- Voter turnout will end up around 53%, giving San Francisco its highest turnout for mayor in 15 years, much higher than statewide turnout (36%) in California.
Greater usage of ranked choice voting (RCV)
- The mayor’s race drove turnout. San Francisco voters cast more RCV ballots for mayor than non-RCV ballots for governor and U.S. senator.
- 86% of voters used at least two of their rankings in the mayor’s race, and nearly 70% used all three of their rankings.
Low error rate for RCV ballots
- There were 748 “overvotes” (.30%) of 250,000 ballots cast in the mayoral RCV contest.
- Voters were six times more likely to invalidate their ballot voting for governor than for mayor.
More representative of electorate
- The percentage of voters having their ballot count in every round was higher than ever, with nearly nine-in-ten voters counting in the final round.
- In December runoff elections previously used in San Francisco, turnout declined on average by 47% in Board of Supervisor races, and also declined in four out of the last seven mayoral elections.
Mandate from voters
- Both London Breed and Mark Leno were ranked first, second, or third by more than 60% of the voters.
- Jane Kim was ranked by 58.3% of voters.
Delays determining the winner were not connected to RCV
- Election results are determined by the closeness of the race and the number of vote by mail (VBM) ballots.
- Running the ranked choice voting tally actually only takes a few minutes. That’s why the RCV contest for District 8 supervisor had a clear winner on election night, because the race wasn't close.
Impact on representation
- RCV in San Francisco also has a strong track record of allowing San Francisco voters to choose from a more diverse pool of candidates.
- Of the eighteen offices in San Francisco elected by RCV, thirteen are held by office-holders of color.
- The other Bay Area cities using RCV – Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro – have seen similar results: women of color have seen a 64% rise in their election rate.
- In Oakland, women now hold 13 of 18 seats elected by RCV, including mayor.
More rankings, better ballot design, coming soon
- Starting in 2019, San Francisco will start using new voting equipment that allows voters to rank up to ten candidates with a simpler ballot design.
- Public demonstrations of that equipment will begin this summer.
To access the full presentation from the "How SF Was Won: The Good, The Bad, and The Awesome" webinar, check out the video on Youtube.
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