Who will run our beloved, troubled and intriguing Oakland?
Of the 10 mayoral candidates, the top four are closely watching returns and hoping they were second-place picks by voters that didn't support them, outright. (The lower six candidates account for 8 percent of the vote, so far).
Ranked-choice voting, in essence, goes like this, according to SFGate.com: "The election was the first in which Oakland used ranked-choice voting. Unless someone receives more than half the first-place votes, the winner might not be known for several days."
Leading the race is former state Sen. Don Peralta with 35 percent of the vote (with 56 percent of precincts reporting). Next are Jean Quan (25 percent), Rebecca Kaplan (20 percent) and Joe Tunan (12 percent).
The ranked-choice system, used for the first time in an Oakland race, means that one candidate must win more than 50 percent of the first-place votes or the result may not be known for several days.
Voters are asked to rate the candidates as first-, second- and third-place options. Then, in sort of like a round robin, the candidate with fewest votes is eliminated, with their votes distributed to the remaining candidates.
It may take getting used to, but there is solid logic behind these ballot gymnastics.
Either way, the Bright Side of the Bay may not have a replacement for Mayor Dellums any time soon.