- San Francisco Chronicle headline, Nov 4: "Perata's lead seems insurmountable In the Oakland Mayoral race." That's because after the initial vote count, Don Perata led second-place Jean Quan by 11percent. But the number crunching of Oakland's ranked-choice voting system had yet to be set in motion, and after 10 rounds of re-tabulation, the numbers told a very different tale: Quan 51.09 percent, Perata 48.91 percent. It was Jean Quan's Oakland Miracle, Beyond Chon said. The East Bay Express wrote late Friday:
The preliminary results also show that Perata may face a tough road in his attempt to retake the lead. He not only needs to pick up a lot more first-place votes, but he also needs to come out ahead of Quan on more ballots that went for Kaplan. The results show that before Kaplan is eliminated, Perata is still ahead of Quan by nine percentage points. But then without Kaplan in the race, Quan slingshots by Perata to take a two-point lead, 51.09% to 48.91%. Quan receives 15,426 votes from Kaplan ballots while Perata only picks up 5,133. Indeed, the Anyone But Perata movement that sprung up in recent months appears to have made it difficult for the ex-senator to win.
From the Quan campaign:
Like everyone else, we are waiting for the 4 pm announcement from the Registrar of Voters. Mayoral Candidate Jean Quan will hold a press conference at 4:30 pm at Oakland City Hall-- on the steps outside, weather permitting, or inside if it is raining. She will be joining her volunteers and supporters in a celebration of grassroots organizing tonight 6:30 pm-8:30 pm at The New Parish, 579 18th Street (at San Pablo).
- Meanwhile, in another "Dewey Defeats Truman" story, only one in which Dewey re-takes the lead, Steve Cooley has moved ahead of Kamala Harris in the Attorney General race. From the Los Angeles Times:
As of 4 p.m. Sunday, the total vote reported by the state's 58 counties was 3,674,137 for Cooley and 3,647,682 for Harris... The lead in the attorney general’s race has see-sawed between the two candidates since election night, and with considerably more than 1 million ballots remaining to count, could easily reverse again. Several large counties, including Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego, did not report updated counts in the attorney general’s race Sunday. At last count, those three counties among them had reported some 885,000 ballots remaining, mostly mail-in ballots that arrived in election offices on election day, but also provisional ballots and ballots that could not be machine counted because they were damaged.
So maybe Cooley will be able to re-release the video of his election-night victory speech after all.
- And the Stockton Record reports on the latest in the very-much-too-close-to-call 11th Congressional District race between Democratic incumbent Jerry McNerney and Republican David Harmer.
..McNerney's razor-thin margin is subject to change and he could ultimately lose to Republican challenger David Harmer. Of the 172,000-plus votes cast in a district stretching across four counties, McNerney initially had a 121-vote edge, a margin well south of 1 percentage point.
Nobody is calling for a recount, yet. That's because there are tens of thousands of ballots yet to be counted, most of them mail-in ballots.
In addition, there are thousands of provisional ballots, votes cast in cases such as when a first-time voter cannot provide identification.
Election officials, under the watchful eyes of Harmer and McNerney representatives, are poring over those ballots.
They hope to have the process complete by Thanksgiving, three weeks from now.
Republicans are already challenging the vote count in court, the Contra Costa Times reported on Friday.
The fiercely contested race also had its first day in court Friday, as Republicans sought to force Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters Steve Weir to allow their election observers to challenge the veracity of signatures on vote-by-mail envelopes .A Contra Costa County judicial commissioner declined to sign a temporary restraining order that would have stopped the signature verification process but kicked the dispute into Superior Court, where it is set for a full hearing Monday morning.
Weir said state law specifically allows pollworkers to challenge a voter's right to cast a ballot and those who present proof before the election that an individual who was issued a vote-by-mail ballot is ineligible to vote. Election count observers, he said, are permitted only to question whether workers are following established procedures.
Every voter whose eligibility comes into question has the right to answer the allegation, Weir said, and allowing casual observers to challenge a voter after the fact is "not going to happen," Weir said. "If a judge orders it, then we'll have to see what we do next."
GOP attorney Charles Bell argued that observation alone cannot ensure election accuracy. He told the court that Weir has failed to provide adequate access to the signature-verification process and observers should have the right to challenge a signature that doesn't appear to match the original signature in the county's voter registration database.
The delay renders the issue nearly moot in Contra Costa County, where Weir says his staff has completed the signature-gathering analysis on all but 1,200 to 1,700 of the 190,000 vote-by-mail ballots his office has received.
But Republicans will pursue a court case on the grounds that Weir's interpretation could set a bad precedent, said Bob Haueter of the National Republican Congressional Committee, who has been sent to the Bay Area to monitor the outcome of this race. Haueter says other elections officials allow far greater access and permit challenges. Read the full story.
- Most of the 152 people who were arrested during a protest of Johannes Mehserle's two-year sentence were released over the weekend. This KTVU-TV report says that the arrests occurred after the marchers deviated from the agreed-upon route. Police said that an officer had his gun and holster ripped away, and, according to the San Francisco Examiner, said "several of those arrested were found with hammers, pepper spray, switchblades and anti-freeze."
But demonstrators who were interviewed say they did not see the crowd get out of hand, and that they were given practically no time to disperse before police moved in. Of the arrested, 145 are adults, seven are minors; ages range from 16-55. Fifty-Six live outside Oakland. Most were arrested for unlawful assembly, vandalism and disturbing the peace, but additional charges might still be filed after a video review. More from the Examiner:
Two officers were hurt. One had a minor injury after being hit by another police car. Another was taken from the scene by ambulance after suffering from what may have been dehydration. At least one civilian, a woman, was injured. Police said she had some minor lacerations but it was unclear whether she was a protester or someone simply caught up in the protests.
- The San Francisco Health Dept is short of food inspectors, the Examiner reports.
Related: Check out Mission Loc@l's interactive map of restaurant health dept scores by zip code.
The City is supposed to have 23 food inspectors to examine its 5,600 restaurants and food preparation facilities twice a year.
San Francisco, however, is short four inspectors, leaving only 19 to cover the entire city.
Health officials blame the staff shortage on retirements and disciplinary issues, adding that it takes months to hire and train new inspectors. Some positions have been vacant for more than a year, according to the San Francisco Health Department.
“It has slowed inspections,” Health Commission President James Illig said. “They are focused on restaurants with low scores, but they don’t have enough coverage to get to the other restaurants twice a year.”
Health inspectors are assigned to neighborhood districts, and are supposed to inspect every restaurant and food preparation facility twice annually. Restaurants that score below 80 percent are supposed to receive three inspections every year.
Although health officials could not say exactly how many food preparation facilities are falling through the cracks, they did say it could be in the thousands.
Right now, the North Beach neighborhood and the Outer Mission are short of food inspectors. As a result, health officials are shuffling inspectors around from other districts to ensure that restaurants in these two neighborhoods are — at the very least — getting one inspection per year, said Richard Lee, director of Environmental Health Regulatory Programs with the Health Department. Read the full article.