LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Friday will update vote results in the special election to fill the L.A. City Council seat vacated by Nury Martinez -- with community relations manager Imelda Padilla in the lead, and just 155 votes separating the second- and fourth-place candidates.
Padilla has 2,888 votes or 25.55% of the ballots counted in the District 6 race, according to figures reported Tuesday night, when voting concluded.
Marisa Alcaraz was second with 1,723 votes, or 19.24%; Rose Grigoryan was third with 1,610 votes, or 17.98%; and Marco Santana was fourth, with 1,568 votes, or 17.51%.
Small-business owner Issac Kim was the only other candidate in the field of seven to top 10%, with 1,033 votes, or 11.53%.
If no candidate receives a majority, there will be a runoff between the top two vote getters, with the deadline to cast ballots June 27.
Turnout was low, with initial returns including 9,085 ballots cast, or 7.67% of the 118,473 voters registered in the District 6. The initial tally includes 8,301 ballots from voters by mail and 784 ballots from in-person vote centers.
Mike Sanchez, a spokesman for the registrar's office, said Thursday that preliminary estimates of the number of ballots left to be processed are 3,600 vote-by-mail ballots, 95 conditional voter-registration ballots and five provisional ballots.
"The vote-by-mail ballots included in the estimate (were) received on Election Day by the United State Postal Service or returned in person at a ballot drop box or vote center," Sanchez said in an email.
"The number of outstanding vote-by-mail ballots will increase as the RR/CC continues to accept ballots that are postmarked by Election Day and received through Tuesday, April 11. These ballots are not included in the preliminary estimate."
Following Friday's update, the next vote-tally update will be Tuesday.
Council District 6 consists of Van Nuys, Arleta, Lake Balboa, Panorama City, Sun Valley and the eastern portions of North Hills and North Hollywood.
Martinez represented the district until October, when she resigned her council presidency and then, two days later, her seat altogether. Her resignations came in the wake of Martinez being caught making racist comments in a meeting that was secretly taped and leaked to the news media.
Former Councilman Gil Cedillo was also in that meeting, along with Councilman Kevin de León and Ron Herrera, president of the L.A. County Federation of Labor. Herrera also resigned his post, while Cedillo ultimately left the council at the end of his term after losing his bid for re-election in June.
De León has defied continued calls for his resignation but has been stripped by the council of major committee assignments and largely shunned by council colleagues.
The Sixth District is being overseen by a non-voting caretaker, the city's chief legislative analyst, Sharon Tso. A non-voting caretaker does not hold a seat on the council, but oversees the council office to make sure the district provides constituent services and other basic functions.
The winner of the special election will finish Martinez's term, which ends in December 2024.