Recount For Measure B1 Is Short-Lived

MEASURE B1 | The Alameda County Registrar received notice Tuesday evening that backers of the Measure B1 decided to end the recount after the retabulation of 30,000 votes mustered only 7 additional yes votes for the half-cent transportation tax.

Tuesday’s recount sampled only 30,000 ballots in Berkeley, said Alameda County Registrar Dave Macdonald. The small number when extrapolated would have fallen well short of overturning the 721 vote spread. Measure B1 won 66.53 percent of the vote last Nov. 6. A two-thirds majority was needed for approving the tax increase.

“I am confident that the decision to request a recount was the right one, as was our decision to discontinue it,” said Arthur Dao, Alameda County Transportation Commission executive director. “Our Commission feels that performing due diligence was our obligation with a vote this close, and a transportation plan worth $8 billion dollars in local investment and thousands of jobs opportunities.”

Backers of the recount were counting on Berkeley’s 80 percent yes rate for the measure to be a canary in the goldmine for the rest of the county, Macdonald said Wednesday morning, but it was not the case.

While voters in Albany, Berkeley, Oakland and parts of San Leandro and Hayward easily approved the transportation tax, a large swath of the electorate in the Tri Valley and Tri Cities failed to reach even 60 percent approval. 

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