Oakland Mayoral Race: Sheng Thao Over Loren Taylor By 680 Votes: The Fishy Role Of Allyssa Victory’s RCV Votes To Sheng
As of now, while it’s not official, Oakland District 4 Councilmember (for this year) Sheng Thao has overtaken Oakland District 6 Councilmember Loren Taylor by 680 votes when Rank Choice Voting tallies are added by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.
Councilmember Taylor started out 41252 votes to Councilmember Thao’s 39654 votes for first choice. But when Rank Choice Votes were added, that changed to 56841 for Sheng Thao versus 56161 for Councilmember Taylor. But what’s interesting is what is behind the reason for Sheng Thao’s rise: an outsized number of Rank Choice Voting votes for Sheng Thao from fellow candidate Allyssa Victory.
Now, of Allyssa Victory’s 14047 votes, 8378 went to Sheng Thao and that’s almost three times what Ignacio De La Fuente received from Allyssa Victory, or about 59.64 percent, or 60 percent, of the total RCV votes Ms. Victory had to give. Why did that happen?
Well, in 2010, Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan famously teamed up to run for Mayor of Oakland in the first year RCV was used. They campaigned for months. The final outcome was that Jean Quan got two-thirds of all second place votes and the spread was directly attributable to their team up.
This time, in 2022, the situation is different: Sheng Thao and Allyssa Victory did not campaign together for months. And on top of that, I asked Allyssa Victory if Sheng Thao was her second choice and she said “No. Greg Hodge was.” But we both agreed that perhaps it was Shang mentioning that Allyssa was her second choice. But if that were the case, then Allyssa Victory should have picked up a large number of Sheng Thao Rank Choice Voting votes – but that never happened.
What did happen was that a shockingly uniform number percentage of votes was transferred from Allyssa Victory to Sheng Thao: 59.64 percent, rounding to 60 percent. That was true for the most recent run and the one a day before it. Moreover, that Allyssa Victory was giving the majority of her votes to Sheng Thao in a giant sized batch is a pattern I noticed from the second day of Rank Choice Voting runs up to Friday. While I did not check the percentage then, I would not be surprised if it came up to about 60 percent, as it looked to me at the time.
I find it very concerning that the same 59.64 percent, rounding to 60 percent percentage of votes was shared from Allyssa Victory to Sheng Thao for each of these runs. I hate to say it, but that looks fishy: as if someone was pre-picking votes for Sheng using a code that broke off 60 percent of the votes and dumped them into Sheng’s column on a spreadsheet.
Why the uniform outcome on a per-run-basis. That’s to be investigated. It’s way to weird, specially since Sheng was not Allyssa’s second choice and their names were not even next to each other on the 2022 Oakland Election Ballot.
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