Home>Articles>Oakland Election Officials Defy Judge’s Order in Manual Recount in Mayor’s Race

Official Ballot Drop Box placed ready to accept Voting Ballots for the upcoming election. Santa Ana, CA, Sept. 23, 2020. (Photo: mikeledray/Shutterstock)

Oakland Election Officials Defy Judge’s Order in Manual Recount in Mayor’s Race

Election Integrity group working ‘to keep this Republic of, for and by the people’

By Katy Grimes, February 3, 2023 7:57 am

January 4, the Globe reported that the Oakland NAACP was demanding a manual recount in the Mayor’s race “due to a razor-thin margin of victory of 677 votes, an unusually high number of disqualified votes, and widespread confusion surrounding ranked-choice voting (RCV).”

This came on the heels of the Alameda County Registrar of Voters’ announcement the week before that the ranked-choice voting system used by the County was not properly configured for the Fourth District Oakland Unified School District Board race in November, resulting in a new winner for the race and increased doubts over the county’s voting method, the Globe reported.

The Ranked Choice voting mistakes the Alameda County Registrar of Voters admitted are changing election results, and involve Dominion Voting Machines, one county resident told the Globe.

The Globe was contacted Wednesday by Alison Hayden, a teacher and former CA-14 candidate, working with the Election Integrity Team Alameda County CA.

Another member of the group told the Globe the Registrar of Voters would be conducting a court ordered review of the suspended ballots for the City of Oakland School Board Director, District 4 contest, from the November 8, 2022, General Election.

Hayden said, “Per a judge order, tomorrow 9am at the Alameda Registrar of Voters in Oakland is conducting a ‘review’ of the suspended ballots from the OUSD race using rank choice voting.” She said she was extremely concerned that they are going to try to quickly do this ‘review’ and sign and seal that the error was validated and now let’s move on in order to not conduct the recount that the NAACP and our EITACCA Election Integrity Team Alameda County CA is requesting for the Mayor’s race as well as those in San Leandro.”

Hayden followed up Thursday after the review with this graphic describing the review and the letter below:

Hayden and a small group attended the initial ballot extraction phase of the review, but said the Board of Supervisors and Alameda elections officials continue to flagrantly ignore the egregious violations of the California Election Code, violating the Judge’s order.

Dear Judge Seligman,

I am a member of the Election Integrity Team Alameda County California, (EITACCA), a concerned citizens group made up of members of the major political parties, non-partisan citizen groups and unaffiliated persons.

Six of us attended the initial ballot extraction phase of the review that you ordered.  Please find the attached graphic of our experience.  To sum it up, the Board of Supervisors and Mr. Dupuis continues to flagrantly ignore the egregious violations of the California Election Code (CA ELEC) as has been done since at least the June Primary, beginning with the right of citizens to observe any and all election procedures.  Today, despite numerous objections made during the elections cycle to both the ACROV and the Board of Supervisors, citizens were again kept behind a customer windows barrier more that 10 feet away from ROV workers sitting at tables doing the extraction.

Today’s summarized points:

    1. Batch boxes were already in the room, had been unsealed without observation by the public since we were not informed. The public was denied our right to observe by not being informed of the date, time, and location of the extraction and unsealing of the OUSD #4 ballot batch boxes.  Because Mr. Dupuis knew that the Cast Vote Record identified the precise ballot location of where all the 154 of 393 batches of OUSD #4 suspended ballots were, and that their scheduled isolation had already been completed, what was the purpose for the staged event on February 1st?  When asked why the public had not been notified in order to observe this initial extraction, Deputy Registrar Cornejo said that she was out on leave and did not know why the public was not informed of the scheduled event, (CA ELEC 15004). [Who, then, made this decision?]
    1. ‘Sufficiently close access’ to observe and make verification of the process was not made available, (CA ELEC 15104).
    1. Observers were not informed which table was working on what batch, by written numbers on a whiteboard or otherwise and therefore could not discern where/when to track specific batches that were being extracted.
    1. The screen information facing the observers to show what boxes/batches were being extracted was never updated from the starting batch as they moved through the process; therefore, observers had no idea which batch each of the tables were working on.
    1. Attorneys were not given a summary report of batches to relate to the Cast Vote Records in order to know what to observe nor what to expect to be pulled from what box.  We had brought our own information; however, since observers were not able to see what was going on, we could not check against the data because the batch numbers were not anywise identified.
    1. At the end of extractions, the ballots were left in the room which had ready ROV keycard access; therefore, they are NOT secured. The ROV employees simply walked away from the unsealed re-boxed ballots that were then put on mobile shelves in the back of the room.  Although this infraction was pointed out to the Deputy Registrar Cornejo, she claimed that the ballots were ‘secure’ as they were.  However, to secure means ‘sealed’ and in a room that has controlled access so no one can tamper with the ballots.
    1. Public view of the chain of custody was not made available to us (CA ELEC 15004).

We respectfully request that you make clear to Mr. Dupuis that he must follow California Election Code in the second phase of the review to commence on Monday.  Specifically:

    • We want to be present to watch the batches of ballots if they have since moved them to another room.
    • Observers must also be given sufficient proximity to verify task accuracy.
    • We would like to have an observer seated at each table where the review is conducted.
    • We insist that the ballots be resealed in the batch boxes at the end of the review.

Thank you for your kind consideration and juris prudence in this matter.  We share with you the desire and work to keep this Republic of, for and by the people.


Alison Hayden

Jackie Cota Carron

John Guererro

Gerald Pechenuk

Mindy Pechenuk

Ned Nuerge

In January, the NAACP affirmed several questions about disqualified ballots that can be answered only with a manual recount.

  • Nearly 3,100 votes were considered overvotes and not counted (voters selected more than one candidate in the same ranking).
  • 1,355 Votes in Alameda County were tossed out due to mismatched signatures. Approximately 300-400 of these ballots belong to Oakland voters.

These ballots, if counted, could potentially overturn the mayor’s race, the NAACP says.

If elections officials can’t or won’t follow proper procedure during a manual recount, the only conclusion is that they are manipulating elections. What will the consequences be?

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4 thoughts on “Oakland Election Officials Defy Judge’s Order in Manual Recount in Mayor’s Race

  1. Yes, what will the consequences be for the Registrar?
    Is the Registrar a union member?
    See you in arbitration.
    Dwight Eisenhower warned us about bureaucrats running our government.
    KUDOs to EIP.Ca. FIGHT ON!

  2. Appreciate so much your work and follow-up on this story, Katy Grimes.
    The involvement and demands of the NAACP, which has apparently become a so-called “hard left” organization in recent years, could very well be what moves the ball forward in tightening up election integrity for all in California. For the NAACP to recognize election shenanigans and election official opaqueness alongside other already-concerned voter organizations seems to me to be a powerful bloc that could be the seed for cleaning up our elections statewide.

    In my experience, it is when the so-called Left joins with the so-called Right, even if each pursues the same outcome for entirely different reasons, that we see movement and a reasonable outcome. Prop 31, on the 2012 ballot (if anyone remembers that one), comes to mind as an example. Once it was discovered what was actually HIDDEN in the proposition, and that aspect of it was publicized, an unacknowledged coalition of Left AND Right voted against it, apparently for different reasons, and it was defeated.

    Ironically, though, with election integrity in such a shabby state some eleven years later, our vote probably doesn’t count as much as it did even in 2012. But we’ll see what happens here. Will be watching this with great interest.

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