ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – The Alameda County Registrar of Voters acknowledged Wednesday that “one outcome was affected” by a glitch in the ranked-choice voting system, according to a press release.
The outcome was affected in the District 4 school director race for the Oakland Unified School District, the press release stated, though it did not elaborate on what that means. The district did not respond to an inquiry as of press time.
Nick Resnick had been declared the winner of that race in the second round of ranked choice voting, winning 51.2% compared to Pecolia Manigo’s 48.8%. Mike Hutchinson was eliminated in the first round.
“The ROV [Registrar of Voters] learned that its RCV [ranked-choice voting] tally system was not configured properly for the November 2022 General Election,” the press release stated. “It should have been configured to advance ballots to the next ranking immediately when no candidate was selected for a particular round.”
That means if no candidate was selected in round one, then the second-round ranking would count as a first-round ranking, and so on.
But that’s not what happened here, the release continued. Instead, no vote was registered for ballots with no candidate selected in round one.
“For the November 2022 General Election, the setting on the county’s equipment counted the RCV ballots in the manner in which the ballot was completed, meaning no vote was registered for those ballots in the first round of counting because those voters did not identify a valid candidate in a particular rank on the ballot,” the press release stated.
“Once it became of aware of the issue, the ROV immediately investigated it,” the press release continued. “The ROV worked with its vendor to figure out the source of the issue and to resolve it. After reviewing the election data and applying the correct configuration, the ROV learned that only one outcome was affected: Oakland School Director, District 4, for the Oakland Unified School District. No other result for any RCV election in any jurisdiction was changed.”
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Oakland, the district, the candidates and the California Secretary of State were notified.
“The ROV is currently working with its vendor to provide safeguards so that this does not happen in future elections,” the press release concluded.