Category Archives: Politics
Berkeley is seeking redistricting plans for the city’s eight council districts. Since 1986, Berkeley redistricting has been constrained to boundaries resembling the 1986 lines. After the passage of Measure R in November, those geographic constraints have been removed.
Redistricting plans must be submitted by March 15. A community meeting and two public hearings will be held in the spring and summer of this year, leading to the City Council considering a redistricting ordinance at its September 10th meeting. If the announced redistricting process calendar is adhered to, the redistricting ordinance will become effective on October 20, 2013, and the new districts will be used in the 2014 election, when seats for districts 1, 4, 7 and 8 will be up for election. … Continue reading »
The November 2012 election has come and gone, but Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission will address some alleged violations of campaign law on Thursday night.
The commission is scheduled to take a look at donations made to a Slate Mailer Organization (SMO) that spent more than $43,000 to send out five campaign mailers in support of the TUFF Rent Board slate, which included incumbent Nicole Drake, (who was defeated) Judy Hunt, (who was elected), Jay James, and Kiran Shenoy.
Patti Dacey, a Berkeley Planning Commissioner, filed a complaint with the FCPC on October 25 alleging that real estate businesses improperly donated to the TUFF SMO in order to circumvent Berkeley election laws, which prohibit businesses from contributing to candidates and limits individual donations to candidates (but not ballot measures) to $250. … Continue reading »
Interactive map with precinct-by-precinct results for Measure S. Click the green arrows to conceal info boxes. View the map on Geocommons here.
Although most of the results of Berkeley’s 2012 election were known on Nov. 6, and the final tally completed over a week ago, an analysis of the precinct-by-precinct certified results provides a number of fascinating insights.
(The certified results were released by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters just before Thanksgiving last week – the full 9MB 748-page statement of vote is available for download, but only as a PDF, not as a useful data file.) … Continue reading »
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. … Continue reading »
By Joe DeCredico
Joe DeCredico, an architect based in West Berkeley and the co-chair of the Yes on Measure T campaign, doesn’t know how the final tally on the proposed west Berkeley zoning ordinance will come out, but he was intrigued to find out more about the process of counting the outstanding votes. He therefore spent time over the weekend at the Alameda County Registrar. It is clear, he says, that Registrar Dave Macdonald and his team do a terrific job.
As the co-chair of Yes on T, I of course have a vested interest how the votes are counted, but the geek inside of me was also just curious as to how the process of counting absentee and provisional ballots works. So Saturday morning I arrived bright and early at the County Registrar of Voters to exercise my civic right and observe the ballot counting. For those who are interested, and for those who keep sniping about how long the process takes, I hope these observations will clear the waters. … Continue reading »
The staff at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters worked throughout the weekend, ploughing through the thousands of vote by mail ballots. With the updated figures posted on the registrar’s website yesterday afternoon, Measure T, which would alter the zoning in West Berkeley, looks unlikely to pass: the opponents’s lead has grown to 440, 23,131 to 22,691.
The gap on the sit ordinance, Measure S, remains large. No on S votes are 1,583 ahead of yes votes, 25,191 to 23,608.
Only about 1,000 new votes were added to the Berkeley totals yesterday. On Friday, Registrar Dave Macdonald said he planned to finish counting vote by mail ballots over the weekend. His staff will then turn their efforts to validating and counting the 40,000 provisional ballots countywide. … Continue reading »
The latest figures from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters adds nearly 10,000 votes to Berkeley totals — a nearly 30% increase on yesterday — and the closely fought West Berkeley zoning change, Measure T has changed dramatically again.
Yesterday, supporters of Measure T had inched five votes ahead of opponents. Today, the yes votes are 426 short of the no votes, the biggest gap in the contest. The registrar expects to finish counting mail in ballots tomorrow, and then his staff will move on to the 40,000 provisional ballots collected countywide.
On Measure S, the sit ordinance, opponents seem securely ahead, with a 1,407 vote lead. Berkeleyside has updated the Google Docs spreadsheet for measures S and T scenarios. … Continue reading »
In the latest vote update, yes votes on Measure T, the proposed West Berkeley zoning changes, have creeped five votes ahead of no votes, 17,845 to 17,850.
The gap on Measure S, the sit ordinance, has closed, but the no on S vote remains 759 ahead of the yes vote, 19,406 to 18,647.
Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald expects to complete the count of the remaining mail-in ballots by Sunday. Then his staff will turn to the 40,000 provisional ballots countywide.
The Alameda County Registrar plans to issue a daily update until all votes are counted.
One Berkeleyside reader who wishes to remain anonymous has constructed a spreadsheet to track the progress of the vote counts on measures S and T. The spreadsheet offers a number of possible scenarios for the vote outcome, making assumptions about the total number of outstanding ballots and how they might split. You can download the spreadsheet and change the assumptions to suit your tastes if you enjoy that kind of data manipulation. … Continue reading »
In the latest results from the Registrar of Voters, the Yes on T campaign has inched into the lead: 16,640 to 16,639.
None of the other Berkeley races have changed much in the latest update. Opponents of Measure S, the sit ordinance, still lead by nearly 1,000 votes, 18,254 to 17,273.
The Alameda County Registrar plans to issue a daily update until all votes are counted.
Councilman Kriss Worthington, second place finisher, said he knew the odds were daunting.
“I knew that running against an incumbent with a lot of money who had been in office for 34 years was not a cake walk,” he said. “But I also knew that allowing it to be a coronation where he got 70% or 75% of the votes would mean the drift to the right might continue.”
Worthington had garnered 21.2% of the vote as of Wednesday evening, with perhaps as many as 20,000 ballots still to be counted.
Jacquelyn McCormick, who had 11.3% of the votes by yesterday, and came in third in the mayoral race, said she felt the re-election of Mayor Bates spelled bad news for Berkeley. Reading Mayor Bates’ comments in Berkeleyside yesterday, she said, it was “hard to take his arrogance.” “We need change. [Bates] is pushing an agenda on the backs of everyone who lives in this city.” … Continue reading »
By November in a big election year, many residents are familiar with the daily handful of campaign literature that bursts forth from the mailbox in the form of pamphlets, sample ballots and oversized postcards.
But we heard from several readers this election season who noticed an onslaught of campaign emails in their virtual inboxes as well, from a wide variety of sources.
One reader connected the emails to his decision to opt out of receiving the sample election ballot; he said the Registrar of Voters’ office asked for an email address for confirmation purposes when he opted out.
He said he was concerned to find his information turning up in the hands of third parties without his permission.
He wrote: “If Facebook was doing this people would scream bloody murder. Plus I still get paper sample ballots anyway. Not a catastrophe, I understand, but sketchy as hell…” … Continue reading »
The latest Berkeley vote tallies, updated with some of the vote by mail and provisional ballots, have further narrowed the gap on Measure T, which would revise some of the zoning in West Berkeley. Overnight, opponents to Measure T had a 123 vote lead. That’s now down to 26 votes.
Measure S remains close, but the gap is still significant at 1,001.
Alameda County Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald released the latest figures this afternoon shortly after 4:00 p.m. and will be doing so daily until all the ballots are processed.
“This election has been very typical,” Macdonald said, responding to questions about the volume of uncounted ballots. “We have 100,000 vote by mail and 40,000 provisional ballots left countywide. It’s been a very smooth election.” … Continue reading »
On the surface, the local Berkeley vote appears to provide an echo of the national election story: after all the activity, accusations and counter-accusations, inside money and outside money, the city is about where it was before election day.
Many provisional and mail ballots have yet to be counted, but if the results don’t shift significantly, just about all of the incumbents were re-elected (only the Rent Board remains in doubt) and the majority on the City Council still sides with fourth term Mayor Tom Bates.
But Bates sees the results as a confirmation of change in Berkeley. Even seeming defeats, such as the currently trailing Measures S and T, spur his enthusiasm.
“I’m feeling great,” he said. “It was a really excellent election, for the presidential race, Prop. 30 and Prop. 32. And I got back my council.”
As for his own victory in pulling in 55% of the votes counted so far, Bates said he thought the result was remarkable given that he had “five opponents pounding away at me and at my record.”
He said he thought the result showed that “people like the tack we are trying to take with the city,” which he described as a denser city developed around transit sites. ”I’m really looking forward to the next four years and to seeing new green, well-designed developments in downtown Berkeley,” he said. “Stay tuned.”
Some contestants had been hoping this was a year for realignment of Berkeley politics. The “Anybody But Bates” plan by challengers Kriss Worthington and Jacquelyn McCormick, however, failed to force an instant run-off in the mayoral contest. Among local measures, the two designed to shake up the way city government works — Measure U, the so-called Sunshine Ordinance, and Measure V, which would have required biannual reporting of liabilities and a freeze on taxes and laws without certification — were roundly defeated. … Continue reading »