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Measure A Results Show Tax Approval Rate Dropping

Approximately 500 to 600 provisional votes are still outstanding. If there are 600, the "yes" vote requires 157 votes to hold the win.

[Editor's Note, March 10, 3:56 p.m: The latest Alameda Patch report on the Measure A election results is . ]

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters has tallied an additional batch of vote-by-mail ballots that were walked into the polls on Tuesday.

Counting those ballots, which numbered more than two thousand, caused the pass rate on the parcel tax to drop to 67.82 percent.

At the end of the night  the pass rate for Measure A was at 68.43 percent. The tax requires a two-thirds of the vote (66.66 percent) to pass.

There are still, according to School Board Trustee Mike McMahon, some 500 to 600 provisional ballots still to be counted. 

"Of the remaining votes all we need is 157 votes," said McMahon. "The question at this point is whether we're going to win by a point or a point and something."

McMahon did express suprise that was down rather than up for the "yes" side. 

"Basically what it looks like is that the last minute tactics of the oppostion, literature drops, email and robocalls appear to have driven some no voters to the polls," said McMahon.

Guy Ashley of the Alameda County Registrar of Voters office said he expected the remaining votes to be posted at 4 p.m. on Thursday. 

"We expect that will reflect all ballots," Ashley said. 

The chart below reflects the cumulative total for votes at the most recent time noted. 

Time posted Yes % Yes No % No 3/8 8:00 p.m.  8,015 66.44 4,048 33.56 9:25 p.m. 8,773 66.76 4,369 33.24 9:45 p.m. 10,205 67.60 4,892 32.40 9:55 p.m. 11,047 67.84 5,237 32.16 10:20 p.m. 12,861 68.43 5,934 31.57 3/9 5 p.m. 14,342 67.82 6,806 32.18

Under Measure A, all property owners in Alameda would pay 32 cents per square foot for the schools parcel tax. That levy would be capped at $7,999 per parcel and seniors can apply for an exemption.

The measure allocates parcel tax funds to particular programs in specific proportions, such as maintaining class sizes of 25 children to one teacher in grades K-3 and “attracting and retaining excellent teachers.”

AUSD officials asked voters for the parcel tax because of a three-year budget gap of more than $19 million. The district said that shortfall came because of state budget cuts and the expiration of current parcel taxes in 2012.

Passage of Measure A, the district says, would avert some drastic changes to schools over the next two years, which include closing three elementary schools and a middle school, and cutting such basic elementary school programs as music, library and physical education. Those changes, known as Plan B, would also make cuts at the high school level, such as reducing AP classes and eliminating athletics altogether.

The AUSD board has already approved those changes pending the outcome of Measure A; opponents of the parcel tax have argued that the cuts wouldn’t really happen and were meant to frighten voters.

Even with Measure A, district officials say the financial picture for education in Alameda remains challenging. The $12 million per year from Measure A parcel tax does not cover the complete budget gap, so the district will continue to make reductions in the district office and schools. These may include eliminating an elective period from middle school, reducing high school graduation requirements and reducing special education paraprofessionals.

Robles-Wong noted that schools supporters' work is not done as long as education funding in California is not secure. "We'll go on from here," he said. "There's more to deal with."

Kate Quick March 11, 2011 at 12:07 AM
Last ones, I think, just posted. About 51% of the registered voters, voted. Sad to say, a pretty high percentage for a single issue ballot if compared to recent elections. The "yesses" were 446 votes over the minimum they needed to get. The final was about 68% yes. Conversely, the "no's" were about 302 votes under what they needed to prevail. I think it is pretty darn great that more than 2/3 of those who cared enough to vote wanted to support the schools. I hope this is a signal to those who are eager to cost the kids even more by filing lawsuits that the community is not with them. The money the AUSD would have to spend to defend your proposed suit will take away from the ability of the District to educate our kids - not a good thing. Get busy, get involved, volunteer at the school nearest you; donate educational materials; tutor. Build us up instead of tearing us apart. This parcel tax will not "save" the schools, which have already been cutting.
Eve Pearlman March 11, 2011 at 12:19 AM
Hi Kate: Latest Alameda Patch story on the returns here: http://alameda.patch.com/articles/last-votes-counted-measure-a-still-winning
carol gottstein March 11, 2011 at 01:27 AM
It seems to me, from her comments, Kate Quick must be a Bush Republican. Who else would vote to give a tax break to the super-rich while socking it to the Middle-Class?
Kate Quick March 11, 2011 at 01:47 AM
It is done, Carol. Time to put away our personal attacks and see how we can all work together for a better community. I am a proud liberal Democrat. Hope you can/will join the many who worked hard to support the schools in our efforts to make this stay the great community it is. I know you love this town; as a multi-generation Alamedan, you have a big investment in its being the best it can be. While I am a seventh generation Californian, and a fifth generation Sacramentan, I am only a mere 40 years here, but I am ready to join any who love this place as much (or such as you, likely more than I) to work hard to keep it a super community. This is my last post in this string.
joel March 11, 2011 at 05:41 AM
Kate does not know how to read the stat , there was about 1/3 of the resident that voted . like her good friends at Suncal . There was around 60 plus % for the taxes with the hundreds of thousands spends . in retrospect over 80 % of voters rejected Suncal .... Nothing to compare lady . What is realkly sad here , we are seeing a minority of wealthy east ender slaming the rest with taxes . Alameda need to wake up and break that cycle of peoples pretenting to be the only one representing the City . The only reason everything is stalling in Alameda we do not have fresh Blood but generations that have imposed their view to other .
joel March 11, 2011 at 05:45 AM
You did not know that , come on Carol , take a close look at the last election , who financed the slanderous campaign , among other the very one that financed the recall Gray Davis their own leader , with the help of a whole bunch of extrem right republican , Politic make some strange bed fellow .
joel March 11, 2011 at 05:54 AM
kate get real when the renters wake up that is 50% of alameda and will get the pill , they will wake up , mix with the other the tax is unpopular , we need to evaluate the schools and close the small one, it will not affect education to the contrary . So filing a law suit may actually the only way the administration of the AUSD adress and correct the problem once and for all , instead of passing it to the next .

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