OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) — Two Oakland City Council members spoke out Tuesday evening on Twitter in support of the mayoral candidates who failed to make the ballot because the City Clerk’s office allegedly changed the deadline for filing paperwork for the race. More than one candidate thought the deadline was Aug. 17 until they got a call on Aug. 12 telling them they had only until the end of the day to file.

“Like many other candidates, I was given the incorrect filing date for my filing and had to turn in my required paperwork at the last minute in order to qualify,” City Council president pro tem Sheng Thao said on Twitter. “I am deeply troubled that this same thing happened to other candidates who could not make it onto the ballot in time.”

Thao, who is running for mayor and did qualify, said she stands with Allyssa Victory, who failed to qualify. Both are calling for restitution.

“I support any effort to remedy this error,” Thao said.

Thao called the Oakland City Attorney’s office Friday and Tuesday and asked City Attorney Barbara Parker to review the issue and see if any remedy can be made. According to the election code, candidates can seek redress through the courts, Joe Kocurek with the California Secretary of State’s office said.

City Councilmember and qualified mayoral candidate Loren Taylor said, “Prior to my filing, I was advised — like Allyssa, Derrick (Soo) and others –that the last day for filing in the Mayor’s race was August 17th.”

“I believe these candidates made their plans for their candidate filing in reliance upon this bad information, and should not be punished for it,” Taylor tweeted. “My hope is that a path forward is found for these candidates to qualify for the ballot.”

Victory, who is also known as Allyssa Villanueva, and Soo are not alone. Monesha “MJ” Carter received this appointment confirmation through the City Clerk’s scheduling portal for filing her completed paperwork:

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“Monesha, you’re booked. Your visit on Monday, August 15, 2022: 4:00 PDT Nomination Papers Filing – DEADLINE is August 12th (or August 17th for offices with NO incumbent) – Election Services.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is not running for mayor this fall because her term in office is up by law, so no incumbent is running. Carter was able to file on time, but the Alameda County Registrar of Voter’s office deemed her signatures insufficient.

Carter believes that perhaps some signatures were invalid and if she had until Aug. 17, she would have collected enough valid signatures.

“I just want to be on the ballot,” said Carter, a teacher in Oakland and Howard University graduate hoping to join the ranks of other Howard graduates who are mayors, on Tuesday.

“I just need the city to account for this,” she said.

Carter collected more signatures between Aug. 12 and Aug. 17 in hopes that if the city does remedy the error she may qualify. Nine candidates have qualified to run for mayor this fall in Oakland, including Thao, Taylor and City Councilmember Treva Reid, according to a list posted Monday on the City Clerk’s website. Neither Carter’s nor Victory’s nor Soo’s name is on that list.

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