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Measure AA proponents claim victory

Thousands of provisional ballots still to be counted for three-county measure

Proponents of Measure AA, the peninsula's $300 million open-space bond measure, officially claimed victory on Monday, June 9. As of this morning, the measure received more than 67 percent of the vote throughout the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. It needed 66.7 percent to pass.

Voter approval of Measure AA authorizes the district to issue bonds to add 200 miles of new trails, increase recreational access and preserve and restore thousands of acres of open spaces, forests, watersheds and farmlands throughout the Midpeninsula district, which stretches 550 square miles from Los Gatos and East Palo Alto to north of Half Moon Bay.

"We want to thank the thousands who shaped the vision plan and supported Measure AA -- those who visit the preserves and use the trails, conservationists, parents, educators, employers and many, many others, who voted for the health of our environment and the health of our community," Steve Abbors, district general manager, said in a press release. "Now it's our turn, we're hitting the ground running, and we look forward to the day in the near future when we come together again to celebrate the completion of the first Measure AA-funded project."

"Peninsula residents have just made an incredible investment in the future, preserving the beautiful open spaces that make this region so special," said Walter Moore, president of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, which, along with the Sempervirens Fund, served as Measure AA's chief sponsor. "It is terrific to live in a place that puts such a high value on protecting our scarce natural areas for future generations, and we're incredibly grateful to this community's strong support."

As of Monday morning, the "yes" votes totaled 70,659 and the "no" votes, 33,564, according to the registrars of voters in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. Registrars in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties still have 19,000 ballots to count, they said.

To pass, the measure must win support from two-thirds of the voters. By the current count, the measure has 67.8 percent of the votes.

The Santa Clara County registrar still lists 7,000 provisional ballots as uncounted; mail-in ballots have been tallied. In San Mateo County the registrar has 12,000 remaining mail-in and provisional ballots on Monday. The number includes 2,100 provisional ballots, according to the registrar's office.

Of the remaining 19,000 ballots to be counted, 11,490 of them -- or 60.5 percent -- would need to favor Measure AA for the measure to pass.

The current vote count by county is:

● San Mateo County: 20,988 yes and 10,958 no.

● Santa Clara County: 49,670 yes and 22,606 no.

● Santa Cruz County: 1 yes and 0 no

In Santa Cruz County, where only a small rural area is in the district, only one vote was cast and it was for the measure.

A complete list of the 25 top open space projects that will benefit from this measure,can be found here.

● Check these links for the latest counts:

(1) San Mateo County results

(2) Santa Clara County results

— Palo Alto Weekly and Almanac staff

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