Thomas Elias

When mayoral election results were finalized in Oakland in 2018, there was unusually loud whining from the losers.

This was one of California’s most recent “ranked-choice” elections, where voters didn’t just cast ballots for a favorite candidate, but also for second and third choices. They ranked their choices, indicating who they would pick if there were a runoff election a month or so later, the practice there before 2010.

When no candidate won a majority, the second choices from voters who did not cast votes for the top two vote-getters were then allotted to other candidates until one emerged with a majority.

Email Thomas Elias at His book, "The Burzynski Breakthrough, The Most Promising Cancer Treatment and the Government’s Campaign to Squelch It" is now available in a soft cover fourth edition. For more Elias columns, visit

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