The much-anticipated final Oakland Mayor's Race ballot count that was to take place at 4 PM today (and had television media rushing to the Alameda County Registrar's Office at 4 PM just as this video blogger was leaving) has been delayed around 24 hours.
According to David Mac Donald, who was the hero of the Alameda County effort to handle the massive turnout for the 2008 Presidential Election that saw Barack Obama elected the first African-American President of The United States, the reason is a "crowded election."
"We've had more ballots to process in this election, than in any election in history," Mac Donald said. "And the reason is because with Ranked Choice Voting, every voter in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro got three ballot cards. And so it's triple the amount of paper that we have to handle. So it's been a big effort, but we're making a lot of progress. We're getting there."
Mac Donald said that he's received calls and visits from "some of the candidates" who have been watching the count closely.
And for good reason.
When the first round Oakland Mayor's Race ballots were counted, Former Senator Don Perata was ahead of Councilmember Jean Quan 33.96 percent to 24.54 percent, with At-Large Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan close by at 21.48 percent. Only a massive transfer of votes in the second round of counting to determine voters second choice could place Jean Quan ahead. That happened.
When the second round and successive rounds were calculated to get to a 50 percent majority for one candidate first, (now former as of January 2011) Oakland Councilmember Jean Quan took the lead:
10th round (final)
43,825 - 51.09% - Jean Quan
41,949 - 48.91% - Don Perata
36,816 - 40.21% - Don Perata
28,399 - 31.02% - Jean Quan
26,333 - 28.76% - Rebecca Kaplan
(Transferred 15,426 to Jean Quan / 5,133 for Don Perata, which is the "impossible scenario" some observers offered.)
When that was reported, the Perata camp's collective head sunk, and the Quan supporters broke out the bubby:
And for good reason: Quan will be Oakland's first Asian and female mayor if the lead holds up.
Meanwhile, this blogger fielded calls, emails, and messages of concern that Quan, considered at times aloof and insensitive, was going to be Oakland's new leader.
The difference as of this writing is just 1,876 votes between Perata and Quan. And, according to the Registrar of Voters there were over 10,000 absentee ballots that were counted, but an unknown number of provisional ballots that are being counted.
It's the provisional ballots that are taking more time.
What are they? I can use myself to give an example. The information containing my polling location was incorrect, so in going to what was printed as the correct place, that was closed. In a rush, I went over to vote at another location, where I filled out a "provisional ballot."
The problem for David Mac Donald and his crew at the Registrar of Voters, is that a ballot that was filled out from someone who lives in Livermore, but dropped off in Oakland, creates more sorting work for that person. David Mac Donald's people have to separate those provisional ballots and then count the Oakland-based ballots that deal with Oakland, and those are "Ranked Choice Voting" designed.
With all this, it's too early for anyone to celebrate. Still, we have to allow Jean Quan's supporters a moment of partying and drinking, considering their hard work. "Gaming" the Ranked Choice Voting system - telling supporters who to vote for - worked. Moreover, Kaplan and Quan teamed up to battle against Perata, who didn't try to "game" the system. In doing so they set model for future Oakland elections.
Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Wade Phillips posted one of the most pathetic post-game speeches this blogger has ever heard by an NFL coach after the Cowboys were slammed 45 to 7 against the Green Bay Packers. Now, with a 1 and 7 season so far, the media's calling for Coach Phillips head to be rolled.
Indeed, Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, who must feel like he's being cursed for making fun of the idea of drafting Tim Tebow, said that people would feel a change.
The Cowboys lost to a good team in the Packers and an excellent quarterback in Aaron Rogers, but the collapse of Dallas was shocking. It started with a 28-point second quarter, and that's when it was apparent the Cowboys were going to be blown out of the building. They were.
The Cowboys suffered their most embarrassing loss of the season, and then on NFL Network Sunday night, Coach Phillips took the podium.
Afterward, NFL Network analysts Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin, and Steve Mariucci got into a lively and emotional conversation on what they saw. Irvin said "I want him to tell me how we're going to be better. I didn't hear that." Sanders said he didn't need to be motivated by the coach, and that the Cowboys problem was the players, not the coach. Mariucci said he's "been there" and understands what Phillips is going through.
The thinking here is Wade Phillips should not be fired, but there should be changes in scheme. The Dallas problems are fixable. They lack a good short passing system; Jason Garrett must install one. Defensively, they have to use more exotic coverages, because teams spread them out and force them into a base man-for-man approach. The answer: to blitz.
But the fact is Jerry Jones isn't going to be swayed by the media, and Cowboys players don't think it's going to help either.
Last Tuesday night, the night of the 2010 Midterm Elections, as now Governor-Elect Jerry Brown was making his way through the audience of media and well-wishers, and this video blogger was filming the action, Brown turned right, and into my camcorder's lens. The first thing out of Jerry's mouth - well the second thing after "there's that blogger" - was referring to the comments that Arnie Fields made about him during our interview.
Arnie Fields ran for Mayor and lost, again, big time. Arnie knows in his heart of hearts that he's not going to be the Mayor of Oakland unless he makes a concerted effort. But that's another blog post. Arnie's ran twice because he's got Jerry Brown on the brain, and doesn't like the "10K" - Jerry Brown's project that brought thousands of units of apartment and condo housing to downtown Oakland, and helped transform Oakland's population. Ok, we've been through that discussion.
But instead of focusing on the Governor's race when he saw me at his election party at the Oakland Fox, the now Governor-elect Brown could only think of my interview with Arnie. And just because Arnie was critical of Jerry. Geez. Here, I endorse the guy - Jerry - for Governor of California the previous day, and all he and his press people can think of is that. Well, so be it. I wasn't going to argue about it on camcorder with Jerry because I don't do TMZ, so I shut the thing off.
That action really upset one of my YouTube fans, who wrote that I should have kept the camera going. You know, after a lot of thinking about that, he's right. No more Mr. nice guy - well, I can't -- I just can't do full on TMZ.com with the challenging questions and the camera in the face. I don't like that. I just can't. Maybe half TMZ. Ok. Half.
On Oscar Grant And The Mehserle Verdict
Just one thing here: I think protests do very little here. Wonder how many of the protesters voted on Tuesday? Love to take a pole. If we want change, how about filing a lawsuit? Why not blame now former-Alameda County DA Tom Orloff for posting a "first-degree murder" charge he knew would not stick? That's what started this whole deal. No wonder Orloff retired.
The only good Oscar Grant and Mehserle Verdict protesters have done is boost ratings for the local Bay Area Media. You can't tell about society's problems if you're not willing to work to change society.
The Oakland Raiders
There's a video from the game coming today, but how about those Oakland Raiders! Amazing win, and on the day of the Raiderette Reunion! The first game the Raiderette's performed in was Chiefs vs. Raiders in 1960, if my source, a Raiderette who performed then, is correct.
What happened Sunday? Raiders top the Chiefs 23 to 20 in overtime. As my friend Charlie Santana, Jr. said, "I'm so happy now, I can't talk." You said it, man.
The Oakland Mayor's Race
Final results are supposed to be released today, which should include the absentee ballots. Stay tuned.