S.F. Election, Day Five: London Breed Moves Ahead

The current President of the Board of Supervisors takes the lead with 498 votes.

(Photo: Mira Laing)

This must be what it’s like to care about sports. The nail-bitingly-close race for the mayor’s seat continued Saturday, as Department of Elections staff hustle to process tens of thousands of remaining ballots. 

As a reminder, after yesterday’s huge count of around 19,000 votes, Mark Leno was in the lead by a minuscule 144 points, with 50.04 percent of ranked-choice votes to London Breed’s 49.96 percent.

Today, Breed took the lead. She currently has 50.13 percent of ranked-choice votes to Leno’s 49.87 percent. Breed has 94,771 votes, and Leno has 94,273, a 498-vote difference.

Midnight last night marked an important milestone in processing ballots: It was the last day the Department could receive vote-by-mail ballots from the post office — if the envelopes are postmarked on or before Election Day. Two staffers were sent to the main post office to collect any final votes.

Around 20,000 votes were counted between Friday’s announcement and Saturday’s. That leaves around 40,000 left to count, which in theory means the ballot counts could be wrapped up by Tuesday. 

Jason McDaniel, a San Francisco State University political scientist, points out that Breed had 37.7 percent of first-place votes in the new batch, Leno only had 22 percent, and Jane Kim earned 27 percent. Of the ranked-choice redistributions, Leno gained 70 percent of Kim’s votes, while Breed only got 21 percent. 

McDaniel says this could indicate a win for Breed. 

“Just doing quick analysis, but this is in line with my prediction that Breed would gain over 1,000 votes from the ~50k remaining vote-by-mail ballots,” he wrote on Facebook. “If this trend continues, I expect Breed will win the election.”

If you’re curious, you can keep track of the counting process through a voyeuristic Nest cam installed in the Department of Elections. 

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