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Updated: Post-Election Vote Count: Berkeley's Measure T Is Losing by More Than 400 Votes; Measure S is Firmly Defeated

By Rob Wrenn
Tuesday November 13, 2012 - 05:43:00 PM

Tuesday update: Measure T still lags; has little chance of passing

About 2400-2500 more votes were counted today by the Registrar in Oakland. Measure T picked up only 5 votes, reducing its vote deficit from 472 to 467. But with the count expected to be largely over tomorrow, there is little likelihood that the measure will pass.

Measure T is the only undecided race in Berkeley. Measure S, the anti-sitting measure, is now losing by over 2000 votes, a 52% to 48% margin. Measure N, the pools bond measure, has 62.3%, well short of the required two-thirds. Rent board candidates Judy Shelton, Asa Dodsworth and Alejandro Soto-Vigil from the Progressive Affordable Housing slate, and Judy Hunt from the landlord-financed TUFF slate appear to have been elected. There is a small chance that Igor Tregub, the fourth member of the progressive slate will catch up with Soto-Vigil, who leads him by 155 votes for fourth place. At one point in the count, Tregub was only 13 votes behind Soto-Vigil. 

About 21,000 ballots of Berkeley voters have been counted since Election Day. For the first time in a presidential election, a majority of ballots cast in Berkeley were vote by mail ballots. 

Measure B1, the county transportation sales tax measure, inched closer to the required two-thirds, It now has 66.19%. It's uncertain if enough votes remain to be counted in transit-supportive areas of Berkeley and Oakland to reach two-thirds. 

Monday afternoon update: Measure T continues to fall behind

The Registrar of Voters continued counting votes despite the holiday.

Measure T, the West Berkeley upzoning measure, is now behind by 472 votes, up from yesterday's 440 vote deficit.

Something over 1600 votes were counted today.

At the end of election night, T was behind by only 123 votes (50.19% to 49.18%). T was briefly ahead, by 5 votes, after the the first three days of post-election counting, but its lead disappeared with Friday's count of a huge batch of absentee votes, and the measure has fallen further behind in the last two days counting of smaller batches of votes.

If turnout this year was as high as in 2008, there could be another 6,000 or 7,000 votes on T to count, including provisionals. Provisionals have typically been similar to votes cast at the polls, which this year favored the No on T position 52% to 48%. The remaining absentees, if there are any, would have to break very strongly for T for it to pass, and that has not happened in any of the batches of votes counted to date.

No: 23,728 (50.50%)

Yes: 23,256 (49.50%)

Today's margin: 472

Yesterday's margin 440

SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Measures S and T still losing after Sunday count

Probably not more than 1000 more Berkeley absentees were counted today; 10,000 were counted yesterday. The goal was to finish the count today. Citywide turnout and totals for Mayoral and District 5 Council contests are still well below 2008. There are a reported 40,000 provisionals still to count countywide. Roughly 10% of total votes in the county came from Berkeley in 2008 and 2010. Provisional ballots are typically similar to votes cast at the polls.

Measure T margin: 440 votes ; up from 426 yesterday

No: 23,131 (50.48%)

Yes: 22,691 (49.52%)

Measure S margin: 1583 votes; up from 1407 yesterday

No: 25,191 (51.62%)

Yes: 23,608 (48.38%)

Rent Board:

Soto-Vigil is now ahead of Tregub by 13 votes (was 15). He is now ahead of Drake by 1102 votes (was 978). 




SATURDAY UPDATE: Measure T is 426 votes behind, Measure S defeated

With Saturday's update to the vote count, Measure T is now losing 22,692 (50.47%) to 22,266 (49.53%). At the end of election night, it was losing 50.19% to 49.81%. Absentee votes counted after the election to date are less supportive of T than the election night count, though more supportive than the votes cast at the polls on Election Day.

About 10,000 more absentee ballots were counted on Saturday and it is now clear that Measure S, the anti-sitting measure, has been defeated. No: 24,618 (51.47); Yes: 23,211 (48.53%). Votes remaining to be counted, including provisionals, are not going to erase a 1400 vote deficit.

Saturday's large update had a smaller percentage of votes from the hills and a higher percentage from the flats, the reverse of Friday's count. About 16,000 absentees have now been counted; there may be several thousand left, but they are not likely to change the outcome. Remaining absentee ballots should be counted Sunday, and an update would presumably be posted on the county Registrar of Voter's Web site by the end of the day. The Registrar had said that the absentee count would be completed by Sunday.

Incumbent rent board commissioner Nicole Drake, who ran for re-election on the landlord-financed TUFF slate, is still in sixth place, 978 votes behind Alejandro Soto-Vigil and has no realistic chance of picking up enough votes to come in fourth. Incumbent Igor Tregub, like Soto-Vigil a member of the Progressive Affordable Housing Slate, in fifth place, is now only 15 votes behind Soto-Vigil and might overtake him in the remaining count.

Measure N, the pools bond, while it gained in Saturday's count, is still well short of the required two-thirds, with 62.33% yes. It also doesn't look good for county measure B1, the half cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects, It now has 65.31%, but also needs two-thirds. Berkeley voters supported the measure but it had less support in the southern and eastern parts of Alameda County. There are, however, 40,000 provisional votes still to be counted countywide, in addition to the remaining absentees. 

UPDATE, Friday afternoon: Measure T now up by 5 votes; Measure S losing by 759 votes

More than more 2500 absentee ballots were counted today. The large majority came from Districts 5 and 6. Measure S is still losing, but the margin is 759 votes today; it was 981 yesterday. Odds that Measure S will pass did not improve as many of these votes come from the part of the City where support for Measure S was almost certainly greatest. Berkeleyside reports that the Registrar expects to complete the absentee count by Sunday which suggests that there are probably not a huge number of absentee ballots remaining. Provisional ballots, which will be counted next week, are likely to increase the margin for No on S. No on T is also likely to benefit from provisionals since they typically are similar to votes cast at the polls. But the margin for Yes on T may increase when the remaining absentees are counted. It's likely to be close.

The Yes on Measure S campaign raised over $100,000. most of it in large donations, based on filings that can be viewed online. No on Measure S raised less than $20,000.

About 2200 absentee ballots cast by Berkeley voters were counted on Wednesday and Thursday. Measure T, the West Berkeley upzoning measure, now is leading by a single vote, 16640 to 16639. It had been behind by 123 votes when Election Day counting of votes ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Votes counted on Election Day include initial absentees received before election day and votes cast at the polls. Still to be counted are many absentee ballots turned in at polling places and provisional ballots.


How many Berkeley ballots remain? Unfortunately the County has only said that, countywide, as of Wednesday, 85,000 vote by mail ballots and 40,000 provisional ballots remained to be counted.

In the 2008 presidential election, 66,703 votes were cast in Berkeley, up from 60,818 in 2004 and 54,684 in 2000.

In 2008, 56,270 votes were cast for mayoral candidates. This year, to date, only 34,689 votes have been counted for the six mayoral candidates whose names appeared on the ballot. So it’s possible that 15,000 to 20,000 votes have yet to be counted. Even if turnout was below that of 2004, there would still be thousands more votes to count. 

Measure S 

(as of 4:24 p.m. Nov 8) 

Yes: 17,273 (48.62%) 

No: 18, 254 (51.38%) 

Measure S is still losing; the margin at the end of Thursday’s counting was 981 votes down from a margin of 1055 votes at the end of Election Day. 

Initial absentee votes, released within an hour after the polls closed, favored Measure S by a 58% to 42% margin. Votes cast at the polls, however, favored the NO position by a 57% to 43% margin. 

The votes counted since Election Day favor Measure S by a 52% to 48% margin. If this margin persists with the remaining absentee ballots, then Measure S will certainly fail. Measure S picked up only 74 votes from the count of over 2000. In addition, provisional ballots, which have yet to be counted, have in previous elections, been similar to other votes cast at the polls, and should add to Measure S’s shortfall. 

Measure S was clearly the hottest local issue on this year’s ballot. Of the votes counted to date, 35,527 votes were cast pro or con Measure S. The next most voted-on measure, Measure M, the Streets and Watershed Bond, now has a total of 34,482. Measure V, The Facts Ordinance, at the tail end of one of the ballot cards, attracted only 29,891 voters. In the votes counted to date, more people voted on S than voted for a mayoral candidate. Mayoral votes total 34,768 so far with write-ins included. 

Measure T 

(as of 4:24 p.m. Nov 8) 

Yes: 16640 (50.00%) 

No: 16639 (50.00%) 

Absentees counted since Election Day are favoring Measure T by a 53.7% to 46.3% margin, a bit higher than the margin found in the initial absentees reported on election night. If this margin continues, Measure T is likely to pass. 

Provisional ballots remain to be counted and they are likely to reduce the margin of Yes votes, since voters who voted at their polling place opposed Measure T by a 52% to 48% margin. However, there are certainly more absentees than provisional votes yet to be counted. 

Rent Board – 4 seats 

(as of 4:24 p.m. Nov 8) 

Judy Shelton 13009 

Judy Hunt 12165 

Asa Dodsworth 11449 

Alejandro Soto-Vigil 10893 

Igor Tregub 10787 

Nicole Drake 10380 

Kiran Shenoy 8849 

Jay James 7533 

Nicole Drake of the landlord-financed TUFF slate, is behind Alejandro Soto-Vigil of the Progressive Affordable Housing slate, currently in fourth place, by 513 votes. Drake narrowed the margin between her and Soto-Vigil by only 58 votes in counting on Wednesday and Thursday. Soto-Vigil is likely to do better than Drake among provisional voters, so Drake is unlikely to overtake Soto-Vigil unless the remaining absentees are a lot more favorable to her. She was in the top four in the initial absentees, but slid to sixth place when votes cast at the polls were counted. 

Measures N and O – Pools 

There is little chance that either the bond measure or the parcel tax for the pools will achieve the required a two-thirds vote. At the end of election night, Measure N had 62.1% but, with the latest count, the measure is slightly further behind, at 62.0%. Measure O is even further behind with 59.5%. 

Alameda County Measure B1 –Transportation Sales Tax 

With the latest count, the measure now has 65.38% but needs two-thirds. This measure received the required two-thirds in all but one precinct in Berkeley (a District 6 hills precinct), and did well in most of Oakland so the more Berkeley and Oakland votes that remain to be counted, the better its chances.