San Francisco’s final election of the year is upon us.

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Updates

Update: Tuesday, Nov. 22, 4:30 p.m.

Every vote has now been counted and every race has been called. All that is left to do is certify the results.

For an in-depth of what the election results mean, take a look at Joe Eskenazi’s column.

Update: Thursday, Nov. 17, 4:15 p.m.

There are only 800 ballots left to count. For in-depth post-election analysis, take a look at Joe Eskenazi’s column.

Update: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 4:25 p.m.

The Department of Elections is officially rounding third. It cranked through 10,530 more ballots today and has just 5,800 remaining. Turnout will be at around 62 percent. 

Here’s the state of things: 

In the Board of Education race, Alida Fisher picked up 938 more votes on Ann Hsu, and now leads Hsu by 3,574 for the third and final spot. Fisher gained some 11,000 votes on Hsu following the close of Election Day. It is mathematically possible for Hsu to come back, but it’s highly unlikely. 

In District 4, Supervisor Gordon Mar gained 11 votes on Joel Engardio. But that’s not nearly enough; he still trails by 479 with counting all but complete. This, too, is within the bounds of mathematical possibility, but it’s not within the bounds of realistic probability.

During the redistricting process this year, Engardio’s home and three precincts were added into District 4. They provide the margin of victory: Engardio leads there by 598 votes, in a race separated by only 479.

All other races are set. On to the dregs.

For analysis of this month’s election, see here —Joe Eskenazi

Update: Tuesday, Nov. 15, 4:15 p.m.

The Department of Elections tabulated 22,676 ballots today. Only about 15,500 remain. Here’s how things stand: 

On the school board, Alida Fisher continues to pull ahead of Ann Hsu. Fisher gained 929 more votes on Hsu, and now leads by 2,636. Since Election Day, Fisher has amassed nearly 10,000 more votes than Hsu. It would require a mathematical anomaly for Hsu to reverse this trend and outpoll Fisher at this point. 

The same goes for the race between Joel Engardio and Supervisor Gordon Mar in District 4. Mar simply cannot gain traction on the challenger, picking up a scant five votes in this latest tranche. He trails by 490; it is mathematically possible for him to win this race, in the same way it is mathematically possible for a baseball team to win 162 games in a season. Barring unforeseen lunacy, Engardio will be your new D4 supe. 

Of note, three precincts — including Engardio’s home — were amalgamated into District 4 via redistricting. And they are the difference in the race: Engardio leads by 490 and is up 529 in those three precincts. 

All other races remain set. For analysis of San Francisco’s final election of the year, see here. —Joe Eskenazi

Update: Monday, Nov. 14, 4:20 p.m.

For today’s update and new analysis of the results, check Joe Eskenazi’s latest column.

Update: Sunday, Nov. 13, 4:20 p.m.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! The Department of Elections ran 21,644 votes today, a smaller batch than in the past two days. Some 60,000 votes are outstanding. Here’s where things stand. 

In District 4, Joel Engardio gained 45 votes on Supervisor Gordon Mar, and now leads by 461. This somewhat mitigates the 149 votes Mar gained on Saturday. Everyone is still learning the patterns on universal voting-by-mail, and a reliable leftward shift among late voters clearly is not a given in a district election.

Here’s what’s clear: The incumbent is running out of time and votes. Here’s what’s also clear: Redistricting is the difference in this race. Engardio’s home was cut into District 4 via redistricting, part of three new precincts. The margin in those new precincts: Engardio by 477.

Remember, the challenger is only up by 461. So, that was consequential.

With Prop. D, meanwhile, we’re seeing exactly the outcome you’d predict with late progressive votes. The mayorally backed housing measure keeps sinking further beneath the waterline; it dropped below 49 percent approval and is now 5,662 votes down. This is no longer even very close. D, it seems, stands for decomposing. 

On the Board of Education, Alida Fisher gained 1,600 more votes on Ann Hsu and now trails by just 272. Fisher has made up some 6,700 votes on Hsu in the past three batches. This, too, is exactly what you’d predict with late-breaking progressive voting. Also, as noted yesterday, if you buy into the conventional wisdom that Asian voters tend to vote early, Hsu is in a particularly precarious position. Certainly anything can happen, but this is trending toward Fisher catching and passing Hsu on Monday. 

Margins changed little for Prop. M, the empty homes tax or in District 6. If Honey Mahogany had gained votes on Supervisor Matt Dorsey at the pace she did yesterday, this could’ve turned into a relative squeaker. Instead, Mahogany gained two votes on him in this tranche — yes, two — and still trails by 1,221.

Turnout in District 6 is thus far paltry; only 12,025 total votes (out by the beach in District 4, more than 20,000 votes have been counted). Whatever happens in D6, it would be a hell of a thing to make sweeping claims about San Francisco voters’ motivations or vast and sudden changes in ideology based upon such a small sample size. 

DA Brooke Jenkins remains a solid 21,000 votes up on John Hamasaki. All other candidate and ballot prop races appear sealed.

The next drop is scheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. There’s a lot left to count and a bit left in play, but we are rounding third on this. —Joe Eskenazi

Update: Saturday, Nov. 12, 4:25 p.m.

Happy Saturday. The Department of Elections has tabulated 29,544 more votes. Some 82,000 votes remain uncounted. Here’s where things stand. 

In District 4, for the first time, Supervisor Gordon Mar came out ahead of challenger Joel Engardio. The incumbent shaved 149 votes off Engardio’s lead, and now trails by 416. 

The three new precincts grafted onto D4 by redistricting have provided 413 more votes for Engardio than for Mar; redistricting is, now, the difference in this race.

This race is clearly not finished. But it remains unknown whether this is the beginning of a leftward trend, or if this favorable batch of votes for Mar simply comes from more liberal enclaves of District 4. The advent of universal voting-by-mail has made predicting election trends more difficult. Ultimately, everything will be counted. The only easy prediction is suspense. 

Prop. D, the mayorally backed housing measure, continues to lose ground. It fell some 1,800 more votes in the hole and is now nearly 4,000 votes underwater. It is presently polling at 49.1 percent. 

And, in the school board race, Alida Fisher gained 2,742 more votes on Ann Hsu for the third and final slot and now trails by just 1,842 votes. Fisher has made up 5,121 votes in the past two tranches. At this pace, she could overtake Hsu tomorrow. 

If you buy into the conventional wisdom that Asian voters tend to vote early — and considering Hsu’s base of support comes from the Chinese community — she may have already been at her high-water mark. If so, that spells trouble for her. But, again, voting patterns are not so easy to predict as they once were. Clearly every vote will count — and must be counted. Another Maalox-inducing finish may be in store. 

Prop. M, the vacant homes tax, continues to gain votes. It is now 15,616 votes in the black. It appears we will be taxing vacant homes come Jan. 1. 

Supervisor Matt Dorsey’s lead over Honey Mahogany is down to around 10 percent, a shade over 1,200 votes. Three more vote-counts like today’s could put this race in play — but, first, let’s see what comes tomorrow. DA Brooke Jenkins, however, remains firmly in control. Other clear winners: Props. A, B, C, F, G, H, J, L, and N

For analysis of the results we have thus far, please scroll down to Nov. 10.

Today was a consequential tabulation. Let’s see what’s in store for Sunday at 4 p.m. Onward. —Joe Eskenazi.

Update: Friday, Nov. 11, 4:20 p.m.

The Department of Elections has processed 29,529 more votes and has some 110,000 to go. And here’s what you want to know: 

In District 4, challenger Joel Engardio continues to gain dribs and drabs of votes on Supervisor Gordon Mar. Engardio now leads by 565 votes, a gain of 48. Mar isn’t out of the picture yet, but he hasn’t yet beaten Engardio in any tranche. Sooner or later that will have to happen — or it’s not happening. 

Proposition D, the mayorally favored housing measure, also lost ground. It now trails by 2,126 votes, around 800 more than at last count. This, too, could be reversed, but Prop. D continues to lose ground. 

And don’t close the books on the Board of Education yet. Alida Fisher gained 2,379 votes on Ann Hsu. Now only 4,584 votes separate the two of them for the final spot on the school board. This, too, could turn into a photo finish. 

In less-contested items, Prop. M, the vacant homes tax, continues to float. It has a 12,000-odd vote advantage and is polling just above 53 percent. 

Supervisor Matt Dorsey and DA Brooke Jenkins remain clear winners, as do Props. A, B, C, F, G, H, J, L, and N

For analysis of what to make of these (partial) tallies, see below. There haven’t been any paradigm-shifting results. But there are many more votes to count. —Joe Eskenazi

Update: Thursday, Nov. 10, 4:30 p.m. — plus analysis

The Department of Elections today released a tabulation of a mere 9,598 more ballots, enabling both more and less clarity regarding the ultimate results of Tuesday’s contest. 

Maricopa County may yet complete its counting before San Francisco. Time will tell. 

The major updates: In District 4, Supervisor Gordon Mar desperately wanted to gain ground on challenger Joel Engardio to bolster hopes of a comeback. He didn’t: Engardio gained 16 votes, and now leads by 507. Mayorally backed housing measure Prop. D also lost ground, and now trails by 1,390 votes. Controversial school board appointee Ann Hsu gained several hundred votes, and now leads her nearest challenger by nearly 7,000 votes. 

There are approximately 137,000 ballots remaining to count, meaning San Francisco may yet hit 62 percent turnout.

So, a number of races aren’t set in stone. But, by and large, we can begin to shift from the “what happened?” portion of the election to “what’s that mean?” Because of Mayor London Breed’s extraordinary success in getting her appointees elected — and because DA Brooke Jenkins and District 6 supervisor Matt Dorsey have espoused get-tough approaches to San Francisco’s persistent problems with crime, drugs and filth — one reading is that the city has gone moderate; we’ve “shifted to the right.” 

But our electorate also behaved in ways that don’t fit the narrative of an overarching rightward lurch driven by cranky voters: We appear to have approved multiple revenue measures, including Prop. M (leading by 8,200 votes), a tax on vacant homes opposed by the mayor and targeted by a well-financed campaign from city real estate interests, and Prop. L (holding at nearly 69 percent), a sales tax benefiting transit. Failing to pass the latter, in the words of one blunt city politico, would’ve been “a kick in the nuts” for the city — and would’ve come on the heels of a prior low blow, when voters spurned a $400 million mayoral Muni bond in June. Post-election analysis revealed an exceedingly high degree of correlation between voting “yes” on the recall of DA Chesa Boudin and “no” on Muni’s big bond.

That’s just the sort of thing you’d expect angry, even nihilistic voters to do. But, this time, they didn’t. Voters in November also appear to have elected the straight left-wing labor slate to the City College board, ousting three incumbents. 

And, in doing so, San Francisco voters were more than a little inconsistent: We emphatically quashed Prop. O, a City College parcel tax that would’ve provided the perennially ailing school with millions, but sent three labor stalwarts onto its governing board, who will likely attempt to spend their way out of every last problem, and for whom any manner of job-cutting is an anathema.

Voters this week also handily voted down the creation of a Streets and Sanitation Department just two years after handily voting it into existence; the department, in fact, was never established. 

And, while the vast majority of voters greenlit one of the dueling housing streamlining measures, D and E, both are more likely to lose than win. The labor- and Board-backed Prop. E is doomed with 44.5 percent of the vote. Prop. D could still pass, but lost ground with this latest tranche and presently stands at 49.6 percent. 

A house divided against itself cannot stand. And, it seems, the same goes for housing measures. Consensus is hard. Failure is easier — and costlier.

Tuesday’s results bring to mind that old chestnut from college logic class: “From a contradiction, one can prove anything.” Rather than applying overly broad terms in a search for a single, overarching narrative regarding a 10-page ballot, it might be better to look at what motivated voters to make the choices they did on individual measures and candidates. Most voters don’t subscribe to a top-down ideology — and, as a result, can be ideologically inconsistent. 

So, clearly, the mayor had a sparkling night with her nominees. Jenkins won, Dorsey won, City College trustee Murrell Green won, and all three of her school board nominees won or are winning. 

But voters spurned her wishes on many key ballot measures. Breed made vanquishing Prop. H one of her topmost priorities; big-money donors were scared up in the 11th hour and purportedly told this thing was close — and, at latest count, 69 percent of voters have made it not close at all. 

“From a contradiction, one can prove anything” — and voters’ reactions to Breed’s nearest and dearest ballot propositions were indeed contradictory. A hefty majority of voters chose Measure C, which will provide an oversight body for the Department of Homelessness. Breed opposed it. Voters are presently leaning toward the vacant home tax, Prop. M, which the mayor opposed. Voters also saw differently than her on Prop. H and, thus far, Prop. D.

Part of Breed’s success with her candidates is, simply, candidate quality. Matt Dorsey, it turns out, was a splendid choice to represent District 6 in 2022. More voters seemed reassured by his work as the former communications strategist for the cops than repelled by it. If District 6 still contained the Tenderloin, this might not be the case but, here’s the thing; it doesn’t. The forests of towering, doorman-guarded buildings were always a component of District 6, but now they’re pretty much the whole thing. Gone are the days of organizing SRO hotels and getting a building captain to turn out 50 votes for you. 

Dorsey was just a better candidate than Honey Mahogany on this turf, especially if crime and safety is the No. 1 issue.  

Similarly, Joel Engardio found himself sliced out of District 7 by the redistricting process and grafted onto District 4. The new precincts in D4 have voted overwhelmingly for Engardio — he’s up 507 votes and up 343 in those three precincts alone. That’s put put him in a position to be the first challenger to beat an elected supe in 22 years. 

Perhaps you’ve blotted the unseemly redistricting process out of your memory. Lucky you. You don’t remember the 19-hour meetings and incensed task force members walking out and accusing their colleagues of bowing to mayoral pressure, which the task force chair acknowledged, in writing

Both Dorsey and Engardio are exceptionally smart, hard-working and affable politicians. And that goes a long way, and any success is well-earned. Be that as it may, the new moderate-friendly districts, thus far, are on the way to going 2-for-2 in seriously contested races. Mar was always an ideological misfit for his district who became a supe after an extraordinary series of steps. In two year’s time, other supervisors may face a similar struggle.  

As for Jenkins, it figures voters gravitated toward her tough talk on crime and dysfunction. But it also figures that, without impugning challengers Joe Alioto Veronese and John Hamasaki as lawyers and as human beings, voters didn’t think much of them as candidates. 

This is no small deal. In 2019, voters narrowly elected Chesa Boudin as DA. And, while he approached this as a ratification of his policies, it was never clear if San Franciscans felt that way or simply voted for the candidate who ran the best campaign — and, to boot, benefited from Breed gauchely shoe-horning Suzy Loftus into the vacant DA position only 24 hours before ballots dropped. So, factors like that apply here, too.

If any citywide office-holder will benefit more from the pending passage of Prop. H than Jenkins, it’s hard to think of who. Unless the State Bar or Attorney General takes action based on Jenkins’ series of alleged legal and ethical missteps, she’ll now be provided with an extra year in which to establish herself in the office and put her prosecutorial theories to work.

Meanwhile, school board member Ann Hsu who, in July, stated that Black and Brown children struggle in school in large part because of their deficient home lives and bad parents, remains 6,963 votes ahead of her nearest challenger. These comments seemed to mostly bother people who would not have voted for her, and did not seem to much concern those who would. And these vote totals affirm what was already evident via the half-hearted, flimsy and ultimately abandoned  efforts of Hsu’s political backers and colleagues to even make a pretense of distancing themselves from her: An Asian elected official making derogatory remarks about Black people is subject to different levels of blowback than a Black elected official making derogatory remarks about Asian people. 

Finally, if there’s a clear loser here, it’s got to be campaign polling. Politico after politico tells me that they cannot get enough people to answer the phones to conduct a survey for a district race. Prop. L outperformed its polls by such a wide margin that its own campaign team was in disbelief. Prop. O apparently underperformed by double-digits. 

The next vote drop will be on Friday at roughly 4 p.m. Presumably, many more votes will be counted than today’s drop and much more will be clarified. —Joe Eskenazi

Live updates and analysis: Tuesday, Nov. 8

Races

The most competitive races are mapped below; use the buttons to browse them. You can find other local races under the maps.

Updated 4:15 p.m. Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

District 2 Supervisor

Ballots castPercentage
Catherine Stefani22,111100%

Updated 4:00 p.m., Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

District 8 Supervisor

Ballots castPercentage
Kate Stoia7,89922.46%
Rafael Mandelman27,27777.54%

Updated 4:00 p.m., Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

District 10 Supervisor

Ballots castPercentage
Brian Sam Adam4,48327.14%
Shamann Walton12,03572.86%

Updated 4:00 p.m., Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

Assessor-Recorder

Ballots castPercentage
Joaquín Torres217,919100%

Updated 4:00 p.m., Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

Community College Board (to 2025)

Ballots castPercentage
Adolfo Velasquez64,92431.02%
Daniel Landry26,66012.74%
Murrell Green117,72556.24%

Updated 4:00 p.m., Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

Community College Board (to 2027)

Ballots castPercentage
Jill Yee55,4239.06%
Brigitte Davila64,64110.56%
John Rizzo68,43211.18%
Vick Chung84,62513.83%
Susan Solomon84,25513.77%
Thea Selby61,99910.13%
Anita Martinez90,59914.81%
Jason Chuyuan Zeng26,0894.26%
Marie Hurabiell40,2206.57%
William Walker35,5915.82%

Updated 4:00 p.m., Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

Propositions

A

Increase pension payments to city workers who retired before 1996.

YES
NO
187,896
100,841

Support:

Oppose:


B

Reverse creation of the Department of Sanitation and Streets.

YES
NO
212,016
72,332

Support:

Oppose:


C

Oversight commission for the Dept. of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.

YES
NO
196,111
94,963

Support:

Oppose:


D

Expedited approval for housing with moderate rise in affordable units.

YES
NO
141,472
146,128

Support:

Oppose:


E

Expedited approval for housing with large rise in affordable units.

YES
NO
131,543
153,982

Support:

Oppose:


F

Public library fund renewed for 25 years.

YES
NO
239,088
50,440

Support:

Oppose:


G

Grants to the San Francisco Unified School District.

YES
NO
226,670
64,750

Support:

Oppose:


H

Move all city elections to even-numbered years.

YES
NO
203,817
82,365

Support:

Oppose:


I

Reopen Golden Gate Park’s JFK Drive to cars.

YES
NO
102,661
191,598

Support:

Oppose:


J

Keep Golden Gate Park’s JFK Drive closed to cars.

YES
NO
181,649
106,384

Support:

Oppose:


L

Reaffirm sales tax for transportation projects.

YES
NO
209,208
82,190

Support:

Oppose:


M

New tax on vacant residential units.

YES
NO
159,347
132,949

Support:

Oppose:


N

Rec and Park to manage the parking garage below Golden Gate Park.

YES
NO
212,638
72,092

Support:

Oppose:


O

New parcel tax to help fund city college.

YES
NO
106,495
183,920

Support:

Oppose:


Updated 4:15 p.m. Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

Props D and E

Updated 4:15 p.m. Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

Props I and J

Updated 4:15 p.m. Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

Prop L

Updated 4:15 p.m. Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

Prop M

Updated 4:15 p.m. Nov 22. From Department of Elections data.

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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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DATA REPORTER. Will was born in the UK and studied English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism in New York. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

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14 Comments

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  1. Let’s see if I will be blocked again.
    “Conventional wisdom” of Asians voting early is yet another convenient stereotype that now even Mission local perpetuates. Disappointing. I am Asian American and voted mail-in on election day, as did many I know.
    I don’t know Hsu, and don’t care she’s elected or not. But I was disturbed by the line of criticisms of her,
    like Jim Jah’s comment below.
    What she said was similar to what a lot of prominent people including Obama’s and other educators had said in order to bring more attention to the problem. I think she was trying to play woke politics and it backfired on her, because she’s not allowed to play not being ‘black or brown’. At times there were anti-asian undertones. Again it is politics over the truth.

    1. Lyl,

      I agree with what she said 100% and I’m a retired Special Ed teacher of ‘Severely Emotionally Disturbed’.

      Mine was the last Public School environment possible for my students and I had a rule that if a student of mine acted out I sent them home and they returned the next day with parent or guardian. If that was not possible, I would visit the home the next day after school for a talk.

      If this happened 10 times, as warned, I recommended moving the student one rung downward on the Continuum of Care.

      I never lost a single student to this rule.

      Every single student I lost was because the responsible parent/guardian did not fulfill their parts of our contract.

      Poor parenting/guardianship is definitely the number one cause for the failure of our Educational System.

      Go Niners !

      h.

    1. Rosh — 

      It depends on how many outstanding ballots there are. It could be extraordinarily close.

      JE

  2. In spite of the progressive gerrymandering San Franciscans elected a board of supes that’s a close representation of real San Franciscans. Our voter turnout (39%) is still a sad joke.

  3. The photo of Brooke Jenkins hugging Mary Jung says it all. Big Real Estate wins again thanks to a well-funded campaign full of lies and hate (the recall that turned out to be Brooke’s own campaign). Speaking of lies and hate, is that Steven Buss standing by in the photo of Joel Engardio? SF is already in trouble, and it will only get worse if decent people don’t wake up and fight back against the creeping fascism coming our way.

  4. Joe,

    How can you say that Gordon was never ideologically aligned to the District when he and his Twin brother were chosen to represent it for Twelve friggin years in a row?

    Mar lost because the Mayors ‘Resegregation’ Task Force moved the lines and put …

    Like Catch-22 when someone snuck in and moved the string lines on the target chart to put the dangerous target as now behind Allied lines and no longer somewhere they have to fly and risk getting shot down …

    Everyone cheered as they entered the room in the morning:

    “Must have taken it last night.”

    Same thing happened to Mar.

    They moved a large section of his voters out of his District by moving a string pulled by Reverend Arnold Townsend controlled by Puppeteer, London Breed.

    The People are still voting the same way.

    It’s just that now they are voting their same way in a different district w/out moving.

    Happened to me.

    Imagine how crushed I was to lose Mandelman as my rep.

    lol

    h.

      1. Joe,

        My bad.

        And I thought I knew everything.

        Go Niners even if McCafferey is crediting his TD’s to “the Lord”.

        May the Force be with the Niners then !!

  5. An Asian elected official making derogatory remarks about Black people is subject to different levels of blowback than a Black elected official making derogatory remarks about Asian people.

    These comments were not comparable at all!!! SHAME ON YOU.

    1. Imagine if Motamedi had written her questionnaire answer the same as Hsu, except supplanted “Asian” for “black.”

      “From my very limited exposure in the past four months to the challenges of educating marginalized students especially in the [Asian] and brown community, I see one of the biggest challenges as being the lack of family support for those students. Unstable family environments caused by housing and food insecurity along with lack of parental encouragement to focus on learning cause children to not be able to focus on or value learning.”

  6. Your link goes to the wrong data set: June 7, 2022. This is where your text sats “Updated 9:15 p.m. Nov 8. From Department of Elections data.”