Final election count shows no change in Berkeley tallies

Staff at the Registrar of Voters count ballots last week. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Alameda County is the first populous county in California to complete its election count, according to Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald (“If I can brag a little,” he said). The countywide turnout of 74.3% was slightly down on 2008, when it reached 78.3%. The registrar published the final, uncertified count last night.

Detailed precinct by precinct votes will be available shortly after the results are certified, which Macdonald expects to do next Wednesday. Today and Monday, his staff are doing the required 1% tally before certification: a random 1% of precincts is checked manually to see whether there are any discrepancies between the voter machine-reported tally and the manual tally.

In Berkeley, the final count revealed no changes since election day. The close count on Measure T, which would have changed zoning in West Berkeley, finished with the opponents ahead by 512 votes. The narrow margin Alejandro Soto-Vigil had for the fourth seat on the Rent Stabilization Board also held up: Soto-Vigil finished 210 votes ahead of incumbent Igor Tregub. Yesterday, Councilmember Jesse Arreguín appointed Tregub to the Zoning Adjustments Board. 

The closest county contest was over Measure B1, which would have used a half cent increase in local sales tax to provide funding for transit, road improvements (particularly for bikes and pedestrians), reduced congestion and reduced fares for seniors, youth and disabled. B1 required a two-thirds vote, and with 66.53% support it fell short by 697 votes out of 527,403 cast.

In Berkeley’s mayoral election, 52,940 voted, down from 56,170 in the 2008 race. Those figures suggest Berkeley’s overall turnout, as for the county, will be down on 2008.

Inside absentee, provisional ballot counting [11.12.12]
Vote update: Yes on Measure T slips further behind [11.12.12]
Vote update: T slips down, 10,000 more votes counted [11.10.12]
Update on Measure T count: Now 5 votes up [11.09.12]
And then there was one: Measure T down to single vote [11.08.12]
Measure T gap narrows to 26 votes [11.07.12]
Remaining Berkeley votes could change close contests [11.07.12]
Live blogging the Berkeley elections: all the final results [11.06.12]
Measure T: Will it enhance or ruin West Berkeley? [10.29.12]

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  • PragmaticProgressive

    It was probably also getting uncomfortable, given that Anthony jointly owns a condo on the other side of the tunnel with his fiancée. He says he still has a flat here in town, but he’s obviously made a more substantial investment elsewhere.

  • Guest

    Nice try, Sharkey, but this is not Anthony Sanchez. Just like you’re not Lars Skjerping, but do appear to work at the Berkeley Public Library. Just setting things straight.

    To substantiate my allegations further, all you need to do is go to Missouri Lounge on just about any given Saturday night, buy Nicole a drink, and listen to her rant on.

    By the way, council aides – just like city staff – don’t have to live in Berkeley. Nicole, now that she’s no longer on any commission, could for instance move out of Berkeley and stay on as Linda’s aide.

  • tor_berg

    It should be noted that Tax Foundation is a right-wing anti-tax organization. Paul Krugman describes it as “not a reliable source.” For instance, The Tax Foundation’s analysis of comparative state tax burdens includes an estimate of sales taxes paid by Californian tourists in other states as part of the average Californian’s tax burden. just scrapes data, and is thus a bit more objective. It places California at ninth, with a tax burden that is just $300/year higher than the national average. Context is important, though, and California real estate is the most valuable in the nation, by a lot. California’s sales tax is also the highest in the nation. So what we have is a highly regressive tax regime, where owners of valuable real estate are given a tax break that is partly offset by high taxes on consumers.

  • guest

    Maybe, depending on the subject and, of course, the person making the comment.  Some of the comments on this topic seem like a bare-knuckle brawl that began in the chic and elegant Missouri Lounge and tumbled onto  the pages of Berkeleyside.

  • tor_berg

    This comment is just breathtakingly cowardly. 

    East Bay Express has banned anonymous commenting on its web site. I hope Berkeleyside will consider taking similar action. We’re getting close to the cesspool that is SFGate’s comments section.

  • The Sharkey

    I’m all for anonymous content, but stuff like this that contains speculative accusations without any evidence to back it up should be removed as “personal attacks.”

  • The Sharkey

    My parcel taxes may help pay for them but I haven’t been to any branch of the Library in over a year as a patron, let alone as an employee.

    Looks like you need to work on those Internet Detective skills a bit more, Tony.

    Berkeleyside’s editors ought to delete your comments since you can’t substantiate any of them, at all.

  • The Sharkey

    Note the defensive comments above about how Council aides don’t have to live in Berkeley.

  • The Sharkey

    Sorry, but I don’t share your outrage over that one.

    They replaced a dilapidated garage that was closer than currently allowed to the property line with a similarly sized structure that was the same distance from the property line.

    People violate laws like this in Berkeley all the time, as they should. While I wish Lau had worked to get some of Berkeley’s more moronic laws about construction changed instead of just violating them, it doesn’t bother me that much.

  • The Sharkey

    No, sorry. The 2/3 law is great and I’m glad we have it.

    Look at how easy it was for outside money to get Prop 8 passed here in CA because they only needed a 50.01% majority.

    Do you really want that kind of crap applied to our taxes and fees as well?

  • The Sharkey

    Prop 13 ought to be amended so that it only applies to primary residences, and does not apply to business properties.

    You’ll never get people to vote for a total elimination of Prop 13, but if someone could get that amendment onto the ballot, I’d wager that Californians might have enough sense to pass it.

  • guest

    Let it go. The feeding frenzy in these comments over unmasking people is just as distasteful as the comments you are objecting to.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    I like pseudonymous content, with durable pseudonyms (such as those available through disqus, though I loathe their platform).  I don’t think we need “Guest” content as it’s too easy to create “burner” accounts.  Of course that’s true with the disqus ones as well, using 10 minute mail, so perhaps strong moderation is the better course.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    And it’s true, they don’t, provided that they stick to their knitting.  But Anthony spent a lot of time here scolding residents about their immoral outlook, while feathering his nest in Walnut Creek.  That’s B.S.

  • We’ve considered many times whether to allow pseudonymous and anonymous comments on Berkeleyside. We’re sticking with the policy of allowing them, but we recognize the need to moderate comments to keep them civil. 

    Comments that are purely about trying to “out” an anonymous or pseudonymous commenter are discouraged. They really do nothing to advance a discussion.  

    I’m deleting a number of the comments under here for that reason. 

  • Charles_Siegel

    Sharkey, considering how strongly you have defended your own right to anonymity, don’t you think you should respect the anonymity of others?

    Would you like it if people kept making wild guesses about who you are? 

    I think the Sharkey is really Susan Wengraf. That’s why he is making these crazy comments.

  • Charles_Siegel

    A good start, but belated.  This post needed stronger moderation all along. 

    And there are still some “outing” comments that you have not removed.

    I would appreciate it if, in the future, you removed all “outing” comments immediately.

  • Mea culpa. 

    We don’t want our comments section to turn into an Augean stables, but sometimes it does seem as though we face Herculean labors to clean things up. 

  • tor_berg

    I’m hopeful with the new supermajority. Steinberg has voiced support for these kinds of amendments in the past. I’d also like to see a re-evaluation of the inheritance provisions of Prop. 13. I know people in the hills who inherited their home and are paying taxes on just a $30,000 assessment.

  • The Sharkey


    I wonder if only allowing comments from registered Disqus accounts would help cut down on “Guest” posters making baseless accusations with throwaway e-mail addresses while still allowing people to use pseudonyms.

  • The Sharkey

    Great point about the inheritance clauses. I also know someone in the hills living in an incredible five-bedroom home that they inherited and are paying less than half what I’m paying for my tiny cottage in the flats.

    Maybe splitting the difference between the tax level the building used to be at and the currently assessed rate would be more fair.

  • That’s something for us to consider, certainly.

    My concern would be that it would discourage the one-time or occasional commenter. It would create a daunting hurdle for a lot of people making that first comment.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    Part of the problem is that it’s still too easy to create a burner account registered at disqus. Specifically, you could create an account with a 10 minute mail account behind it.  Once you have the disqus credentials, you’ll never need the email again.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    Lance, are you thinking about trying a disqus upgrade again?  Dunno if it’s any better than last time, but the current one isn’t exactly without issues.  I realize that this has nothing to do with moderation/pseudonymity.

  • anon

    I personally hope you won’t get rid of the “anonymous” or “psuedonymous” commenting, as I feel that it is extremely valuable, and allows a conversation style that is unique to the internet.
    However, I would agree with Charles that the moderation should be stepped up a bit.
    As someone who is very cautious online, and does not like setting up accounts just to post one or two comments, I also think that the fact that others can in fact see your email address and history elsewhere  online should be more clearly noted.
    People for instance who are concerned about stalkers may believe that they are safe from such, when in fact that is not at all the case.

  • David D.

    I don’t think a lot of the riffraff running for office in Berkeley would be allowed inside the Missouri Lounge. Which, by the way, is still my favorite biker/hipster bar in town.

  • Taxpayer for Transparency

    Thanks for the context on The Tax Foundation. 

    The tax data on Statemaster that places California ninth at $2,392 per capita, however, is from tax year 2004, and does not include local taxes: Per capita tax burden in US dollars, does not include local and federal tax. The data in this statistic is a survey of state government tax collection.SOURCE: US Census Bureau, 2004That suggests that California income and sales taxes alone are about $10K per year for a family of four.  Add in Federal income tax, SS/Medicare, and local property and sales taxes, and it’s not a pretty picture.I agree that sales taxes and property taxes under Prop 13 are regressive.  However, Federal and CA income taxes are progressive.  Here’s an interesting one: Berkeley’s 7.5% utility tax, usually disguised as a *local* tax on bills, may be regressive and not-so-green.  The EBMUD and PG&E pieces may be proportional to income and housing consumption.  However, the telecomm pieces are probably regressive, as it seems most everyone has cell phones, internet, and cable TV.  We should green-shift the tax from travel-saving phone and internet services toward the energy consumption elements of EBMUD and PG&E.Would be interesting to see total tax burden modeled for various Berkeley profiles.

  • guest

    “[Missouri Lounge] by the way, is still my favorite biker/hipster bar in town.”

    Thank you for this information.  I could never get close enough to actually see inside.  The stale smoke, though evocative of modern prose, kept me so far away that I could not see inside because it was too dark.  It good to know that it’s a popular spot.

  • Jeff Johnson

    Yes, I do. “That kind of crap” is essential to running a government, which is essential to running a 21st Century nation.

  • The Sharkey

    I wonder, do you pay more than you have to on your taxes every year? Do you lead by example and give the California State government a gratuity for doing such a good job when you file your taxes every year? Are you so 100% happy with the way our legislators use our tax dollars that you think everyone should be forced to give them more?