Recount requested in Oakland's mayor's race, among others

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors plans to request the registrar’s office hold a recount in four races, including the Oakland mayor's race.

The races in question involved ranked choice voting to determine winners last November, a system that's been criticized for confusing for voters. But the elections have already been certified, with some winners already sworn in.

At a supervisor’s meeting Tuesday night, the legality of a recount was called into question. Supervisor Keith Carson, who drafted the recount proposal, said they plan to pursue the issue as far as they are legally allowed.

"My intent is to push the agenda as hard as can," Carson said during the meeting. "Because I feel like we’re dealing with an improper system with improper laws.

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The county will pay for the cost of a recount. It’s a move celebrated by the Oakland Chapter of the NAACP.  The group initially called for a recount in the mayor's race, but couldn't afford the $21,000-a-day fee.

"We got into this to make, as John Lewis would have said, some good trouble… because it was the right thing to do," Dr. Allie Whitehurst, Oakland NAACP political action chair, said.

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Whitehurst also criticized ranked choice voting as confusing for candidates. She said more education was needed to ensure everyone’s vote was counted.

The other races where a recount will be requested include Oakland's District 4 school board race. In that race, the Alameda County Registrar's Office admitted an error in the algorithm used to tally votes, resulting in an incorrect candidate being named the winner.

Two races in San Leandro, determined by a small margin, are also part of the recount request.

Supervisor Carson has recommended a registrar from an outside county oversee the recount, if possible. The board also voted to establish a county election oversight committee going forward.