Many primary election contests moved that much closer to confirming their outcomes when the Alameda County Registrar of Voters’ Office released an updated batch of results on Saturday afternoon, but the margin for the Sunol school bond Measure O remains razor thin.
By just one vote, in fact.
Needing 55% voter approval to pass, the proposed $9.5 million bond for Sunol Glen Unified School District stands at 54.84% Yes and 45.16% No.
Given the small number of residents in SGUSD boundaries, those percentages translate to 51 votes Yes and 42 votes No -- meaning the difference between passing and failing is a single vote, if the current results were to hold.
There are still thousands of ballots left to count countywide -- mainly provisional ballots and vote-by-mail ballots that were postmarked on time but delayed in the postal system -- but it is unclear how many, if any, of the pending ballots are from Sunol voters.
On the ballot as Measure O, the $9.5 million facilities bond measure for SGUSD proposes to fund a series of improvements to classroom buildings, technology and infrastructure, as well as a brand-new multipurpose room, at the nearly century-old campus on Main Street that serves all of the students in the K-8 district.
If passed, it would be the district's first new bond issuance since 1999 and would come with a new property tax of $59 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
County election officials said they still had an estimated 150,000 ballots left to process as of Sunday morning -- vote-by-mail, provisional, conditional and other ballots. That pending ballot total is countywide as election officials do not differentiate between city or community at this point in the process.
Election Night results represented early mail-in ballots, in-person early voting ballots and all ballots cast at precincts on March 3. The county released its next results updates on Friday and then again Saturday, including an influx of mail-in, provisional and conditional ballots that qualified.
Results will be updated each day now through the final count, according to Alameda County Registrar of Voters Tim Dupuis. The results must be finalized for certification by 30 days after Election Day.
In other results
* Pleasanton Unified School District’s $323 million Measure M bond is still trailing, but improved slightly, after the results update from Saturday showed the bond measure now nearly five percentage points short of passing.
The new results represented an improvement for the Yes side -- an uptick of over 2% compared to Election Night -- that propelled them into the majority, but they were well behind the 55% approval threshold required.
As of Saturday, 8,265 PUSD voters were a Yes (50.95%) and 7,956 were a No (49.05%).
That represented a tightening of the race compared to Election Night results -- which were 51.41% No and 48.59% Yes.
Measure M seeks to be the PUSD’s second facilities bond since 2016 and proposes to usher in a new property tax of $43.10 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.
The scope of Measure M revenue would have funded work to "upgrade/construct classrooms and facilities to support science, technology, engineering, math, arts/music and accommodate growing student enrollment; improve safety/security systems; replace aging roofs, plumbing/electrical/HVAC systems; and improve access for students with disabilities," according to the ballot question.
* Dublin Unified School District’s $290 million Measure J bond swung toward approval for the first time but still remains too close to call as of Saturday.
The tally stood at 55.36% Yes (4,642 votes) and 44.64% No (3,743 votes) -- now just above the 55% threshold. The results update demonstrated a key uptick for the Yes side compared to the Election Night totals, which had Measure J behind at 53.82%.
Measure J proposes to be the fourth school bond in the past 16 years for the Dublin community still grappling with school overcrowding issues amid continued residential growth.
The bond issuance (and accompanying property tax of $50 per $100,000 of assessed valuation) would fund projects such as the second comprehensive high school, a new middle school and current campus upgrades.
* Still trailing but too close to call after Saturday’s update is Measure D, a proposed $90 million fire safety bond proposed by the Alameda County Fire Department to fund fire facilities projects in the unincorporated communities.
Needing a higher, two-thirds majority to pass, Measure D stood at 65.34% Yes (10,830 votes) and 34.66% No (5,745 votes).
The fire bond was on the ballot in unincorporated areas of the county, including parts of Pleasanton that are outside of the city limits.
* Measure P’s path to victory in Livermore only strengthened on Saturday, sitting at 66.07% Yes (13,171 votes) and 33.93% No (6,764 votes).
A Yes vote on the referendum measure was to support the hotel agreement development approved by the Livermore City Council to allow developer Presidio to build a three-story hotel with 125-135 rooms next to the Bankhead Theater on the east side of Livermore Avenue -- a key component to the city's downtown redevelopment plan.
Opponents had challenged that council approval with a referendum measure last summer, ultimately sending the question to voters citywide in the March 3 primary election.
* The countywide Measure C child care sales tax vote remains firmly in the simple majority, but question of victory threshold is still unclear and will likely be decided by the courts -- based on pending decisions on other cases that question whether certain sales tax measures could pass with a simple majority instead of the traditional two-thirds supermajority.
The results stood at 61.92% Yes and 38.08% on Saturday.
Measure C proposes to raise $150 million per year via a new half-cent sales tax across Alameda County for the next 20 years, with 80% of the funds supporting childcare, preschool and early education programs and 20% supporting pediatric health care.
* The lone statewide measure on the ballot, the Proposition 13 school facilities bond, remained in a trailing position as of Saturday.
The 2020 Prop 13 is a proposal from the State Legislature seeking voter authorization to issue $15 billion in state general obligation bonds to fund construction and modernization projects at public education facilities across California.
The tally for all of California is currently 54.8% No and 45.2% Yes, with passage needing just a simple majority. (That’s much different than how Prop 13 fared in Alameda County alone, where voters were 61.26% Yes and 38.74% No).