TRANSPORTATION//MEASURE B1 | After losing out by a mere 721 votes, backers of the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Measure B1 have asked the county registrar for a recount.

The crucial reauthorization of the existing half-cent sales tax used to fund various transportation projects in the East Bay garnered 66.53 percent of the vote last Nov. 6, but failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed for passage.

“We have an obligation to the 66.53 percent of Alameda County voters who supported Measure B1 to leave no stone unturned,” said Arthur Dao, the commission’s executive director. “After receiving such strong support, we won’t turn away a critical $7.8 billion investment prematurely.”

Dao believes a partial recount of this month’s results could begin as early as next Monday, Dec. 3. Today, Dao told the East Bay Express supporters of the measure plan to pay for the initial recount, estimated to cost $30,000-$40,000. If a large number of undervotes, believed to number around 18,000 in Oakland and 8,000 in Berkeley, alone, the group will ask for a full recount, the Express reported. Around 75,000 undervotes exist county-wide, said the paper.

The partial recount, however, will focus on Oakland and Berkeley, reported the Express, where support for Measure B reached around 80 percent. In the eastern and southern Alameda County, though, the measure consistently failed to barely reach 60 percent. In the Tri Valley, a just single precinct in Dublin mustered over two-thirds of the vote.