UPDATE 11:02 PM
DECISION 2014: Oakland Race for Mayor…
NP – Libby Schaaf – 8012
NP – Jean Quan- 4757
NP – Rebecca Kaplan – 4034
NP – Joe Tuman – 3970
NP – Dan Siegel – 2791
NP – Bryan Parker – 2179
NP – Courtney Ruby – 1091
NP – Jason Anderson – 369
NP – Charles R. Williams – 320
NP – Peter Liu – 160
NP – Ken Houston – 126
NP – Pat McCullough – 121
NP – Eric Wilson – 95
NP – Nancy Sidebotham – 89
NP – Saied Karamooz – 69
Write-in 0 0.00
NP – Sammuel Washington 0
OAKLAND (KRON and wire reports) — Embattled Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is facing stiff competition on Election Day as she faces off against 15 other candidates in a a unique ranked-choice, instant-runoff voting system.
Alameda County officials said that they are expecting only 40-45% voter turnout, and that about 20-25 thousand mail-in ballots may be dropped off in Oakland. It’s possible that the city’s new mayor may not be named until Wednesday after officials count the mail-in ballots.
Oakland is working to shed its reputation as a mismanaged and crime-ridden city.
Ranked-Choice Voting — also known as instant runoff voting — allows voters to rank a first, second and third choice candidate for a single office. This makes it possible to elect local officials by majority vote without the need for a separate run-off election.
In this year’s crowded field, two members of the City Council are rising ahead of the pack: Rebecca Kaplan, who has led in polls; and Libby Schaaf, who has been endorsed by Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Oakland mayor.
Quan’s chances for re-election are slim as the field narrows and progressive voters abandon Quan, said Corey Cook, a University of San Francisco political scientist who studies Oakland voting.
Crime, affordable housing and development are top issues in the race, with the leading candidates mostly agreeing with each other on their priorities. Critics of ranked-choice voting say the system encourages candidates to focus on name recognition and not alienating rivals’ supporters.
In 2012, Oakland had more robberies per capita than any other large U.S. city and the highest violent crime rate of any large California city, according to data reported to the FBI. Federal officials have been monitoring Oakland’s police department for reforms after years of misconduct and corruption allegations.
Leading mayoral candidates share a vision of an expanded, proactive, community-oriented police department staffed with Oakland-raised officers. Schaaf says crime is an “urban tax” holding back Oakland and blames Quan for understaffed public safety.