SF Supervisor races still under review

November 11, 2008 7:37:12 PM PST
Veterans Day may have been a holiday for many people, but there was no time off for the folks in San Francisco's Elections Department.

A few thousand ballots remain to be reviewed for each of the supervisor's races. But unless there is a sea of change in those last ballots, the preliminary numbers that came out Tuesday afternoon should have some candidates celebrating

Election Day was exactly one week ago. We know who the president is now, but what about San Francisco's Board of Supervisors?

The votes are still being counted, but history shows it's pretty clear who the winners are.

For the last six days, from 8 in the morning until ten at night, nearly 100 election workers have been counting the final vote-by-mail and provisional ballots.

"In an election like this, with a historic turnout in the city, we have never had so many votes in San Francisco," said San Francisco Elections Director John Arntz.

It wasn't just the presidential race or Prop 8 that grabbed the attention of San Francisco voters. Seven seats on the 11-member Board of Supervisors were up for grabs.

The city's ranked choice voting system which San Franciscans approved in 2002 allows voters to list their top three choices.

75-80 percent of the ballots have been counted. In the past, whoever was leading at this point in time was ultimately the winner. The tabulations as of late Tuesday afternoon are pretty clear.

In District 1 Eric Mar is the likely winner over Sue Lee. In District 3 David Chiu is leading Joe Alioto Jr. David Campos is ahead of Mark Sanchez in District 9, and in District 11 John Avalos is in front of Asha Safai.

If these results hold the winners all will have beaten candidates Mayor Gavin Newsom supported.

Incumbent Carmen Chu is out in front of Ron Dudum, and fellow supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Sean Elsbernd easily retained their seats.

The day after the election the Mayor did not want to talk about his losses. He focused on the winners.

"My appointee Carmen Chu won. My appointee Sean Elsbernd won. I'm not sure you're aware of their election," said Newsom.

Still, the moderate mayor now faces a new board firmly controlled by more liberal progressives. More vote totals will be released later this week. The numbers will change but the percentages will probably not.

Nonetheless, Elections Chief John Arntz prefers to be cautious.

"Really, until we've run the numbers and until we're final, I never say someone's won or someone's lost."

Arntz has until December 2nd to certify the results and he says not until then will the results be final.


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