OAKLAND – Z the dust fell after the election nightThe widely watched race of Oakland mayors remains tense and far from over, although sloppy reporting of Alameda County election rankings prompted voters to adopt a different assumption.
Since Wednesday, city council members Loren Taylor and Sheng Thao are leading a group of 10 candidates, with Taylor receiving more than 12,800 – or 34% – of the votes in first place and Thao taking over 10,700 – or 29%. Their closest opponent, Ignacio De La Fuente, lags far behind.
But with thousands of ballots left to count, and many likely still arriving by mail, Secretary of State Alameda has already started displaying ranked results in the approximately 37,000 votes recorded to date. The order of the leaders in this limited sample has not changed, but the registrar’s decision has obscured some voters’ understanding of race.
A voter reading these tables – listed on the registrar’s website under the heading “Voting Results by Ranking: General Election (Unofficial Final Results)” – may mistakenly assume how many on the Internet have done that Taylor has already won the election.
It’s because ranked voting formatwhich allows voters to name their top five preferences, “eliminates” last-place candidates and hands their votes to the second-election candidates of their supporters. The votes are shuffled until one of the candidates obtains more than 50% of voters’ approval.
The county’s “unofficial” rankings show Taylor is victorious in the race after all other candidates have been eliminated. In fact, there is still a long way to go.
“I believe we are on the road to victory, but it’s too early to say much more today,” Taylor said in an email statement on Tuesday. “Here in Oakland, we believe in free and fair elections where every legal vote counts and the will of the voters is respected. I encourage all my followers and all Oaklanders to be patient, as I am.
What’s next in the election results?
How many votes remain to be counted? The registrar declined to provide even rough estimates to this press organization.
In Wednesday’s press release, Thao’s campaign said there was 70,000 votes left to be counted, citing a registrar’s estimate, but later said the figure was incorrect. The campaign said they didn’t know how many votes were left.
Regardless of the number of votes, missed votes can be a wild ranking card if the race between Taylor and Thao remains fierce.
“We remain optimistic about the final result,” Thao said in an email statement. “Every vote deserves to be counted.”
For comparison, the 2018 mayoral election totaled over 158,000 votes, while the 2014 race brought 101,888 votes.
Dwayna Gullatt, a clerk in the registry office, unveiled the schedule when a more expansive vote will be issued. The next set of scores is expected to drop around 5PM on Thursday, and the next one around the same time on November 14th. Both in-person and postal voting will be included in these results, Gullatt said.
Candidates for the City Council are getting ready to celebrate
Three candidates for the City Council appeared on Wednesday, aiming at victory: the incumbent Nikki Fortunato Bas in District Two, Janani Ramachandran in District Four, and Kevin Jenkins in District 6.
With the new mayor, two fresh faces – Ramachandran and Jenkins – could contribute to political change in Oakland, where polls show that most residents believe the city is on the wrong track when Mayor Libby Schaaf leaves office.
With thousands of votes still left, Bas was the top contender, Harold Lowe, 60% to 40%; Ramachandran led challenger Nenna Joiner from 64% to 36%; and Jenkins, with 67%, deftly led three rivals who were fairly evenly split.
Bas said in an interview that she wants the election results to be played out before announcing the victory. But her main priority to start her second term in office would be to see how to spend the extra funds from inside U, an infrastructure bond of $ 850 million that appears to be passing through.
The obligation measure, co-authored by Bas, aims to finance street repairs, inexpensive housing and facility maintenance.
Ramachandran also said public safety is her top priority, saying the city needs a “holistic strategy” that includes supporting police and other violence prevention programs.
“I don’t want the conversation to be focused on the total number of officers, but rather on stopping to make sure we have full staff,” she said.
All three of the top council candidates declined to comment directly on the mayors’ race.
“I just hope we have someone who can push this city forward,” Jenkins said in an interview. “I’ll work with whoever it is.”
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