Thursday, November 20, 2008

How we voted

Obama receives nearly two-thirds of Ojai votes, while Prop. 8 opposed by nearly same margin

By Daryl Kelley

As election officials moved toward completion next week of the count of ballots cast Nov. 4, an analysis of Ojai voting patterns showed that this bastion of liberal politics again revealed its left-leaning ways on Election Day.
While voter registration in Ojai gives Democrats a 17-percentage-point edge over Republicans, Democratic candidates generally built much greater margins here this time, an early breakdown of Ojai votes shows.
President-elect Barack Obama, for example, received nearly two-thirds of Ojai’s vote, a much greater margin than in Ventura County, the state or the nation as a whole. Republican John McCain got just 31.5 percent of Ojai’s vote.
And in two tight ballot propositions, Ojai voters made a much clearer choice than the nearly even split by the county and the state overall, overwhelmingly rejecting a ban on gay marriage and a requirement that parents be notified and a waiting period imposed before a minor could have an abortion.
Sixty-two percent of Ojai voters opposed the same-sex marriage ban, while the parent notification measure was defeated here by the same margin. Statewide, the vote was split 52-48 for the ban and 48-52 against notification.
Ojai voters were also much more insistent that farm animals be treated humanely when confined than those in the county or the state overall. Nearly three-quarters of Ojai voters favored the animal protection ballot measure.
“In Ojai, there seems to be a real understanding that the need for social justice be considered along with the environment,” said Sue Broidy of the Ojai Valley Democratic Club.
Broidy, president of the club for years and now its secretary, said she thinks Obama and other Democrats did so well in Ojai partly because of the strength and coordination of the historic presidential campaign.
“We’d like to take credit, but there were other forces at work,” she said. “I’m elated after so many campaigns for people who lost … This was a wonderful vindication of a lot of hard work.”
Broidy said she thinks Democrats polled so strongly in Ojai not just because of party registration, but because of the presence of an Obama headquarters in town.
“That made an enormous difference,” she said. “It was a tangible thing for people to visit … and to see we were willing to pay rent and staff our office. And for me as a political activist, it was a very exciting for once to get our campaign out of my living room,” said Broidy, a field representative for Hannah-Beth Jackson when she was an assemblywoman.
Meanwhile, in election updates through Thursday, Democrat Jackson still trailed Republican Tony Strickland for the state Senate by more than 1,700 votes, despite whittling his advantage with new returns from Santa Barbara County. In Ojai, about 63 percent of voters favored Jackson, while she was receiving only about 47 percent of the vote throughout Ventura County, the largest part of the three-county senate district.
And in a tantalizingly close race for a seat on the Ojai Valley Sanitary District board, director William Stone held a one-vote lead on Thursday, after new tallies wiped out challenger George Galgas’ four-vote lead.
In the race for Ojai City Council, Betsy Clapp and Sue Horgan still held strong leads, despite a bit of closing by former Mayor Suza Francina on second-place Horgan, the council incumbent. Horgan still held a 115-vote lead over Francina on Thursday, while Clapp, the leader in the five-person race, was ahead of Horgan by 257 votes.
The Ojai Unified School District parcel tax initiative gained a little ground, but still stood at only 65.6 percent approval, while a two-thirds super majority is required for passage.
Election officials said they thought the counting of the final 20,000 or so late absentee and provisional ballots may be completed by the end of next week, with the next update of results expected Monday afternoon.
Some 6,000 to 8,000 absentee ballots had to be duplicated for processing because of voter mismarks, said Assistant Registrar-Recorder Jim Becker. Another 14,000 provisional ballots still had to be checked for veracity and counted, and the count of about 500 ballots from military employees and residents living overseas had not yet occurred.
Of votes analyzed from earlier counts, about 75 percent of Ojai’s total, not only did Obama and Jackson soar locally, but so did Democratic Assembly candidate Ferial Masry. Despite losing in a close race to incumbent Audra Strickland, Masry easily defeated Strickland in Ojai with about 63 percent of the vote.
In fact, the only Democrat in a legislative or congressional race not to win in a landslide in Ojai was Marta Jorgenson of Solvang. Jorgenson’s margin over Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly was nearly 14 percentage points, here, but that was only about half the margin enjoyed by Obama, Jackson and Masry.
“Marta was not a good candidate,” said Broidy. “She was just as surprised as the rest of us when she won the primary. And she raised only about $2,600 (for the general election campaign).”


Anonymous said...

News flash to OUSD. Measure P did not pass. So get a plan! Sitting around hoping that a few absentee ballots will come in and turn the tide is not a plan. Show some leadership, that is why the school board members were elected and why the Supt. makes the big bucks.

Anonymous said...

November 24, 2008
OJAI City Council
6/6 100.00%

Vote Count

Anonymous said...

Labels are a handy shorthand, but they can also be dangerously inaccurate. Your statement that the "bastion of liberal politics again revealed its left-leaning ways on Election Day" makes me suspect you are a rightwing redneck with a big pickup! How's that for a label? By the way, I'm a registered Republican but I voted for Obama.

Anonymous said...

nice are we in 1st or 2nd grade??
:( :(