Oakland mayor's race won't be decided today

November 8, 2010 6:50:14 PM PST
The mayor's race in Oakland still has not been decided, even though the election was nearly a week ago.

The vote count is so close between City Councilwoman Jean Quan and former state Senate President Don Perata that she is leading in ranked choice, but he is still listed as leading when only first place votes are counted.

Oakland expected to have a new mayor named Monday, but that's not happening now. Instead, the ballot counting continues. The registrar in Alameda County is not saying much and a winner may not be known until Friday.

"For the mayor's race in Oakland there's just a small number left to go, a few thousand and we're going through those very quickly," Alameda County Registrar Dave Macdonald said.

Macdonald had predicted the count would be close to complete at 4 p.m. Monday, but late in the afternoon he said the results will not be ready.

Part of the delay stems from the fact that so many voters turned in their absentee ballots on Election Day. Those ballots are still being counted.

But campaigns for the two front runners are observing the counting process closely and elections officials say they are raising questions about everything from signatures to voter registration.

It is the first time ranked choice voting has been used in Oakland. The method lets voters select their top three choices and lets the city to avoid an expensive runoff election.

Last Tuesday, Perata practically declared victory, saying he was confident that his initial 11 point lead in the first round of counting meant the race was his for the taking. But on Friday, counts from the second and third choice votes showed Quan had surged past Perata.

Quan held a press conference in front of Oakland City Hall Monday afternoon expecting the results would be announced. She says she remains cautiously optimistic.

Perta's camp called the ranked choice system it a mystery in a press release. They are not commenting until the ballot counting is officially over.


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