Rosemead Elections Night …… I had the privilege of attending the ballot counting process for the City Of Rosemead Municipal Elections last week. I arrived at City Hall at 7:51 and went into council chambers where the counting was to take place. There were approximately 13 volunteers who handled the ballot counting process. The process is quite interesting and you should see it sometime in action. The ballots are brought in by courier after the precincts are closed. A clerk validates the roll with ballots received, and then the canvassers account for the ballots. Then the ballots are fed into counting device and automatically tabulated. The totals are then validated and results are displayed. All of this took place under the watchful eyes of the city officials including the City Clerk and an officer from the Sherriff’s department. There are seven precincts in Rosemead and voting day ballots along with mail-in votes are counted. Rosemead officials displayed the vote count through a MS Excel spreadsheet on a projected screen. When the final count was announced at approximately 9:30 PM, there were cheers and applause, hugs and handshake. It was so good to see three quality and honest politicians return to represent their city. Margaret Clark will continue to bring years of experience and oversight to the council, while Steven Ly and Sandra Armenta bring enthusiasm and energy in moving the city in the right direction. And even though Janet Chin was unsuccessful, you have to admire her for her effort to unseat a popular incumbent. Let’s hope she’s not disappointed in the process and continues her pursuit to win a seat in the next municipal elections. Even though only 11.8% of eligible voters actually voted, it was good to see democracy at work. Overall, all the candidates and the City of Rosemead should be proud of their municipal election for 2013…. San Gabriel Elections Night…. The race for San Gabriel City Council was as contentious as any in the San Gabriel Valley. Five qualified candidates competed for three spots; leaving two on the outside. San Gabriel ballot counting was held in their council chambers and a good sized crowd of 40 plus showed up. The ballot counting process was similar to Rosemead’s with only a few exceptions. City police were used as the enforcement agency, the assistant city manager oversaw the counting process and ballot results were shown using some sort of election software package. The vote counts for all the candidates were all close and no one carried more than 22% of the total vote. Once the ballots of all nine precincts were counted, the final numbers were announced. Incumbents Kevin Sawkins and Mario De La Torre retained their seats and Jason Pu, the young first time candidate captured the third spot. Incumbent David Gutierrez could not retain his seat and Chin Ho Liao lost by only 60 votes. It was one of the closest council races in the city in quite a while. Upon announcement of the results, cheers went up for Jason Pu, the only candidate to make an appearance. Cameras snapped pictures, videos rolled to capture the moment, hugs and handshakes followed. The electricity was high in the latter hours of the vote count as the race was too close to call. But in the end, the voters put a new face on the council. Only time will tell if more changes are on the way or the status quo will set in….