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November 01, 2015



If any of the results are close like they have been in the past we can expect a legal challenge. Maybe Kevin Mullin should pay all the costs? That just seems fair.


You can get the results tonight at:


First results at 8:05 are likely to be definitive with the new format.


EMILY BEACH 2,744 37.90%
DONNA COLSON 2,539 35.10%
ERIC STOREY 436 6.00%

as of 9:00pm, these results look pretty definitive. Assuming that each person casts two votes, this is about 3,600 voters. This is almost up to the number of votes that have been cast for city council in the past elections using the same methodology. It will be interesting to see if the mail in election brings in significantly more votes and whether the later voters will show different preferences ( I just sent in my ballot in today). The leads of Emily Beach and Donna Colson seem pretty insurmountable.

Year Number of Voters
2013 4314
2011 4926
2009 4089
2007 5010

Thomas Hornblower

Does anyone know the number of registered voters in Burlingame? Is it around 16,000?


I've been out at the two Victory Parties tonight so thank you to c and Thomas for blogging on. It appears that there might have been a substantial number of bullet voters--I will figure that out tomorrow. And yes, the number of registered voters is around 16,000 so the Big Experiment of all-mail would appear to have failed.

Big Wins tonight for Beach and Colson--pretty much a blow out that puts an exclamation point on the Nagel departure. Having one's protege losing to two newbie opponents by 15 points each would be embarrassing if one were self-aware enough to be embarrassed.

Cathy Baylock

Tom here is the link to last night's results showing number of registered voters and number of ballots counted as of 10:35 last night. The county will report out Thursday, Monday and Thursday of next week for final final results: http://racetracker.shapethefuture.org/election_results.aspx?cID=17&eID=1

Thomas Hornblower

Cool, thanks so much Cathy.

Bruce Dickinson

Joe, as I said on a previous post, Nagel is very self-aware of the egg on her face and she has got to be embarrassed, I guarantee it! She has the "I hate being wrong" syndrome and is very insecure about being judged. So here you go Nagel, you were WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!

Yes, Bruce Dickinson may be scathing in his commentary, but as they saying goes, "you reap what you sew" and all she did was focus on the veneer of being conciliatory and not take any meaningful stances on anything, nor provide any noteworthy insights. Can one call Burlingame a better place because of her actions and votes? I'll give her the streetscape, but really, that is a no brainer decision.

She tried the "hail mary" defending her candidate in the paper, hoping that a miracle would happen, but instead voters saw through the worthless endorsement and the lack of governmental talent that Nirmala has exhibited over the past several years. I would expect the City Council not to renew her seat on the Planning Commission and we can kiss both Nagel and her hand-selected implant goodbye. Not to sell Nirmala short, I think she seems nice and is probably better off spending her time on her other endeavors. As they teach you early on in Success 101, is that to ascend to highest echelons of success (some thing your truly may know a little thing or two about), you must focus on your strengths and hone 'em to perfection. Government (or IT) expertise, my friends, was not her forte, in any way, shape or form and despite several years on the Planning Commission, she didn't really appear to learn anything on the job. She will likely be a more valuable contributor to our world in other ways.

Bruce Dickinson hopes Beach and Colson will be up to the task and really forge an independent path and not be reliant on easy, safe, consensus decisions like many of her predecessors (and some colleagues). I hope Joe and Russ are right in that they will change the direction of Burlingame and have it focus on its strengths, represent the public, and let it forge its own path, as it did for the last century. If not, be prepared to face some intense scrutiny and lessons from Dr. Dickinson. Hell, I think I may even do a "teach in" and tell 'em how the world really works before day one.

Remember folks, the granicus cameras are rolling and being closely watched and archived.

Lights, camera, action!


Nagel's contribution to the streetscape was minimal. All she did was not be a roadblock to the hard work the staff and Ms. Baylock and Keighran contributed. Small praise for a small official.

Cathy Baylock

Here is the 4:30 update:
Beach (37.85%) 2916
Colson (34.89%) 2688
Bandrapalli (21.17%) 1631
Storey (6.09%) 469


Unfortunately, the Daily Post reporters seem to be just reprinting the County Clerk press releases on the all-mail balloting. Today's Post quotes Mark Church as saying "the mail-in vote ran efficiently. Officials think 28.6% of voters cast ballots, which is more than the last odd-numbered year election in 2013, when the turnout was 25.4%.

Even if there was a 3.2% improvement in turnout, the word on the street was multiple problems with no ballot received and valid ballots returned. Plus people showing up at their old ballot locations.

Then there is the Post's editor's prior, smart concerns we discussed here:


Overall, I think we need to leave more options for people to vote live at the very end. Things heat up at the end and can cause early vote remorse (As Price notes).

Plus the all-mail ballot is impersonal. I spoke to an old time B'gamer over the weekend who used to volunteer at the polling place and she really missed the interpersonal interaction.

Cathy Baylock

Here is the 4:30 update for Monday, November 9th.

Emily Beach (37.73%) 3869
Donna Colson (34.31%) 3519
Nirmala Bandrapalli (21.92%) 2248
Eric Storey (6.04%) 619

At least Burlingame is beating the County average turnout of 25.4% at 37%, but, then again, I've always known that our town was "above average"! p.s. Tom, last update will be Thursday afternoon at 4:30 for the final, final number.


John Horgan appears to be missing the Election Night drama as well:

We can safely say one thing about an all-mail (or almost all-mail) San Mateo County election: Any potential suspense regarding outcomes is pretty much passé.
With the county's efficient Elections Office posting results from ballots mailed early and before the deadline online Tuesday at 8:05 p.m., outcomes of races were conclusive and clear with perhaps one or two exceptions (the Brisbane City Council election and the fate of two ballot measures in San Bruno were two outliers).
For the most part, the notion of spending election night sweating and fretting as tallies from voter precincts were announced was unnecessary.
Which made things a lot easier, as scheduled, though not entirely pleasant for some of the losers who could see they had no reason to hope past that stark 8:05 p.m. initial posting.
In the past, even if the first batch of results was unfavorable (and at least somewhat close), a candidate or interested party could maintain some modicum of optimism as the evening wore on. Not this time. It was slam, bam and thank you Mark Church.



Here is another bit of lazy thinking from Aaron Kinney at the Times regarding the all mail-in ballot:

San Mateo County's recent mail election did more than boost voter participation in a sleepy off-year cycle, a preliminary analysis shows. It yielded dramatic spikes in turnout among young people and minorities.

The eye-popping numbers from the county's experiment, the first of its kind in an urban county in California, are sure to bolster a movement to expand mail elections throughout the state, following the lead of Oregon, Washington and Colorado. Turnout was up 16 percent over the last comparable election in 2013, and the voting rate among Asians increased by more than 30 percent in six cities.


"One factor that may have boosted turnout, especially among younger people, is that the county prepaid the postage on the ballot envelopes." Right, and exactly how much did that cost? What about all the missing ballots and the ones that were returned to sender by mistake for no reason?

The racial profiling of the returns is even more scary. How do they even know what the race of the voter is? The double-blind counting would seem to preclude that.

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