ELECTION 2014: Results update

ELECTION 2014: Results update

Michele Ellson

Updated at 2:54 a.m. Friday, November 7 in BOLD

The razor's edge margin in the Alameda mayor's race got a little tighter Thursday, with Mayor Marie Gilmore gaining ground on her opponent, school board trustee Trish Spencer.

With an additional 991 Alameda votes counted, Spencer's lead over Gilmore dropped from about 300 votes to fewer than 200, with Spencer leading 7,215 votes to Gilmore's 7,041.

A pair of candidates vying for a third seat on the Alameda Health Care District Board also edged closer together, with incumbent Lynn Bratchett gaining ground on challenger Jim Meyers, who's currently in the lead. After Thursday's count, Meyers led by just 25 votes, 5,139 to Bratchett's 5,114.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters had 124,000 ballots left to tally at the close of Tuesday's count; new results showed the registrar has counted an additional 25,670 ballots since early Wednesday. It wasn't yet clear Thursday evening how many ballots remained to be counted in Alameda; Registrar Tim Dupuis couldn't be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

We'll continue to update you each evening, as new numbers roll in.


Marie Gilmore (i): 7,041/49.21%
Trish Spencer: 7,215/50.43


Lynn Bratchett (i): 5,114/21.53
Jim Meyers: 5,139/21.64


Submitted by Austin Tam (not verified) on Thu, Nov 6, 2014

YES! I Have hope for Mayor Marie Gilmore, I lit a candle for her tonight, and did a little prayer

Submitted by Tracy (not verified) on Thu, Nov 6, 2014

The suspense! Thanks for the updates.

Submitted by Michael (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

How close does it have to be for a second runoff election?

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

Hey Michael: We don't have runoff elections here; whoever has the most votes at the end of this wins. Here at The Alamedan we're still waiting on the mayor's race and the third seat on the health care district board (something I realized I may not have made clear with Wednesday's piece).

Submitted by Loves Alameda (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

I think it's nice you lit a candle, just like those who lit a candle for George Bush to give the US another corporation-profit productive four years. Yes, God loves corporations! Eight years of Marie!

Submitted by C. (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

Further evidence that in Alameda every vote counts. Those who did not go to the polls "voted" nonetheless just as surely as those of us who did.

Submitted by marvie (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

Yes; I commented elsewhere that those disgruntled by the results of the election (who didn't vote) have no right to complain; I'm glad I voted.
Unbelievably close mayoral vote.

Submitted by Kim MacV (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

If Spencer is to become Mayor, with her school board seat opening, does that mean McMahon would get that seat or would the board or mayor get to appoint? Council usually gives an open seat to the next placed finisher so I wonder if the school board is the same and so he's not really off that board?

Thanks for coverage as I thought the mayor's race was a done deal. Interesting!

Submitted by Richard Hausman (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

Michelle, Does a razor-thin margin (however that's numerically defined) trigger a re-count under state law?

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

Hey Richard: I don't know that there is an automatic recount outside of the 1 percent tally the registrar usually does to test the count; let me ask. I would assume that whoever's on the losing end of the election at the end of this race will want a recount, but my memory is that they're costly and that the candidate who requests one has to pay for it. I will check. And Kim: If Spencer wins (and decides to vacate her school board seat - apparently there's some question about whether she would be required to do so), the school board has two options: Hold a special election or appoint a new board member to serve out the rest of her term. They're governed by different rules on this than the City Council.

Submitted by tom (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

Dear Austin:

Fighting fire with fire!

Maybe i should light a candle to ensure Gilmore's loss.

Submitted by marvie (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

Regarding the mayoral vote count; when will we know the final result?
I did read that updates come each day around 5 p.m. but how many more votes have not been counted? Also, I can't understand why Trish has seemingly been implicated as the new mayor if the count is not yet over in such a close race!

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

Hey all: So, I followed up on Richard's question regarding what may trigger an automatic recount. According to the California Secretary of State, there is no state law requiring an automatic recount (more here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/recount/statewide-recount-faq.htm). Any voter can request one within five days of the results being due (they're due within 28 days of an election, so the clock starts on the 29th day). As I seem recall it costs a few thousand dollars a day to conduct one, but I'll see if I can get more specific information on that.

As to the question about whether Trish Spencer could be both mayor and a school board member, I checked in with the school district and it sounds like the answer is that she can only hold one of those offices. Per the FPPC:

Gov. Code Section 1099 codifies the common law prohibition against the holding of "incompatible offices." This doctrine restricts the ability of public officials to hold two different public offices simultaneously if the offices have overlapping and conflicting public duties. For this section to apply, each position must be a “public office.” (Gov. Code Section 1099 (c).)

Pursuant to Section 1099, a person may not simultaneously hold two public offices if:

either of the offices exercises a supervisory, auditing, or removal power over the other office or body,
there is a significant clash of duties or loyalties between the offices, or
there are public policy considerations that make it improper.

The consequence of holding an incompatible office is that the person is “deemed to have forfeited the first office upon acceding to the second.” (Gov. Code Section 1099(b).)

Additionally, The California Constitution has provisions addressing the holding of two government positions.

The doctrine of incompatible offices is outside the jurisdiction of the Fair Political Practices Commission, but the Attorney General's office has issued numerous opinions on the subject which are available on the Attorney General’s web site: http://caag.state.ca.us. If you have a question about whether two public offices which you hold or seek to hold would be considered incompatible offices, contact your city attorney, county counsel, or the Attorney General's office.

(More here: www.fppc.ca.gov/index.php?id=215)

Submitted by Keith Nealy (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

When will we get final official results from the registrar? I was under the impression that we'd get it by the end of Thursday but their website still says unofficial.

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Fri, Nov 7, 2014

Hey Keith and Marvie: As to when we'll have a final result - the best I can say is, we'll know when we know. I just left the registrar's office (more on that after today's results roll in) and it sounds like they are counting ballots from 8:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today and through the weekend. Yesterday they counted about 25,000 absentee ballots, and they've got another 75,000 to go. The 24,000 provisionals, which are being counted last, will probably take longer to count.

Once they're done the ROV does a 1 percent manual tally of the ballots to ensure accuracy of the count. Then they certify the results.

And quick correction to something I said earlier: If someone wants to seek a recount, they have five days after the results are certified to request one, as opposed to five days after the certification deadline (apparently this is for state races, per Alameda County Registrar Tim Dupuis). More on that after 5 as well.

Submitted by marvie (not verified) on Fri, Nov 7, 2014


Thanks for your info. I still don't see how anyone can proclaim that Trish has edged out Marie (as reported in the media) when there are so many ballots yet to be counted. I am hopeful, though, as I did vote for Trish because I kinda felt that Marie was too close to the outside interests rather than the interests of Alameda residents. I have no evidence of any ties to these outside interests, but what guides me here is the age old adage: I watch "what people do, not what they say."