OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — The Oakland NAACP is calling for a recount of the city’s mayoral race, it announced in a press release Tuesday. Sheng Thao beat out Loren Taylor to be Oakland’s next mayor in November.
The NAACP said it has heard from “many community and NAACP members” about concerns regarding the election. The issues are related to Oakland’s ranked-choice voting system.
“Members, including many seniors, expressed frustration with the lack of voter education provided by the County Registrar’s office around ranked choice voting and the lack of information regarding the change from selection from three candidates to five in the City of Oakland’s Mayoral race,” the press release read.
According to the Alameda County election results page, Taylor received the most first-place votes in the election — he had 41,510 to Thao’s 39,909. But after going through the ranked-choice process, Thao received 57,206 votes to Taylor’s 56,529.
The NAACP also pointed out that Alameda County does not allow for any automatic recounts, even in the case of a very close election. A recount led by an individual or community would cost more than $100,000, the NAACP wrote.
The release identified four issues with the election that it said a recount would address:
- The election was decided by a total of 677 votes.
- About 3,000 votes were not counted because they were considered “overvotes,” meaning the voter selected more than one candidate in the same ranking.
- About 5,000 ballots did not have a selection for mayor.
- About 11,000 votes were “exhausted,” meaning the voter did not rank additional candidates.
The NAACP said that many Black people and other minorities “expressed confusion and frustration” with the ranked-choice voting process. Elderly voters were especially impacted, per the NAACP.
KRON ON is streaming news live now
“An election decided by less than 700 RCV (ranked-choice votes) votes should, in our view, trigger an automatic recount held by the Alameda County Registrar’s Office,” the press release concluded. “Since they are not required to do so, the NAACP supports efforts from the Black community to exercise their rights to request an official recount.”