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Posted on: November 4, 2021

City Determines Winner of At-Large Council Race in Public by Lot

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Today the Portland City Clerk determined the winner of the At-Large Council race in public by lot after the ranked-choice instant runoff resulted in a numeric tie between candidates Brandon Mazer and Roberto Rodriguez. City Clerk Katherine Jones and Elections Administrator Paul Riley conducted the drawing of lots in public on the Ganley Plaza outside of City Hall at 10:00 AM on November 4, 2021. The candidates, members of the public and media were present to witness the drawing. The process, agreed to by both candidates in advance, consisted of each candidate verifying that their names were printed on indistinguishable pieces of cardstock paper. The candidates then each folded the cards in half and placed them into an antique wooden bowl. The Elections Administrator then tossed the cards around and lifted the bowl. The City Clerk then turned around and reached into the bowl to draw a name. She opened up the slip of paper, displayed it to the candidates, and then read the name out loud. Brandon Mazer was then declared the winner. 

Candidate Roberto Rodriguez submitted an official request for a manual recount shortly after 11:00 AM. The recount has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 9 from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM at Ocean Gateway. If a second day is needed, the recount will continue on Wednesday, November 10. 

Mazer and Rodriguez were two of the four candidates in the November 2, 2021 municipal election for At-Large City Council. Because none of the four candidates received more than 50% of the vote, election officials used ranked-choice voting instant runoff in accordance with the City’s rules to determine a winner. The runoff, which was confirmed and reconfirmed by officials with Elections Systems & Software and MK Elections, resulted in a tie, with both candidates receiving 8,529 votes each.  

Under the City’s Charter and the rules adopted for how to administer ranked-choice voting, in the case of a tie, “the City Clerk shall determine the winner in public by lot” (a method of making a decision or selection by choosing something, often slips of paper, at random). The City’s rules were adopted in 2011 in conjunction with the Charter amendments adopting ranked-choice voting, among other things. 

The City released the unofficial election results around 1:00 AM on November 3. They can be viewed here

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