Cameron plays with the network wires while Gerry checks something on the screen.   two party guests schmooze

When I got there Cameron and Gerry were still organizing the computer network. Volunteers and guests were trickling in singly and in bunches. Being a coin collector, I tried to show as many people as I could my new Iowa quarter. I gave Stephanie the other one I had with me.

Many people looking at a TV,   A cameraman talks to some people drinking beer.

Everyone was curious about how the Presidential race was developing. When we got together both major party candidates had about 220 Electoral votes. Slowly the picture developed, with the more local races occasionally racing across the bottom of the screen. It was impossible to get any information from that, so I found myself going by the computer table for an update every now and then.

Greg with the hand of somebody holding a microphone.   Stephanie talking with her hands.   Gloria Higgins stands on a chair to speak to everybody.   Fiona talks with her hands clasped and red eyes.

After a while the candidates called us together to thank us all for coming and do little volunteer appreciation ceremonies. Click on their pictures above for details on those.

People peer at a computer to get what the numbers say.   Twana laughing the way partying people do.

After a while we figured out a quick positive answer wasn't in the cards. The party continued until something like 11:30 PM, when I looked up and realized there weren't many people left.

Table showing that Stephanie probably didn't win.   Table showing that Gloria and Fiona did win.

This was how it looked at the end of the evening. It was hard to believe that all of that work had yielded such an ignominious finish for the one candidate that had been something better than business as usual. Stephanie was a trooper though. Saying good night, she told me the election would get her on a commission, and then her chances would be better in two years. When I got home I wanted to cry. I was happy for Fiona and Gloria though.

The next evening I heard a rumor that they hadn't counted the paper ballots yet, so just maybe things would turn around. I was torn about how much faith to put in that rumor.

Newspaper story saying it's not over yet...

Update 11/5/2004: I went down to the registrar's office and talked to him this morning. He said the total vote left to count is probably something like 150,000. They are doing the job as fast as possible, but even so they won't be done before next Friday (11/12/04) at the earliest. They will be updating the count on their website this evening by about 5 PM. The next update after that will be the end of the day on Tuesday, then the following Friday and repeat the process as many times as required. The official final certified number will be made public on the 30th of November. The plan is to first count the absentee votes, then the paper votes, and finally the provisional ballots. Here are today's numbers:

Member, City Council CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW
  Vote Count Percent
MATT PEAR 13,425 21.16%
NICK GALIOTTO 11,025 17.38%
LAURA MACIAS 9,894 15.60%
TOM MEANS 9,785 15.42%
MARGARET ABE-KOGA 9,644 15.20%
Write-In 97 0.15%
Total 63,443 100.00%

The numbers have changed a bit, but not the result. Stephanie is now 212 votes behind the last victor, up from 182 in the newspaper article above.  I'm thinking about all the times I heard that to leave a paper trail you had to do the paper ballot thing. If Stephanie does pull off this come from behind victory, it will be clear that people who prefer paper ballots prefer Stephanie Schaaf. Those numbers won't be in the total until next week.

Update 11/8/2004: They weren't supposed to do an update until tomorrow, but I peeked and they had. The numbers are now:

MATT PEAR 14,837 21.16%
NICK GALIOTTO 12,214 17.42%
LAURA MACIAS 10,942 15.61%
TOM MEANS 10,755 15.34%
MARGARET ABE-KOGA 10,658 15.20%
STEPHANIE SCHAAF 10,595 15.11%
Write-In 108 0.15%
Total 70,109 100.00%

Stephanie is now 160 votes behind the last victor, giving him the smallest margin he has had yet! If you want to see the registrars version of the information, please click here.  The Mountain View City Council results are about half way down the page.

Update 11/10/2004: I just called the ROV, and they said there are about 20,000 votes left to  count in Santa Clara County. They have counted all of the paper ballots, which is where my hopes were. The results are starting to look final.... :-(

Update 11/11/2004 The Mountain View Voice has this story at the bottom of the front page:

Mountain View Voice article with headline "City's elections closer to being finalized".

Continuation of the article started in the above picture.

I'm expecting more definitive numbers late Friday afternoon....

Update 11/12/2004 These are the new numbers from the Registrar's site:

Member, City Council CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW
44/44 100.00%
  Vote Count Percent
MATT PEAR 15,119 21.18%
NICK GALIOTTO 12,412 17.39%
LAURA MACIAS 11,135 15.60%
TOM MEANS 10,960 15.36%
MARGARET ABE-KOGA 10,862 15.22%
STEPHANIE SCHAAF 10,775 15.10%
Write-In 110 0.15%
Total 71,373 100.00%

The changes from the previous count are starting to be small compared to the gap between Stephanie and a seat. Is that the fat lady I hear singing?

Update 11/16/2004: These are the new numbers from the Registrar's site:

Member, City Council CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW
44/44 100.00%
  Vote Count Percent
MATT PEAR 15,229 21.23%
NICK GALIOTTO 12,489 17.41%
LAURA MACIAS 11,205 15.62%
TOM MEANS 11,046 15.40%
MARGARET ABE-KOGA 10,936 15.24%
STEPHANIE SCHAAF 10,844 15.11%
Total 71,749 100.00%

376 Mountain View votes got counted since last weeks results. They seem to have been distributed in about the same proportions as the other batches of results.

Update 11/28/2004:

Member, City Council CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW
44/44 100.00%
  Vote Count Percent
MATT PEAR 15,293 21.23%
NICK GALIOTTO 12,544 17.41%
LAURA MACIAS 11,244 15.61%
TOM MEANS 11,092 15.40%
MARGARET ABE-KOGA 10,987 15.25%
STEPHANIE SCHAAF 10,888 15.11%
Total 72,048 100.00%

There has been very little change since the previous round of results....