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Remaining Berkeley Votes Could Change Close Contests

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Tracey Taylor/Berkeleyside

Measure T, which calls for the rezoning of West Berkeley, narrowly failed but uncounted votes may change the outcome.

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.

The vote on Measure T, the West Berkeley zoning changes, is particularly close. Only 123 votes separate the two sides. Measure S, the sit ordinance, is also close, with 1,055 votes between the sides.

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.

According to Alameda Registrar Dave Macdonald, the majority of remaining ballots are vote by mail. Mail ballots had to be delivered to a polling station or the registrar by 8:00 p.m. last night. Further uncounted votes are in the provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are required for voters who are not on the voting roster at their polling station, who bring absentee ballots without an envelope, who register late to vote, or who applied to vote by mail, but go to the polls instead.

This morning, the registrar could not confirm how many Berkeley ballots remain to be counted. An update of both the count and the likely number is expected later today.

Other than Measures T and S, the other race likely to be affected by the further counts is the Rent Stabilization Board. Only 1,075 votes separates current third place finisher Asa Dodsworth from current sixth place finisher Nicole Drake. The top four candidates are selected for the Rent Board.

Source: Berkeleyside [http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/berkeleyside/XGaT/~3/7cuQwWuQgvI/]

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