Marjan Philhour
Connie Chan, right, seen here with Jackie Fielder on election day, eked out a win in District 1 on Sunday. Photo by Julian Mark

True to its word, the Department of Elections processed many more votes today than it did yesterday — 29,619 compared to yesterday’s 1,035. Traditional patterns should have seen progressive District 1 Supervisor candidate Connie Chan catch and pass moderate Marjan Philhour. But, while many aspects of this election have worked out as they would in any presidential election year, that did not happen today.

Rather, Philhour’s 25-vote lead expanded to 87 votes (14,928 to 14,841). The difference is still the transfer of No. 2 votes from third-place finisher David Lee. While Lee and Chan urged a 1-2 strategy for Chinese American solidarity, that is not yet working out. Philhour received 2,750 votes from Lee, while Chan picked up only 2,431.

There are still many votes left to be counted, so this one-tenth-of-one-percent margin is hardly definitive. Prior to yesterday’s update, the Department of Elections announced that 81,000 vote-by-mail ballots remained, along with 9,000 provisional ballots.

It is not clear which votes were processed in today’s totals — or whom they were cast by, and when.

Absent a traditional late progressive shift, this minuscule margin could see-saw back and forth over the coming days.

“In 2018, the late-arriving mail votes looked more progressive, but I don’t think that’s happening this time,” said SF State political science professor Jason McDaniel. “It’s still too close to call. Way too close to call. If we start seeing later-counted votes, and they do start looking more progressive, we’ll see Chan’s first-place votes grow, and a shift in terms of David Lee’s votes that go to Chan vs. Philhour.”

McDaniel guessed that around 3,000 votes in District 1 were processed today, with perhaps up to 6,000 remaining.

“I still think we should expect late-arriving mail votes to look like traditional progressive voters — and provisionals,” he said. “That bodes well for Connie Chan, but Philhour has expanded that lead. This is not Vallie Brown-Dean Preston from last year.”

The only other contested race is for Prop. G, which would entitle young people to vote. It is trailing by some 6,000 votes at 49.2 percent.

The next update is scheduled for around 4 p.m. on Friday. Updates will continue through the weekend.

Update, 5:45 p.m.: 

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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