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Election update: Measure L passing by greater margin
Support for half-cent sales tax for roads now at 71.3%
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Measure L, the half-cent sales tax measure for Stanislaus County, passed with greater support of voters than preliminary vote counts suggested.

Previously the Stanislaus County Elections Division reported that Measure L was passing with a 70.58 percent majority. The latest unofficial count shows L receiving 71.3 percent of the vote and 28.7 percent in opposition. The measure needed 66 percent plus one vote for passage. A total of 110,834 voters supported the measure and 44,605 opposed it.

Measure L enacts a 25-year half-cent sales tax that will raise an estimated $960 million for the county and its nine cities to spend on road maintenance, new road project construction, other transportation infrastructure and improved services for the elderly and disabled.

Lee Lundrigan, the County Clerk/Recorder and Registrar of Voters, has until Dec. 6 to certify the results of the presidential election and Dec. 8, 2016 for the remaining candidates and measures.

The newest vote tallies show that Donald Trump did not carry Stanislaus County as originally believed. County voters supported Hillary Clinton over Trump by a margin of 46.25 percent to 45.63 percent.

A total of 162,287 ballots were cast out of 241,196 voters registered in Stanislaus County, placing voter turnout at 67.28 percent locally.

Lundrigan's office noted that Ceres now has 19,857 registered voters while Hughson has 3,343. A total of 101,479 Modesto residents are registered to vote. In the unincorporated areas of the county, 46,996 residents are registered voters. The remainder of registered voters and their cities are: 32,497 in Turlock; 10,653 in Oakdale; 9,957 in Riverbank; 8,825 in Patterson; 4,020 in Newman; and 3,569 in Waterford.

An update of results for local candidates is follows:
• Republican incumbent Congressman Jeff Denham held onto his seat by a margin of 52.4 percent, or 110,659 votes, to Eggman's 47.6 percent, or 100,646 votes;

• In the 12th state Assembly race, voters in eastern Stanislaus County (including Hughson and half of Modesto) elected Heath Flora over Ken Vogel to replace Kristin Olsen. Olson could not run due of term limits and decided instead to seek the District 1 seat on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors to take over when Bill O'Brien retires. Flora handily defeated Vogel by 52.6 percent (or 73,877 votes), or Vogel's 47.4 percent (or 66,463 votes).

• State Assemblyman Adam Gray, defeated Republican challenger Greg Opinski in the low-key 21st Assembly District race. Gray received 68.5 percent of the vote, or 62,535 votes, in contrast to Republican Opinski's 31.5 percent, or 28,779 votes.

• Yosemite Community College District Area 7 trustee Tom Hallinan of Ceres appears to have lost his seat to farmer Jon Rodriguez by a mere 130 votes. The latest tally shows Rodriguez winning Hallinan's seat with 50.15 percent of the vote, or 8,948 votes, over Hallinan's 49.43 percent, or 8,818 votes. Hallinan is an attorney who also serves as the Ceres city attorney.

• Voters in Hughson Unified School District passed Measure Q, a $3.2 million bond measure to improve the quality of education, upgrade elementary and middle school classrooms, a new restroom facility at the middle school, install a new field irrigation system at the elementary school and install a security camera system. The measure appears to have passed with greater than the minimum 55 percent majority. In unofficial vote tallies, Measure Q received 59.53 percent of the "yes" vote, or 2,177 votes, and 40.47 percent "no" votes, or 1,480.

• Hughson's Measure R, a $2.2 million bond issuance to install a new air conditioning system in the gym, re-roof the gym, provide an all-weather track install a security camera system, also passed. It, too, needed at least a 55 percent majority for passage. It attracted 60.06 percent support, or 2,177 votes. Opposition was running at 40.47 percent, or 1,480 "no" votes, in the unofficial results.

• California voters overwhelming supported State Attorney General Kamala Harris to replace Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate. Harris received 62.4 percent of the vote, or 6,566,935 votes, to defeat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez who picked up 37.6 percent of the vote, or 3,962,523 votes.

California voters approved Propositions 51, 52, 54-59, 63, 64, 66 and 67. They turned down 53, 60, 61, 62, and 65.

While California voters approved background checks for ammunition sales in Prop. 63, by a margin of 62.7 percent to 37.3 percent, more conservative Stanislaus County voters were against the measure by 53.04 percent to 46.96 percent.

California residents voted in favor of Proposition 64 to make recreational marijuana use legal (by a margin of 56.5 percent to 43.5 percent, county voters again showed they lean more right than the state. Stanislaus County voters were against legalizing pot use by a margin of 50.67 percent to 49.33 percent.

City Council elections were not held in Ceres or Hughson but city voters in Newman, Patterson, Riverbank, Turlock and Waterford had municipal elections.

In the closet race in the county, four votes separate Turlock City Council candidates Steven Nascimento and Amy Bublak, with Nascimento ahead with 2,575 votes and Bublak four votes behind at 2,571. A total of 431 Turlock residents either skipped the council race on the ballot.