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Update: Newport Residents Pass Measure EE

With all the votes tallied, Measure EE is victorious. Among 37 other changes to the city charter, the voters have banned red light cameras in Newport Beach.

Newport Beach voters approved a host of changes to the City Charter including a ban on red light cameras and a measure aimed at protecting the city from class-action lawsuits.

The voter turnout remained consistent in Newport Beach late Tuesday as residents cast last minute ballots, many of which helped approve Measure EE. At about midnight, all 89 precincts had reported, and Measure EE passed with 18,862 votes for and 14,244 votes against. The Newport Beach City Council, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce were among Measure EE supporters.

“What these groups have in common is support for an efficient and fiscally strong city of Newport Beach," Mayor Pro Tem Keith Curry said. "Each group understands that protecting taxpayers against class action lawsuits and reducing unnecessary costs of city government results in a financially stronger and more secure city."

The measure will make 38 changes to the city's charter. The major changes are the red-light camera ban and the class-action lawsuits protection, and the majority of the changes have to do with updating the charter's language.

Throughout the day, residents stopped by polling places around the city including the Lido and Balboa Island fire stations and Saint James Church. Voter Melinda Anderson said it was her first time voting since turning 18.

"I tried my best to make the right choices on the propositions and I knew I was voting for Mitt Romney," Anderson said.

There were also veteran voters at the polls. Grace McDowell says although the candidates for Newport Beach City Council were unchallenged, she wanted to make sure she got two important votes cast.

"I voted no on Measure EE because I am not comfortable making a decision on so many issues with one single vote," McDowell said. "Mitt Romney has my vote. It's about time for some change."

NBC News called the presidential election for Obama around 11:15 EST. The president sent a message on Twitter at 10:14 p.m. EST saying simply, "This happened because of you. Thank you."

The race for open seats on the Newport Beach City Council was uncontested. Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Keith Curry was reelected to Newport Coast's District 7, Councilman Ed Selich was reelected to District 5 and Tony Petros will take Councilman Steve Rosanky's seat in District 2.

James C. Walker November 08, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Passage of Measure EE was very good news for the residents and visitor of Newport Beach. The city joins about 50 other California cities that reject red light cameras. This removes the temptation for officials to deliberately mis-engineer the traffic lights for lower safety and higher ticket revenue by using yellow intervals that are too short for the actual approach speeds. THAT is the scam that makes the cameras profitable, but it also reduces safety and often increases accidents. Newport Beach voters were smart to reject the cameras. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

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