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For Some, Election Tension Continues Over Absentee Ballots

November 11, 1994

Pumped up with adrenaline, they waited with champagne bottles in luxury hotels two nights ago, eager to hear that their candidate had won.

Thursday, weary staffs involved in three close contests were still waiting, this time in the drab surroundings of the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder's office, where the largest number of absentee ballots in the state will be counted.

Their assignment was to watch like hawks as dozens of elections officials started the process by beginning to open more than 170,000 absentee ballots to verify signatures.

More than 140 public employees were to continue working today and over the weekend with the goal of beginning to count the votes Monday morning.

The results could change the outcome in the 54th Assembly District, where incumbent Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) leads Republican Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor Steve Kuykendall by just 64 votes; in the 36th Congressional District, where Republican Rancho Palos Verdes Councilwoman Susan Brooks leads incumbent Jane Harman (D-Rolling Hills) by 93 votes, and in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein and the GOP's Mike Huffington, who trails by 123,610 votes statewide.

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