November 11, 2011

Portland mayoral count
ends with Brennan on top

The former state senator gets 56 percent of the ranked-choice vote and will be inaugurated Dec. 5.

By Jason Singer
Assistant City Editor / Online

(Continued from page 1)

Portland Mayor poll

Now that the Portland mayor’s race is over, do you think the ranked-choice voting system worked well?



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Michael Brennan stands with vote-watchers and rival candidates Wednesday night at City Hall after becoming Portland’s first elected mayor in 88 years following a daylong count of ranked-choice votes.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Round by round results


First-round ranked-choice voting results are available here.

Counting the votes took longer than expected. A series of delays pushed the final results from early afternoon until almost 8:30 p.m.

TrueBallot Inc., the company hired to help the city with ranked-choice voting, was supposed to start scanning in the ballots at 8 a.m., but didn't start until 10 a.m.

Once the ballots had been scanned, the data took 2½ hours to upload onto TrueBallot's computers, much longer than city officials had predicted.

City officials and TrueBallot employees chalked up the delays to high voter turnout. The city was expecting a 25 percent turnout, but it topped 40 percent, said Nicole Clegg, the city's director of communications.

Several candidates said they liked the ranked-choice process.

Jed Rathband, who finished fifth, said ranked-choice voting eliminated negative campaigning because candidates didn't want to alienate other candidates' supporters and lose those second-place votes.

"It became more about the issues and less about personalities," Rathband said. "That's a good thing."

Firefighter Chris Vail, who finished ninth, agreed.

"There was a lot of anxiety beforehand about the ranked-choice ballots," Vail said. "But almost everyone I talked to said it was no big deal after they left the polls."

In total, 139 of the 20,212 ballots cast Tuesday were incorrectly filled out and had to be thrown out, and 439 were left blank for the mayor's race, according to numbers provided by the city. More ballots were eliminated in later rounds of counting if voters didn't rank multiple candidates.

On Wednesday night, the ranked-choice voting software started the second round by eliminating Jodie Lapchick, the candidate with the fewest first-place votes.

Her votes were then redistributed to other candidates, based on her supporters' second-place choices. If a voter only voted for Lapchick, their ballots were discarded after the second round.

In the third round, the software eliminated Hamza Haadoow, who received the second fewest votes, and redistributed those ballots.

The process continued, eliminating one candidate after another, until Brennan had 8,971 votes of the remaining 16,109 ballots.

Staff Writer Jason Singer can be contacted at 791-6437 or at:


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Portland Mayor poll

Now that the Portland mayor’s race is over, do you think the ranked-choice voting system worked well?



Not sure

View Results