Oakland mayoral candidates form an alliance: here's why

Two Oakland mayoral candidates have endorsed each other ahead of the November 8 election. Loren Taylor and Treva Reid are vying to be Oakland's next mayor, but before Election Day, they're partnering up. 

Taylor and Reid, both current members of the city council, see that it may be to their advantage to cooperate rather than compete in the race. It's a tactic used by some Oakland candidates because of the Town's ranked voting system. 

"I am joining my Council sister @reidforoakland and Oakland leaders to formally announce our #1 and #2 alliance for #OakMayor.' Taylor wrote on Twitter. 

Not all candidates are happy about the alliance. 

"Two status quo politicians who are endorsed by Mayor Libby Schaaf, who haven’t been able to build broad coalitions behind their campaigns, are now endorsing each other at the last minute,' said candidate Sheng Thao. "I’ve been challenging the status quo and making change my whole life. As Mayor, I’m going to bring the change Oakland needs, to build the safer, more affordable, more just city we know is possible."

Oakland has used ranked-choice voting to elect its mayor, city council, school board, and other positions for the last 12 years.

Instead of choosing a single candidate, voters get to rank multiple candidates in order of preference. 

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When election officials count the ballots, if any candidate got more than 50% of all voters’ first choices, they win the election. It’s over. No more ballot counting.

Though, a single candidate rarely gets more than 50% of votes. So, election officials started a runoff process based on ranked voting.

The candidate with the lowest number of first-choice votes is eliminated first, and their supporters’ second choices are distributed among the remaining candidates. If this puts any candidate over 50% of the total votes, then they win, and the runoff is over.

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It often takes several rounds of elimination for a winner to emerge.

November 8 is Election Day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Every county in the state has sites where voters can fill out their ballots in person.