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Oakland mayor's race still undetermined

Registrar says it's taking longer to count several thousand ballots than expected

The question of who will be Oakland's next mayor remains unsettled with Alameda County Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald saying it's taking longer than expected to count several thousand provisional ballots.

The only thing that's clear is that the winner will be either former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, who was the strong frontrunner among votes that were counted on Election Day, or City Councilwoman Jean Quan, who barely pulled ahead of Perata in an unofficial tally of ranked-choice votes that was announced on Friday.

Macdonald had hoped to announce a winner at 4 p.m. Monday, but he told a large group of reporters who gathered at his office that many provisional ballots still need to be examined, and he's not sure how much longer that will take.

He said he values "accuracy over speed" but acknowledged that Oakland residents are anxious to find out who the winner is.

Macdonald declined to promise when he will announce the final results. He said they could be available today but said it also might take at least several more days.

Quan told reporters at a news conference outside City Hall that she had hoped to learn Monday if she's the winner, but she now understands that the results may not be released until Friday.

"We're running on nerves," Quan said, flanked by about 20 supporters, including Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda.

Perata didn't talk to reporters, but his campaign released a statement saying, "While we share Oakland voters' frustration of waiting for a conclusive outcome, we also support the County Registrar's commitment to the democratic process."

Ten candidates entered the mayor's race, and on election night, Perata was comfortably in first place with 35 percent of the vote. Quan was a distant second with only 24 percent.

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