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COMMUNITY NEWS / Covering Orange County's 33 Cities

Costa Mesa

November 16, 2000|Jennifer Kho, (949) 574-4275

Much like the presidential race but without court actions and a recount, results of the Costa Mesa City Council election hinge on absentee ballots.

The county registrar of voters office announced this week that City Council candidate Karen L. Robinson's lead over incumbent Councilwoman Heather K. Somers has narrowed from 100 the day after the election to just 36 votes.

However, not all the absentee ballots--estimated at 80,000 countywide--have been counted. The registrar's office could not say what percentage is from Costa Mesa.

According to the updated numbers, Robinson has 9,035--12.51% of the 72,197 votes counted. Somers has 8,999, or 12.46%.

Councilman-elect Chris Steel remains the top vote-getter with 10,425, and incumbent Councilwoman Libby Cowan has the second-highest with 10,088.

Most of the absentee ballots, which had to be submitted by Nov. 7 to be valid, are included in the updated results. But an estimated 24,000 provisional votes--those cast by first-time voters or new county residents--are still being counted.

The county has until Dec. 5 to report final results to the state.

The new council members were expected to be sworn in Dec. 4, but city officials said the date could change.

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