Update: Tim Norton is demanding that I keep the Election Results link up top. I am in third place now. And Tim Redmond at the Bay Guardian agrees with the S.F. Examiner that this count is going way too slowly.
The Chronicle has a relatively clear explanation of where the count currently stands and why things could change:
As of Wednesday morning, San Francisco’s Department of Elections reported having 136,000 ballots left to count and by Wednesday afternoon workers had counted only about 12,000 of those. Those ballots include both provisional ballots and mail-in and early ballots.
John Arntz, the city’s elections director, said it is unlikely that all those outstanding ballots will be counted until late next week. The reason? The sheer size of the San Francisco ballot, which was three or four cards depending where you live. It takes time to run those through the tabulation machines, which can do a maximum of 80,000 cards a day.
The Examiner is not happy about the slow pace:
With a mind-boggling 36 percent of The City’s ballots not even tallied as of 24 hours after Election Day, the results continue dribbling in daily. Only 4,000 additional ballots were counted on the first day after election, because just one person was available to process ballots Wednesday. And a paltry 12,000 more ballots were counted as of late Thursday afternoon.
Certainly, the Elections Department needed to field all its resources on Election Day to cope with the heavy crowds. But only one person processing mail-in ballots the day after — how is that even conceivable in a major city?
Updated counts are posted every afternoon (I’m not clear on whether they will update the counts over the weekend, but it seems to me it’s the least they could do). As of Thursday afternoon, Barbara Lopez and I are essentially tied for the last two seats, with Jill Wynns not far behind.
Also, I talked to Natalie the Kindergarten Crusader last night. Since I don’t think five-year-olds grasp “cautiously optimistic,” I kept things straightforward. “It looks good,” I told her. “I’m still ahead.” But like the hard-boiled campaign operative she is, Natalie didn’t sugar-coat it. “But I don’t know if you won,” she responded calmly. Neither do I – but Natalie and I can be proud that we worked hard and ran a good race.