballots to count, but Measure H has passed

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Supporters of Measure H declared victory Friday after the Los Angeles County sales tax increase to help fund services for the homeless won solid support among voters.

“The County of Angels lived up to its name,” County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement. “Thanks to voters’ trust, generosity and compassion, we now have the means to implement proven strategies to end and prevent homelessness on a massive scale and address the defining civic issue of our time.”

The news comes as county election officials released another update of the vote count for the March local election. Across L.A. County, about 9,000 provisional ballots are still to be counted. The vote count is expected to officially wrap up on Monday.

Measure H drew enough support to pass as of Friday, regardless of the remaining votes to be counted. It received more than the two-thirds vote that was required for approval, with the latest tally showing that 69.24 percent of the votes cast backed the measure.

The quarter cent sales tax could raise $355 million annually for services for homeless.

But another tight race remains unclear: that’s the battle for the Los Angeles City Council seat representing Central and Northeast Los Angeles.

Incumbent Councilman Gil Cedillo appears headed for a runoff. But it’s too close to know for certain. Cedillo needs to draw a majority of the votes to win outright. He’s currently has 49.37 percent of the votes.

His closest challenger, Joe Bray-Ali, is second with 37.96 percent support. If Cedillo fails to win a majority, he would face Bray-Ali in a runoff in May.

The two other candidates are further behind: Giovany Hernandez has 8.48 percent and Jesse Rosas has 4.19 percent.

A spokeswoman for the country registrar's office said the number of outstanding ballots for this race was unavailable Friday. 

The county’s voter turnout has improved a bit as more ballots have been counted. It now stands just shy of 17 percent.

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