OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – In Oakland, it appears the wrong person was certified as a school board member because votes weren’t properly counted. The real winner of the race, Mike Hutchinson, consulted with a lawyer and has to go to court on his own dime to right this wrong, but he insists the revelation is proof that the system in place is working.
The Alameda County Registrar of Voters admits initial results in a tight race used to certify Nick Resnick as the Oakland school board member for District Four were not correct. The registrar said that incumbent Hutchinson, the candidate who first showed finishing in third place, is the real victor.
“I really want to stress this is a correction of an error, and so I think this is a really good sign that the system is working and it only impacted a small number of votes,” Hutchinson told KRON4.
He says an organization called ‘Fair Vote’ did an audit, which is how this came to light.
According to the registrar’s office, the algorithm missed some ballots which didn’t have a first choice selected, just a second or third, so they weren’t counted. They should have been counted by reverting to the second choice to act as the first choice.
Now that the real winner is revealed, the trouble is the original results from the election were already certified. So under the current process, Hutchinson will have to contest them in front of a judge before Resnick is sworn in on Jan. 9.
Registrar representatives say they are working with their vendor to provide safeguards so that this does not happen in future elections and to assure that this was the only race in Alameda County affected by the problem.
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What makes this particular situation a bit more confusing is Hutchinson is the only board member who was redistricted to District Five. That means if he gets the District Four position, the board will have to appoint someone to fill the seat he leaves vacant in District Five.