Bogus Turnout Means It Didn’t Take A Lot of Votes to Win…

While reading up on the results of last nights sort-of election here in the Bay Area, I wanted to see how things turned out in some San Mateo County races, and I was struck by two things:
1. San Mateo’s elections site is easily the best one out there. While all the other counties have some long boring URL, San Mateo’s URL is, and they even name brand their (excellent) results section as “RaceTracker.”
Beyond that, if you’ve ever had to deal with San Mateo County’s combined Assesor/Clerk/Record/Elections department, you know that this is easily one of the few citizen-friendly, efficient operations out there. Warren Slocum has long been recognized as a leader in applying innovation and technology to improve the elections process, and the function of the departments he controls, with amazing results.
While we in San Francisco continue to plod along with an Elections and Ethics system that’s half-assed, San Mateo has a model of honest, efficient government. In other words, how it’s supposed to work. Can we vote to get annexed by San Mateo County, or pay the brainiacs at the stem cell council to clone the awesome Warren Slocum? Pleeeease?
2. Anyone running in an open primary in most races really didn’t need a lot of votes out of the eligible voter ranks to win. Check out the results for the Assembly seat down south – the winner only needed 10,000 votes to win! So few people bothered to show up (as there was no presidential contest or statewide contest on the ballot) that really, only a handful of people voted at all, and the winner, who will now probably coast for three terms, got off pretty lucky.
It’s kind of funny to think for all the money the outside interests spent to support or oppose the candidates, the cost-per-vote must be huge. But those trees were gonna die anyway, so I guess they died for a good cause.

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