Election 2011: Election Night Live Blog
Update Thursday 8:25 a.m. Click here for full election results in San Francisco, the East Bay, the Peninsula and South Bay, and the North Bay.
KQED News is covering today’s election throughout the evening, on radio and here on News Fix. We’ll be posting results to key races across the Bay Area, passing on information from our reporters in the field, getting voter reactions and pointing you to what’s happening on the web-o-sphere. So grab some popcorn and a favorite beverage, put the kids on mute and the TV to bed early (wait — reverse that) and stay awhile.
Update Thursday 7:08 a.m. After the first round of vote-counting, Ed Lee has a 13-point lead over John Avalos.
Update 12:10am (Wed):
Okay fellow news hounds, it’s time for us to call it a night. It’s been fun — thanks for reading and listening tonight.
And be sure to check out Forum at 9am. Guest host Scott Shafer will be taking your calls, emails, and online comments about the election. Did you vote? What are you happy about? What disappointed you? You can even leave your questions or comments starting right now in advance of the broadcast.
Until the morning then. Good night!
After the mayor’s race, one of the most closely watched issues in San Francisco was containing public pension costs; and voters were presented with two measures, Propositions C and D. In the end, San Francisco voters passed Prop. C, an initiative backed by Interim Mayor Ed Lee, city business interests, and some public employee unions. Backers of the measure say it will save the city 1.3 billion dollars over the next decade.
Prop. C raises retirement age by an average of three years. City employees earning more than 50,000 dollars a year will contribute more toward their pensions, putting in more in years when the city’s costs go up.
Proposition D, a measure backed by mayoral candidate Jeff Adachi, failed.
Emily DeRuy, a student reporter at Stanford’s Peninsula Press, a KQED News Associate reports that a San Mateo County bond measure to upgrade community colleges failed tonight in a very close race. Measure H would have allowed the county’s Community College District to borrow 564 million dollars for updating buildings and technology in the county’s three community colleges.
DeRuy says that the county has passed similar measures before. In 2001 there was a bond measure that provided the community college district with 207 million dollars in bonds, and then in 2005 there was a measure that provided the schools with another 468 million — that money also went to modernizing structures and increasing earthquake safety.
In the throws of a national conversation about taxes, how did Bay Area tax measures do? The San Francisco Chronicle says voters were in a “generous mood.” Read the full article.
In Mina Kim’s report from Ed Lee’s campaign party tonight at 10pm, she described Lee’s speech as “not quite a declaration of victory, but pretty close to it.” Watch the video of the speech below, and decide for yourself.
100% of the precincts in San Francisco have reported in. Here’s the final turnout:
|Total Ballots Cast||143806|
You can get all the results at the San Francisco Dept. of Election’s site. Surprising no one, we don’t have a mayor-elect tonight.
Let’s head down the peninsula and have a look at some key races in the South Bay:
In Palo Alto, voters are approving Measure D by a wide margin in early returns. Measure D would repeal binding arbitration for police and firefighter labor negotiations, and it’s getting a yes vote of 68 percent.
Measure E would change ten acres of park into a compost facility, and it’s passing with of sixty-three percent. (About a quarter of precincts are reporting.)
And in San Mateo County, a bond measure to upgrade the county’s three community colleges has a narrow lead with just a few precincts reporting. The measure needs a 55 percent supermajority vote to pass.
Absenteeism Lower Than Previous Years
Wait, that’s bad, right? Low turnout is the theme of these off-year, odd-year municipal elections (though as any self-respecting advocate of good government will tell you, these are the elections in which citizens have the best chance to actually make an impact on their communities).
One of the places the low turnout is reflected: the number of mail-in (formerly known as “absentee”) ballots received. In recent statewide general elections, the number of vote-by-mail ballots has increased steadily to nearly half of all the ballots cast. A year ago, for instance, the California Secretary of State reported that 48.4 percent of the 10.3 million votes cast in the state’s general election (which featured high-profile governor’s and U.S. senator’s races) were mail ballots.
Taking a look at the Bay Area’s vote-by-mail numbers for today’s election, the numbers are just a fraction of what we’ve been seeing. A quick sampling of the local mail ballot stats:]
Santa Clara: 23.1 percent
Alameda: 18 percent
San Mateo: 16.3 percent
San Francisco: 14.9 percent
One note: These totals don’t include vote-by-mail ballots turned in at polling places today. We don’t have a handle on how many of those ballots might be out there.
Live Now: Interim Mayor and mayoral candidate Ed Lee is speaking now. You can watch the video live on ABC7News.com.
Reporter Mina Kim sent this dispatch from Ed Lee’s party a few minutes ago:
Big cheers went up at 8:45 when absentee ballot results showed Lee far ahead. The person who announced the results said, ‘Looks like we did it!’ Some folks are already calling it for Lee. Others remain ‘optimistic’ because of unpredictability of ranked-choice voting. Mina also noted that Lee walked in to the party to Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” What a sweetie.
One hour after the polls closed, the first wave of results are in. Here’s where we stand on the San Francisco mayoral race.
|TERRY JOAN BAUM||425||0.64%|
Smartvoter.org has results of all races and measures throughout the Bay Area.
Reporter Mina Kim is at Dennis Herrera’s campaign party at Club Mighty, and reports that people are just starting to trickle in. A representative from the Herrera campaign acknowledged that “no one will be taking a victory lap tonight.”
In national races worth watching: The Associated Press is reporting that Ohio voters have rejected a proposal that would limit public employees’ collective-bargaining rights (a la Wisconsin). Read more at NPR.org.
KQED’s Kelly Wilkinson tells us that when she spoke to John Arntz, Director of Elections for San Francisco, today, he said that tonight’s mayoral results will only include first choices. Tomorrow, they will move to implementing ranked choice and will release preliminary results. Arntz plans to give an update every day at 4pm outside the Dept of Elections at City Hall and on their web site. So, looks like we are in for the long haul on this one (no real surprise there).
While we’re waiting for the polls to close…
Fill in the blank: Ranked-choice voting should be also be used for deciding ________. Tell us on our Facebook page.
We’re two and a half hours from polls closing. Results will begin trickling in shortly after. Here are links to results by county:
- Santa Clara County
- San Francisco City and County
- Alameda County
- San Mateo County
- Marin County (It’s unclear if the county will be posting results on its site.)
- Contra Costa County
- Sonoma County
- Solano County (It’s unclear if the county will be posting results on its site tonight.)