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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the nation focused on the outcome of the presidential election Tuesday night, we’ve compiled this list of where you can join friends, neighbors and fellow community members to experience the results together. Let us know in the comments below if we missed a great event at your favorite spot.
Last week, after reading Berkeleyside’s round-up on postage costs for mail-in ballots, we heard from one reader who described himself as “truly baffled.” Officials had said voters in Berkeley had absentee ballots requiring postage up to $1.50 due to multiple inserts for a long list of races and ballot measures.
Let’s face it: ballot measures can be dry. And boring. And difficult to understand, often leading people just to vote “no,” because a measure is too complicated.
By Brenda Kahn