Latest Oakland Elections Results

UPDATE: Jean Quan won. More details when I am back at a computer.

So, there were no new results posted today, and I don’t know when there will be. I mean, they’ll do it when they finish counting them, but there is no firm date for that. But since I never got around to updating the results list on my last election returns post, I thought I might as well just do it now. These are the figures that were released on Friday afternoon from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

Oh, and for those who are irritated about the time this is taking. Look, I am not some big fan of Ranked Choice Voting. In fact, I don’t like it at all. I didn’t vote for Measure O. I tried to get people to vote against it. But it is what it is, and the voters passed it, and that’s the election system we’re stuck with. So there’s no use bitching about it now.

And just for the record, the returns taking so long to be final has nothing whatsoever to do with Ranked Choice Voting. In 2006, it took nearly two weeks to find out whether we were going to have a runoff for Mayor or not also. I remember vividly sitting there at my cubicle and constantly reloading the Registrar’s website every afternoon. So, yeah. The long wait to get a final answer on who will be Mayor is annoying. But it’s nothing new, and it is not something you can blame on RCV.

Oakland City Races

Oakland Mayor

Preliminary ranked choice votes (Round 10):

  • Jean Quan: 51.09%, 42,825 votes
  • Don Perata: 48.91%, 41,949 votes

View the ranked choice votes breakdown here.

First choice votes:

  • Don Perata: 33.97%, 32,730 votes
  • Jean Quan: 24.62%, 23,724 votes
  • Rebecca Kaplan: 21.49%, 20,706 votes
  • Joe Tuman: 12.40%,11,945 votes
  • Marcie Hodge: 2.28%, 2,197 votes
  • Terence Candell: 1.73%, 1,667 votes
  • Don Macleay: 1.37%, 1,322 votes
  • Greg Harland: 0.82%, 787 votes
  • Larry Lionel Young, Jr.: 0.67%, 646 votes
  • Arnold Fields: 0.57%, 545 votes

Oakland City Council, District 2

  • Patricia Kernighan: 67.37%, 7,450 votes
  • Jennifer S. Pae: 32.38%, 3,581 votes

Oakland City Council, District 4

Preliminary ranked choice votes (Round 6):

  • Libby Schaaf: 52.31%, 8,401 votes
  • Jill Broadhurst: 30.44%, 4,889 votes
  • Daniel Swafford: 17.24%, 2,769 votes

View the ranked choice votes breakdown here.

First choice votes:

  • Libby Schaaf: 42.65%, 7,428 votes
  • Jill Broadhurst: 22.68%, 3,951 votes
  • Daniel Swafford: 11.35%, 1,976 votes
  • Melanie Shelby: 11.23%, 1,956 votes
  • Clinton Killian: 5.42%, 944 votes
  • Ralph Kanz: 4.13%, 720 votes
  • Jason Gillen: 2.41%, 420 votes

Oakland City Council, District 6

  • Desley Brooks: 64.37%, 6,747 votes
  • Jose Dorado: 21.12%, 2,214 votes
  • Nancy Sidebotham: 14.09%, 1,477 votes

Oakland City Auditor

  • Courtney Ruby: 68.12%, 52,983 votes
  • Michael Kilian: 31.32%, 24,362 votes

School Races

Oakland School Board, District 4

  • Gary D. Yee: 69.48%, 10,885 votes
  • Benjamin Visnick: 30.08%, 4,713 votes

Peralta Trustee, Area 3

  • Linda L. Handy: 53.86%, 4,152 votes
  • Mónica Tell: 44.58%, 3,437 votes

Peralta Trustee, Area 5

  • William “Bill” Riley: 68.73%, 12,508 votes
  • William J. Mattox: 30.29%, 5,512 votes

Ballot Measures

Alameda County Measure F

  • Yes: 62.61%
  • No: 37.39%

Oakland Measure L

  • Yes: 65.05%, 51,390 votes
  • No: 34.95%, 27,614 votes

Oakland Measure V

  • Yes: 70.00%, 54,676 votes
  • No: 30.00%, 23,432 votes

Oakland Measure W

  • No: 56.66%, 43,660 votes
  • Yes: 43.34%, 33,393 votes

Oakland Measure X

  • No: 72.06%, 53,037 votes
  • Yes: 27.94%, 20,562 votes

Oakland Measure BB

  • Yes: 70.36%, 53,764 votes
  • No: 29.64%, 22,650 votes

Special District

BART Director – District 4

  • Robert Raburn: 46.23%, 24,971 votes
  • Carole Ward Allen: 35.24%, 19,034 votes
  • Monique Rivera: 17.49%, 9,446 votes

AC Transit Director: At-large

  • Joel B. Young: 71.16%, 133,864 votes
  • Ellis Jerry Powell: 27.78%, 52,271 votes

AC Transit Director: Ward 4

  • Elsa Ortiz: 47.23%, 20,397 votes
  • Dollene C. Jones: 30.51%, 13,177 votes
  • Nancy M. Skowbo: 21.31%, 9,203 votes


Superior Court Judge, Seat 9

  • Victoria S. Kolakowski: 50.46%, 121,431 votes
  • John Creighton: 48.54%, 116,820 votes

37 thoughts on “Latest Oakland Elections Results

  1. mfraser

    To not prefer RCV at this point in history, given huge increases in participation and enthusiasm of voters that at this point are empirical facts, is truly hard to understand for those who value democracy and participation. Voters get to vote for their most preferred candidates, no matter how lofty or unlikely a dream that might be, but are still able to participate in the compromise choice that is the reality for many of us. To force voters to choose between getting to support their most preferred candidate and getting to participate in the final decision, when nothing compels that forced choice, is gratuitously anti-democratic, and seems to consistently come from those who support the same tired big-money interests that have run much of this state, and this country, into the ground. Such advocacy is a revealing window into a person’s true values and principals.

    Just consider this bit of info from SF’s experiences:

    Bobier [of the political reform program] referred to a study conducted by the New America Foundation and Fairvote which demonstrated conclusively that more voters participate in decisive elections with San Francisco’s Ranked Choice Voting system than with the previous two-round system of runoffs. This is due to the fact that voter turnout is much higher in November’s RCV election than in the December runoff election previously used by the city.

    “San Francisco’s old method of electing its local officials disenfranchised a huge percentage of voters because so few voters usually participated in the final round of elections in December. Ranked Choice Voting has increased both voter turnout and the diversity of the electorate,” said Bobier.

    Another study by Fairvote found that with Ranked Choice Voting, voter turnout skyrocketed by over 300% in San Francisco’s six most socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods: Western Addition (309.4%), Bayview / Hunter’s Point (351.6%), the Mission (351.6%), Ingleside (324.6%), Excelsior (310.4%) and Visitation Valley (407.3%).

  2. CitizenX

    RCV certainly has one advantage going for it. It eliminates the need for costly runoff elections. The argument that traditional voting somehow disenfranchises poor or minority voters, who can’t be bothered to vote in a special election, in my case, falls on deaf ears. People who give a damn will vote. Others…whatever.

  3. mfraser

    Hey, well then, let’s just repeal the Voting Rights Act. After all, just because the various hurdles to voting that disenfranchise poor and minorities are empirically proven to effect the turnout of these groups, who cares? I mean technically, the *could* have voted, right? We rich folks have plenty of flexibility and we can always find a way to vote – why can’t they? Why have rules making polling places equally distributed, for example, since we’d save money with fewer pollling places? I know, let’s put them all in Montclair too, because there are such nice facilities there! Sure, sure, it will dramatically curtail voting by poor and minorities, but they *could* vote if they just made more effort!

    I’m a very libertarion leaning person, but whenever there are demonstrable barriers to voting, we should work to minimize those. Show me anything else that has been done in the last 30 years that increases voter turnout by 20% to 30%, or more, like RCV does; I don’t think it exists. If it does, let’s do that too.

  4. mfraser

    p.s. why not have a series of 5 runoff elections? That should get participation by minorities and the poor pretty much near zero, right? And who gives a damn, if they can’t be bothered to vote, that’s their problem!

  5. CitizenX

    Because voter turn out is greater at regular elections, it does not follow that there are any barriers to voting in special elections. With absentee ballots, excuses for not voting in off elections fade. All it takes is interest in civic affairs.

  6. mfraser

    CitizenX, every thing that quantifiably reduces voter turnout is commonly thought of as a barrier. Yes, you are right, we aren’t putting the voting box in a cage and locking people out, so it isn’t a physical barrier, but that isn’t the point. Again, your reasoning should lead you to conclude the Voting Rights Act is bunk and needs to be repealed, and for that matter, that setting up ‘testing standards’ for voters might be good and certainly worth considering.

    And you don’t comment on the fact that this has created a huge surge in voting of 20% to 30% for Oakland specifically, as the prior few elections were in the 70k to 80k voter range, I believe. So your contention that it isn’t a barrier is really just a confirmation it isn’t a barrier to YOU, but clearly it is to others, hence the difference in participation by such a large increment.

  7. Dax

    From Chip Johnson..

    “Throughout the campaign, candidate Don Perata said that he didn’t understand the ranked-choice voting system being used for the first time in the Oakland mayor’s race.”

    RCV may have confusing elements.

    Perhaps Don Perata would have understood it better if RCV was called “Rankled Choice Voting”

    That way, Don would have understood that if you neglect your reputation for decades, a huge portion of the voters aren’t going to be willing to make you choice #1, #2, or even #3.

    Oakland’s results are based on RCV alright, but the “R” stands for “rankled”.

    ran·kle (rngkl)
    v. ran·kled, ran·kling, ran·kles
    1. To cause persistent irritation or resentment.

  8. CitizenX

    mfraser, I do not believe that the VRA needs to be repealed. I have always taken my voting seriously. I vote every election and spend time to familarize myself with the candidates and issues. I encourage ALL citizens to do the same.

    Sorry, but I just don’t have that much respect for casual, it better be convenient or I won’t bother, voters. Be clear — I’m not suggesting these people be any way impeded from voting. That argument for RCV simply never resonated well with me. My pet peeve.

  9. CitizenX

    mfraser, it might be best to get a few more elections under the belt, before determining the impact of RCV in bringing out additional voters. This election included a well-publicized mayoral contest and Prop 19. Either or both may have resulted in bigger numbers.

  10. Karen Bishop

    Doug, part of the confusion could have also been strategy. The 5% who voted the same candidate as their 1st, 2nd and 3rd could have been strategy. It’s been reported that one of the candidates, Candell, was encouraging his supporters to vote him 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Obviously he was confusing his supporters as those 2nd and 3rd choice votes didn’t count.

  11. Dax

    Candell has been known to confuse.
    Then again, even Don Perata says he doesn’t understand the system.

    Candell should have done a deal with Don to have all his supporters put Don down as #3.

  12. Douglas Boxer

    My issue is that we have decided a very important election with a system that many voters really didn’t understand, as evidenced by the above-linked study of the ballots (Whatever Mr. Candall did doesn’t even make sense as his instructions disenfranchised his voters).

    I’m also not sold that IRV increases voter turnout. In order to conclude that, you would need to normalize the other totals and take into account any number of factors that are difficult to determine (Turnout in Alameda Co. was an abysmal 45% for this election)

    Finally, why should cost matter when carrying out an election — voting is the most fundamental thing we can do as citizens in a representative democracy. Shouldn’t we have a system our people understand, and trust not one that is simply the cheapest the implement.

  13. Max Allstadt

    I think when Perata says he doesn’t understand RCV he’s being disingenuous. Don is smart. If he can understand parliamentary process and budgeting at the state house, he can understand how RCV works.

    The best explanation I can come up with is that saying “I don’t get it” is a tactic, designed to accomplish two things: 1. Breed distrust of RCV, because Don doesn’t like it. 2. Increase the number of voters who would only mark one choice, because Don thought that would favor him.

  14. CitizenX

    The above-mentioned ballot study left out an important piece of info — the percent of spoiled ballots one would expect in a traditional election. Depends on how you look at some of these “errors”. If one truly disliked all candidates but one, is it an error to skip choices 1 & 2?

  15. mfraser

    Mr Boxer, I read the post on the ‘study’ carefully, and it’s less than impressive and I don’t believe it comes close to adequately supporting the thesis. As Karen points out, the 5% of folks who voted the same candidate 1st – 3rd could done that on purpose, as that is functionally the exact same as just listing a candidate first with no other selection, as almost 10% of voters did.

    The 150 or so people who voted twice for 1st, 2nd and or 3rd did show some confusion, I will agree to that, but all the other points present no real evidence of ANY confusion by any of the other voters. If I’m right, how does an error rate of 150 out of 100,000 compare with other elections using traditional head to head competition with only one vote allowed? Similarly, 1.3% don’t vote for Mayor; well, how does that compare with other prior elections? Less, equal, more? Please, don’t accept this data as evidence against ranked choice voting when in truth it is nothing of the sort, and perhaps is evidence strongly in SUPPORT of the system, which we don’t know absent any comparison with other balloting systems but are commonly known to have had major problems in the past. Recall the many problems in the Florida vote and throughout the country with the 2000 Presidential election. Surely this is a lower error rate than that traditional head to head, one vote only election.

    Obviously, marking the same person 1, 2 and 3 is functionally the same as marking just one person in first, and leaving all others blank. There is a certain rhetorical underscoring which people might derive some small satisfaction or amusement from in listing a person 1, 2 and 3, or other motivations as well I couldn’t pretend to exhaustively be able to list. They might as well write an exclamation mark after their #1 choice, and I expect that is ALL they were trying to do, in effect. Do you think they thought they HAD to vote the same name three times, but desperately wanted to actually list others? The author present absolutely no evidence that any of these votes were a result of confusion or misdirection.

    Almost 10% of voters declined to list a second and third choice, and about 1% declined to list a third choice. This could mean many things, but to conclude ‘error based on misunderstanding’ in these cases or in the case of listing the same name more than once demonstrates a substantial bias to try to find fault with they system, or perhaps just a deep misunderstanding of how the system works on the part of the author, not the voters.

    What about people who write in ‘Mickey Mouse’ on traditional ballots? Do they really think they have a chance of getting Mickey Mouse as their elected official? This sort of reasoning sans evidence, if accepted, should lead one to ask, how about the idea that maybe voters on a traditional 2 person ballot might think they are to list the candidate they are voting AGAINST? After all, that could be easily misunderstood, couldn’t it? In short this study provides no evidence large numbers of voters misunderstood the system or how it works.

  16. Karen Bishop

    If there is any confusion, it will clear up as voters get used to RCV. But I still think the confusion over RCV isn’t so much confusion by the voter but candidates trying to confuse the voters. And if this is true then that is something more difficult to handle as candidates have decided on how to run their campaigns with confusing voters on RCV as part of the strategy.

    Also, as a social scientist in my earlier work life, I know the importance of being careful in how we interpret the numbers. There could be many different reasons for why voters did what they did. A survey of voters who made those mistakes would be needed to fully understand what happened.

    I also think we have to be fiscally conservative at times and this is one place where I competely support RCV and saving money. And I am a liberal democrat.

  17. ralph

    Aren’t all elections important? Eventually, there was going to be an initial IRV election.

    Costs would not matter if we had unlimited funds to run elections but we don’t. If more people turn out for an election, then this is a good thing. My gut tells me that the increase in turnout approximates the number of people who drop out from the primary.

    Truth is some people were never going to vote for a 2nd or 3rd pick. Some people were not going to vote for a 1st pick. I don’t think the answer is they did not understand IRV. They may not have liked any of the alternatives.

  18. Douglas Boxer

    Does anyone believe that having one election with 10 candidates leads to more informed voters? To me, it just leads to confusion and voter fatigue. On the days leading up to Nov 2, our mail box was flooded w/ no fewer than 10 pieces of election-related materials each day.

    The amount of material is overwhelming and most likely leads to less informed decisions on the part of the electorate. Remember, the people who read this blog are engaged in the process and probably spend more time researching candidate positions than the public at large.

    In our traditional form of elections, primary, where anyone can run. Narrowing down to two candidates four months later, the two top candidates have the time and voters have fewer candidates to study which, in my opinion, leads to a more informed electorate.

    Just my opinion.

    V, thanks for giving us this forum to debate these issues.

  19. Dax

    “In our traditional form of elections, primary, where anyone can run. Narrowing down to two candidates four months later, the two top candidates have the time and voters have fewer candidates to study which, in my opinion, leads to a more informed electorate.”

    Please, when making a statement such as that, indicate you are ONLY talking about non-partisan elections.

    After all, in all our other elections for the legislature, and congress, we really don’t have any choices, at least not in the Bay Area. (excepting that one race)
    No, what passes for elections in the Bay Area is a farce. Changes only occur when a legislator retires, dies, or is termed out.

    Instead we get the typical Lee, Stark, Miller, Perata, Swanson, type of elections where a “no-name” Republican candy maker or student gathers 15% to 25% of the vote, and the incumbent pats him/herself on the back thinking the people like them.

    I am 60. I have had one competitive election for congress since I was able to vote in 1972. One vote in 38 years.

    “Anyone can run”…. dream on
    Lets here it for the “open primary” coming in 2012.
    Perhaps, that along with the new reapportionment system will allow us to regain a small portion of our democracy.

    And guess who opposed the open primary as well as a fairer reapportionment.
    The entire system of politicians and party regulars.
    When you see that, you realize they care little about giving the people a fair choice.
    Instead they care only about retaining power and catering to the special interests in order to keep the money flowing in.

    Witness the lock-step of congressmen and outfits like the CTA, all trying to stop Prop 20 , while trying to fool us into voting for Prop 27.
    Both parties are guilty.

  20. ralph

    I would like to think that I am relatively informed but having 10 candidates was not helpful. On the plus side, at least there weren’t 22 candidates.

    Yet, I am not sure if having 2 candidates would have changed anyone’s campaign tactics. And I have no idea if the tactics would have been more effective in a 2 person race.

  21. Andy K

    I like RCV. I like being able to choose a candidate that I believe in first, and having a fall back candidate. And I know of others that feel the same way.

    Agree with the others that point out how those in power (big name candidates) are opposed to RCV. That is a most telling fact.

  22. John Lefman

    There isn’t anything wrong with the RCV system. It is just that there are a lot of stupid people in Oakland with the power to vote.

    Quan likely to win, I am not taking this well.

  23. Rose

    @DouglasBoxer: There’s a rebuttal to the Californa Watch articlel. Apparently about three in four people who voted for the same candidate three timess did so for either Perata or Quan, meaning their vote counted in the final round. Probably some intentional bullet voting.

    On turnout, mo Oakland elections in the pre-RCV era were won in June, with much lower turnout.

  24. Stan K

    Would it make more sense if the RCV process involved a weighting mechanism so that perhaps first choice votes would receive the full weight (i.e., 3/3 or 1), second choice would receive 2/3 weight and third choice votes would receive 1/3 weight – or something like this? It doesn’t feel right to me that someones third choice counts the same as their first choice, simply because it wasn’t that person’s first choice. For a candidate to win because they received more second and third choice votes just doesn’t seem quite right because if everyone really wanted that candidate to win, they would have voted for them in the first place.

    Also, why even have a third choice? If the idea of RCV is predicated on being a primary and secondary election all in one, why isn’t there just two choices?

    Finally, assuming Quan wins, do the people of Oakland realize that they not only re-elected one of the main contributers to a failed system (better known as Oakland City Hall), they gave her a promotion! Are things really going so well here in Oakland that she, Ron D, or anyone on the current council, derserves a promotion?? Just out of priniciple, that makes no sense at all!

  25. Dax


    “Finally, assuming Quan wins, do the people of Oakland realize that they not only re-elected one of the main contributers to a failed system (better known as Oakland City Hall), they gave her a promotion!”

    Well, as one who reluctantly made Don Perata my #3 choice (the one that counted), I would have to counter your point by saying “are we really going to give someone who ran the California state budgets into the ground, a promotion from his track record in Sacramento?

  26. Stan K

    Fair point Dax. Just so you know, I wasn’t making the point in defense of Perata or anyone else. I’m just saying, it’s hard to believe that Oaklanders felt comfortable advocating for the promotion of a longtime/major contributer to our failed system. It’s hard to feel any reinvigorated sense of hope when in many ways it feels like we just re-elected Ron D. We keep doing this to ourselves and all of us, the city, absolutely deserve better.

  27. ZeroTech

    I just watched the little video on here about RCV. Apparently, I didn’t understand the process at all. The video said that ONLY KAPLAN’S voters second-choice votes were counted towards Quan! In other words, only the THIRD-highest first-choice vote-getter’s voters have their second choices counted! I thought the lowest first-choice candidate was eliminated and second-choice votes redistributed and it went from there.

    Is the video right? If so, then my second-choice vote did not get counted at all! I voted for Tuman and would never have voted for Quan in runoff election!

    If that’s how RCV works, it should be declared unconstitutional.

  28. Karen Bishop

    ZeroTech, who did you vote for your #2 and #3? If you voted for Joe as #1 that vote counted. If your #2 or #3 choice had been eliminated before Joe, then those votes didn’t count. But if you chose Kaplan, Quan or Perata as #2, then your #2 vote counted. I don’t completely understand how and when your #3 choice is distributed if your #3 candidate is still in the running.

  29. ZeroTech

    Karen, I voted for Kaplan for #2 and nobody for #3. I felt there was nobody else worth my vote besides Tuman and Kaplan. Still, your message suggests that at least SOME people did NOT have their second-choice vote count! That wouldn’t happen in a real runoff election! And it also shows that many people probably misunderstood, and still misunderstand, how RCV works. What a catastrophe. If I were Perata I’d fight this in court. I actually wish I had voted for him for #2 now. See? That shows that in a runoff, I’d actually have voted differently, having seen the percentages.

  30. ralph

    Don’t know what you watched but from what you wrote I believe you have the basics correct.

    Instead of saying the individual with the lowest first choice votes, I would rephrase it say that the individual with the lowest vote total is eliminated and those votes are redistributed to the each voters 2 choice candidate. This process continues until one candidate reaches 50+1.

    So if you voted for either Quan or Perata as your first choice then your vote was never redistributed to your second choice. If you voted for Tuman 1st, then your vote went to your 2nd choice, and if that person was out of picture then to your third choice. If both were out of the picture, then you had an exhausted ballot.

    If you went Tuman – Kaplan – blank, then when Kaplan was eliminated you ballot went to the exhausted pile. If you were dead set against Quan, then you should have used the blank to vote for Perata is you were just against him. I don’t have the number in front of me, but I believe at least 10% wanted nothing to do with either Quan or Perata as mayor.

  31. ralph

    I’ll be honest. I don’t understand why people do not get kill the bottom fish and redistribute the votes.

  32. ZeroTech

    Ralph, I’m glad you agree with how I thought it worked. The video (from some news broadcast, elsewhere on this site) seems dead wrong and patently, manifestly unfair.

  33. mfraser

    It was pretty extensively discussed in multiple forums that RCV with three choices effectively allows you to ‘veto’ one of the top four candidates, and then to prioritize the others as you wish. Those who didn’t understand that in the event of if/when it came down to Perata v Kaplan or Quan, really weren’t making much effort to follow the discussion, and they needed to have made some decisions on that dichotomy and reflect it on their ballot if that mattered to them. For those who chose not to think it through at that level, that is certainly their choice as well, but it’s hardly rocket science or necessary to do much more to accommodate to be fair and reasonable, as I think it already was. Some people don’t ever vote strategically, but for other reasons, such as to ‘make a statement,’ hence people who leave their vote blank even when there are only two choices, or write in someone they know won’t win, or vote for a minor candidate they think can’t possibly win, or write in ‘none of the above.’ All this second guessing of what people’s intentions were with particular voting patterns seems pretty pointless to me, and all the anecdotal evidence is just that.

    Ranked choice voting was approved in 2006 by a whopping 68% favorable vote of the electorate , so it seems more productive to me rather than rehashing that decision repeatedly to move on to asking how we can improve the instruction related to RCV, and if we can improve the system itself in any way.

    There is a way to get rid of ‘exhausted ballots,’ and that would be to just allow everyone to rank ALL of the candidates. That would also show some very interesting info – I bet Mr P would have had about the same percentage ranking him #10 of 10 (1/3 of the voters) as ranked him #1! Some may think this too tedious, kind of like reading to the end of a post of more than 100 words I guess…