Weekend election update: Kesarwani declares victory in Berkeley’s District 1

The Saturday evening update on Tuesday’s election from Alameda County brought the total of Berkeley votes over 34,000, with no change in the standings of candidates in the various electoral contests.

In District 1, the only contest that required ranked choice voting (RCV), Rashi Kesarwani on Saturday declared victory, even though more votes remain to be counted. Kesarwani’s lead over Igor Tregub in second place has narrowed slightly since the early tallies on Tuesday. But in the RCV calculation, Kesarwani and Tregub have so far split third-placed Margot Schueler’s votes nearly evenly.

City Council, District 1Tally (%) [RCV]# of Votes
Precincts reported14 of 144,882
Rashi Kesarwani45%2,196
Igor A. Tregub35%1,720
Margo Schueler15%752
Mary Behm-Steinberg4%207
Write-in0%7

Some supporters of Ben Gould in District 4 have been holding out hope that incumbent Kate Harrison would slip below 50%, triggering an RCV calculation – and that the pact between Gould and third-placed Greg Magofña would pull off the upset. But while Harrison’s election night 53% of the vote has been pulled back to 52%, there is no sign that further counting will challenge her absolute majority.

City Council, District 4Tally (%)# of Votes
Precincts reported12 of 123,432
Kate Harrison52%1,796
Ben Gould35%1,212
Gregory Magofña12%414
Write-in0%10

The one remaining local question to resolve this year is whether total turnout will set a midterm election record. Four years ago, over 40,000 ballots were cast in Berkeley for the midterms. As of Saturday night, over 34,000 had been counted by the registrar of voters. When Registrar Tim Dupuis spoke to Berkeleyside on Nov. 7, his guesstimate was that only about half the county’s ballots had been tallied. If Berkeley voters are reflective of the county, that could suggest that a further 10-15,000 ballots remain to be counted.