The Alameda County Registrar of Voters preliminary results of the ranked choice voting shows how Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf pulled off her victory. The registrar has not released the precinct or council district results yet, but it is fascinating to look at the ranked choice results.
The vote count shows 103,090 Oakland citizens cast their ballot. Immediately after the polls closed, Libby jumped out to a huge lead. Of first round votes, she received 29.67%, doubling the numbers received by incumbent Jean Quan at 15.47%.
Schaaf easily outdistanced bunched together opponents. Rebecca Kaplan, Dan Siegel and Joe Tuman had between 12% and 14%. Brian Parker had only 7.9% and Courtney Ruby 3.08%.
At the start of ranked choice, approximately 4,500 votes throughout the nine minor candidates were distributed evenly between the candidates. Many of their second votes did not count because their second and third choices had already been eliminated.
The first interesting distribution occurred with Ruby’s 3,329 votes. Schaaf got about 29% of Ruby’s votes, followed closely by Tuman. The remaining votes were sprinkled among the other candidates, with none getting more than 9%.
Next eliminated was Brian Parker with 8,403 votes. Over a third of his votes went to candidates who had already been eliminated. Of his remaining votes, Schaaf again gained about 30%, with the remaining divided primarily between Tuman and Kaplan.
Next to be eliminated was Joe Tuman. Again, approximately 25% of his votes went to previously eliminated candidates. A robust 63% of his remaining votes went to Schaaf.
This points out the weakness of the united three-vote appeal by Tuman, Parker and Ruby. About a third of each candidate’s votes went to eliminated candidates. The largest percentage of their remaining votes went to Schaaf. The three amigos campaign failed miserably and did not produce any extra votes.
Next down was Dan Siegel, who finished fourth in the running. Again, over a third of his of votes went to eliminated candidates. A whopping 43% of his remaining votes went to. Schaaf.
Now, the true countdown. Third place went to Quan with 23.3%, second-place to Kaplan with 26.4 and the final winner with over 50% was Schaaf.
She maintained a 2-to-1 lead over her closest competitors throughout election night. This showed her message resonated with the overwhelming majority of Oakland citizens.
The one thing that voters appreciated was the actual results they saw in her four years on the council. On the city Council and the budget committee, she showed that she wants to make city government accountable to the citizens.
Clinton Killian is an attorney at Oakland law firm Fried & Williams LLP and former public official. He can be reached at [email protected]