Though every SF local ballot measure is ahead, 104,000 uncounted ballots could change the fate of the vacancy tax and a couple of judges’ seats.
San Francisco election junkies know the drill of Election Day being over, but waiting until that 4 p.m. Department of Elections results drop for several days in a row so that we can get updates on the races and measures that are too close to call. And a couple of them are still too close to call! The Examiner reports that around 104,000 ballots remain uncounted, which spells possible trouble for the Prop. D Storefront Vacancy Tax, even though it’s currently winning. Further, the Chronicle adds in their still-ongoing Super Tuesday live updates that the still-outstanding mail-in and provisional ballots could swing a judge’s race or two.
Let’s go to the scoreboards!
Things look good at first glance for the passage of that Prop. D vacancy tax, ahead with 68.1 percent of the Yes vote. But look further down and you’ll see that it needs a two-thirds (66.67 percent) majority, because it’s a new tax. So that's actually a pretty fragile lead for the measure at current. As we discussed yesterday, the measure, if passed, would add a $250-per-linear-foot tax to vacant retail units in 2021, which would increase to $500 in the second year of vacancy, and $1,000 each year after. We are frankly unlikely to know the outcome of this one until the end of the week, at the earliest.
Things are similarly tense in the race for one San Francisco Superior Court judge’s seat, as tenant lawyer Carolyn Gold clings to a three-point (3,500-vote) lead over prosecutor “Rani” Singh. With roughly 104,000 votes still uncounted, that’s no comfortable margin. In the other two judicial races, deputy public defender Michelle Tong’s 16,000-vote lead over Dorothy Chou Proudfoot seems safer (the Chron has called if for Tong), while Maria Evangelista definitely has a win in the bag with a prohibitive 35,000-vote lead over court commissioner Pang Ly.
To be clear, we don’t know if it passed yet. Latest update is 104,000 ballots to count vs. about 140,000 counted yesterday https://t.co/PnhA0pcxzi @Scott_Wiener https://t.co/hXNrTPCY6O pic.twitter.com/BIkqXVt7q7— Roland Li (@rolandlisf) March 4, 2020
Every other local SF ballot measure is poised to pass, though above we see some Twitter disagreement over whether the Prop. E Limits on Office Development (tying it to affordable housing) measure is truly successful. It’s ahead by 14,000 votes and only needs a simple majority. But KPIX has declared victory for the Prop. A City College Job Training, Repair and Earthquake Safety Measure, the Prop B. Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond, and the Prop C. Retiree Health Care Benefits for Former Employees of the San Francisco Housing Authority.
If you care about the “San Francisco Democratic Party campaign clown car” know as the DCCC races, both districts’ seats are still very much undecided. Several challengers are still within striking distance of Carole Migden for the final District 17 seat, and a half-dozen candidates in District 19 still don’t know whether they’ve won or lost.
Again, the next batch of updates is coming at 4 p.m. today, and here’s the page you want to refresh if you’re on the edge of your seat about any of this.
Image: SF Department of Elections