Beginning at 8:30 pm tonight, the Los Angeles City Clerk will issue the first Election Day results for seven Los Angeles City Council races where Jose Huizar, Bernard Parks, Tom LaBonge and other long-timers face challengers.

We in the media will update the latest results for Measure L (libraries), Measure O (oil tax), and all the other city measures and political races. But you, the public, can do it too.

Just click here, for the City of Los Angeles Election Night Results page.

For Los Angeles County (not city) 2011 election results, including the Bell recall, the battle for seats on the LAUSD Board of Education and the last-minute war to wrest control from the bumbling Board of Trustees at the L.A. Community College District, the county makes “latest results” a bit harder to access:

You click here, on the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters “election results” menu page for election results in Bell, Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Community College District.

But if the data are confusing, or you're having trouble accessing the county election results, then go here, to the county's instructions page, and download the recommended file.

Los Angeles City Clerk June Lagmay explains that the very first results of City Council elections and city ballot measures, which go online at about 8:30 p.m. (if nothing goes haywire) will tally up ONLY the absentee ballots received at City Hall before Election Day.

Sometime after 8:30 pm, the city will begin issuing election result updates every 20 to 30 minutes, feeding today's fresh votes in on top of the absentee votes already counted.

A lot will be read into the absentee vote results, but the mailed in votes can be about as accurate as reading tea leaves. If any races are close, it could be a long night.

County Registrar-Record Dean Logan says that on the county's latest election results page, “updates will be performed throughout the night at 15 to 20 minute intervals, beginning at approximately 8:10 p.m. with the absentee ballot results. However, expect regular on-line updates to start between 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. and decrease after 12:30 a.m.”

LA Weekly