As of Wednesday morning, eight days after Oakland voters went to the polls to select their new mayor from among a field of ten candidates, there is still no new information about the outcome of the city’s first-ranked choice election, according to officials at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters. The final tally remains unknown, with no indication of when the results will be certified.
Officials at the registrar’s office have said that the wait is not due to the new ranked-choice voting system, but rather to the time required to verify outstanding mail-in and provisional ballots, those contingent on verifying voter eligibility. Guy Ashley, spokesperson for Alameda Registrar of Voters, said there have been no updates since the ranked-choice calculation was run last week. “There’s been no update since last Friday,” Ashley said.
Residents fill out provisional ballots when they are not on the list of registered voters at their polling place. This can happen when a voter changes residences close to an election. The voter puts their completed ballot in an envelope with their information on the outside. The Registrar counts the ballot once the voter is found to be validly registered in Alameda County.
Though Thursday is Veteran’s Day, a county holiday, the registrar of voters has said that staff will be available to count votes through the holiday if necessary.
The latest available count, released by the registrar on Friday evening, showed city council member Jean Quan leading the race by a 1,876-vote margin over former state senator Don Perata. With several thousand votes not yet included in the tally, the recalculated count could favor either top candidate.
A final result had been expected Monday afternoon—Quan scheduled a press conference in anticipation of the news—but the registrar issued an announcement that it would require additional time to count several thousand provisional ballots. Ashley said that there won’t be an update until the full results become available, and that will depend on how quickly the registrar can finish counting. “It depends how well we do counting the provisional ballots,” he said.
Oakland North will continue to follow the story … stay tuned!
Check out all of our Oakland elections coverage on our Campaign 2010 page.