Category Archives: Election 2012 Berkeley
The Fair Campaign Practices Commission has decided to investigate whether any campaign laws were broken when the Yes on Measure S campaign paid people from $50 to $100 in cash to pass out campaign material on election day.
The commission also wants staff to look into whether the Yes on S campaign paid for an extra printing of endorsement fliers put out by the Berkeley Democratic Club without declaring its participation.
The decision to investigate came as the commission considered another complaint on Sept. 19 filed by Patricia Wall, executive director of the Homeless Action Center, and Bob Offer-Westort, the coordinator of the No on Measure S campaign. Measure S, which was defeated in November 2012, would have made it illegal to sit on sidewalks in commercial districts for much of the day. … Continue reading »
A small group of community members came together earlier this week at the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce to learn how the city’s redistricting process, underway for the past two years, will impact the city going forward.
Redistricting takes place in Berkeley every 10 years, when U.S. Census data are released, to ensure that districts have roughly equal populations.
Since at least 2000, students and others who live around the UC Berkeley campus have been trying to establish a student-majority district with the aim of giving students a larger voice and role in city decisions. In 2000, a proposal that essentially created a ring around campus was rejected by the city attorney because it didn’t comply with the city charter’s rules for redistricting. Last fall, Berkeley voters passed Measure R to change the way redistricting takes place. … 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 »
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 »
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 »
Update, 11:45 a.m.: According to election law, the remaining votes must be counted and reported within 31 days of the election, so by Dec. 7. Councilman Gordon Wozniak, writing in our Comments section, says it will likely take about one week: “It takes about a week to count all the absentee ballots that arrived on Election Day or were dropped off at a polling place, plus provisionals,” he says.
From the Secretary of State website: “In close contests, a clear winner may not be apparent for many days, as county officials verify and count millions of unprocessed ballots that include vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots cast at polling places, and others. By law, counties have 31 days to complete their official canvass and certify final election results to the Secretary of State, and they often need that full month to finish the work.” [Hat-tip Alina.]
Original story: The vote tallies announced by the Registrar of Voters last night are probably missing at least 20,000 Berkeley votes, which means some of the close Berkeley races could be affected.
Last night, 32,661 votes were recorded in the mayoral contest. Four years ago, over 56,000 Berkeleyans voted for mayor. Given the high turnouts observed in Berkeley yesterday, it’s clear there are plenty of votes remaining to be counted. … Continue reading »
9:10 a.m. That isn’t quite it. As several commenters have pointed out, there are plenty of Berkeley votes still to be counted: most of the absentees, provisional ballots, many vote-by-mail ballots. If turnout is around 2008 levels, it might be another 20,000 votes. Some of the close races — particularly Measure T and rent board seats — could well change. Measure S, with a 1,000 vote margin for the opponents, is less likely to change, but it’s not impossible.
1:30 a.m. That’s it. We’re wrapping up our live blogging of the Berkeley election, long after the rest of the nation went to sleep. Thanks for sticking with us. Here are the main stories: Bates re-elected comfortably, Capitelli defeats Hahn, Measures S and T both fail in close contests.
1:28 a.m. And the measures:
Measure M, Streets and Watershed
Yes 24,000 (73.28%)
No 8,751 (26.72%)
Measure N, Pools Bond (requires two-thirds)
Yes 19,901 (62.12%)
No 12,134 (37.88%) … Continue reading »
A candidate for the Berkeley Rent Board, who is also an aide to City Councilman Kriss Worthington, filed a police complaint Monday charging that the aide to City Councilman Laurie Capitelli trespassed on his property.
Alejandro Soto-Vigil said that his wife saw Capitelli’s aide and campaign manager, Pamela Gray, walk onto his property on Berkeley Way around 3:20 p.m. to look at a recycling bin that was stuffed with campaign signs.
“Pam apparently had gone onto our doorstep and porch looking at things and then she went to the recycling area and pulled out some signs and started taking photos,” said Soto-Vigil.
Capitelli told Berkeleyside that he and Gray were delivering campaign material to Soto-Vigil’s neighbor when they saw that the recycling bin contained campaign signs. Since so many of Capitelli’s signs have been torn up or taken during the election, he wanted to see if any of them were in there. They were not. … Continue reading »