ELECTION 2022: New Vote Totals Show Mahan with Bigger Lead Over Chavez in San Jose Mayor’s Race

Updated at 9am Nov. 10.

San Jose City Councilmember Matt Mahan's lead over Cindy Chavez grew slightly Wednesday, to 4,766 votes, as ballot counting at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters office proceeded at a snail's pace.

Counting resumed today, with an estimated 49% of the ballots -- more than 135,000 in the San Jose mayoral race-- remaining to be counted, according to elections officials.

Mahan widened his lead to 3.44 percentage points, with 51.72% (71,494) of the vote, compared to 48.28% (66,728) for Chavez.

Map of San Jose, showing BLUE precincts favoring Cindy Chavez, GREEN precincts favoring Matt Mahan, and BROWN precincts with tie votes, with 51% of votes counted in San Jose mayoral race.
Source: Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters

A precinct vote map posted by the elections office Wednesday showed that in the ballots counted, Chavez's strength was centered in downtown, central and north (Alviso) San Jose, with pro-Mahan precincts around the west (Willow Glen and west San Jose), south (Almaden) and east (Berryessa and Evergreen) sides of the city.

With mostly mail ballots outstanding, it remains to be seen whether that map of candidate strength will hold up, and whether vote-by-mail voters will tilt towards one candidate.

Three hours after polls closed Tuesday, San Jose City Councilmember Matt Mahan began pulling away slightly with a 4,630-vote lead over Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez in the battle for City Hall.

With nearly 132,000 votes counted in the race for mayor of the nation's 10th largest city, Mahan recorded 51.8% of the total, with 48.2% for Chavez, according to county elections officials. Approximately half the ballots remain to be counted, elections officials estimated today.

Mahan initially held a 3,000 vote lead, according to the first reports from the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, which slipped a bit as the counting progressed, then regained new momentum in the 11pm count. The final Election Day gap in the mayor's race stood at 3.5 percentage points.

San Jose has 524,451 registered voters, according to the California Secretary of State’s office. Previous turnouts in off-presidential election years have been as high as 70%, but this year's San Jose turnout is likely to be in the 50% range, according to elections officials.

Several polls in September and October showed the big-bucks battle between progressive Chavez and moderate Mahan was likely going to be close.

Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.


  1. “A long week” of vote counting???? WTH?
    Are they going to keep recounting until the preferred party wins or what?

  2. Cindy had endorsements from all City Council aside from Mahan but failed to campaign in many of these districts that had a rep who backed her – complete unforced error

  3. People could have had their ballot postmarked on Tuesday, November 8. There has to be time for them to be received and counted. This is nothing new for California.

  4. One drawback of last minute drop and mail voting. These votes have to be verified and it takes days to verify.

  5. CA is still trying to figure out who are the winners from an election from Tuesday Nov 8th?

    Not a very good advertisement for California – a state in which the elected officials from the narcissistic Governor on down like to tout as the 4th, 5th or 6th largest Economy in the world,
    but has the governance and bureaucracy of a 3rd world nation –
    not too mention the disgusting look and feel in most of its major cities.

    San Jose, LA, a lot of congressional seats and add in
    that Arizona and Nevada are also struggling to run a clean and prompt voting & election system.

    Years ago elections were able to be tabulated on election day or within a reasonable 24 hour period.
    Some states have figured it out – others that seem to fail in so many ways are still failing in election integrity appearance and performance.

  6. To CA Patriot. Your comment demonstrates your complete ignorance of CA elections process. 240,000 voters dropped off their Vote by Mail ballots in Santa Clara County on Election Day this Tuesday. There is no way they can be instantaneously verified, opened and counted. Visit your local Registrar of Voters Office or at least their website, and learn how Elections work.

  7. To LINA A, so you agree that CA elections process are 3rd world.
    I understand clearly that CA elections process is faulty and fails on many grounds.
    There is no reason that normal limits cannot be placed on ballots that are dropped off in an election to be verified and recorded on election day.
    How many weeks does a responsible person need to fill out a mailed in ballot?
    How many weeks does a responsible person need to place a ballot in the mail to be received and verified before elections close?
    How many weeks of early voting in person does a responsible person need to vote in person?
    Why should a scribbled signature be an acceptable measure to validate a ballot?
    How objective can the signature verification be if it is subject to a persons judgement?
    Voter ID should be the standard.
    Ballot harvesting and lack of voter ID allow doubt for any elections process & results,
    especially when they drag out for days as ballots arrive after election day.
    Other large states can do it – in fact a super majority of U.S. states are able to provide tabulated results in a timely and fair manor with little doubt that mischief may have occurred in the process.

  8. It is not only my opinion, but experience, I have voted remotely for years, from many locations over the course of my career.
    The Wall Street Journal writer, Peggy Noonan, provided a good synopsis of the doubt and failure that states like CA, AZ and NV portray to the American public.
    It must really grind on CA politicians and bureaucrats that the large state of Florida, weeks after a major hurricane still runs circles around a failing state like CA, no wonder so many educated persons with means are fleeing CA.
    “In August 2022, 3,059 former Californians swapped their driver’s licenses for ones issued by Florida – the first time ever that the monthly figure exceeded 3,000…”

    (WSJ, 10 Nov 2022)
    “Why can’t the late-reporting states get their act together on vote counting?
    It’s the increase in mail-in ballots? So what? You roll with life and adapt.
    Florida, which spans 2 time zones, reports its tallies with professionalism and dispatch.”
    “States have 2 jobs in this area.
    One is to create the conditions by which people can vote – polling places, machines that work, correctly worded ballots.
    The second is to count the votes. It’s not rocket science.
    Leaders keep saying we have to be patient. Why? HOW ABOUT DOING YOUR JOB?
    Get the mail-in ballots, count them, hold them in a vault until the polls close, and announce the numbers, along with the Election Day vote, that night.”
    “Long counts are not only SLOPPY, they are ABUSIVE.
    It is in the delay between polls closed and outcome announced that the mischief begins.
    It’s where conspiracism takes hold.
    They stole the boxes with the ballots last Thursday – my cousin’s friend saw it.”

    “It is looking for trouble.
    America isn’t a place where you need to look for trouble.”

  9. To CA Patriot. So who is responsible for 240K Santa Clara County voters waiting until last minute to drop off their 3-card ballot?!!

    There are many opportunities for voters to vote as early as 29 days before Election in California. If you can solve this issue, of people waiting until last minute on election day, you will be a hero to all election officials in CA and even throughout the country.

  10. “So who is responsible for 240K Santa Clara County voters waiting until last minute to drop off their 3-card ballot?!!”
    Responsibility falls directly on the elected politicians and bureaucrats that set the rules for handling and receiving ballots for the election. That is their responsibility, and the collecting and tallying is job function of election officials.
    Sensible policy mandates that all ballots be received by elections officials and ballot collectors in reasonable time on election day to be verified and tallied in a reasonable time.

    Ballots should NOT be arriving after election day, postmarks should not matter, in fact the Post Office does not postmark all mail and has been moving away from postmarks for years. Even many first-class personal letters I get are not postmarked with dates. When I mail my Property Tax payments, on December 8th, 2 days before the delinquency date, I take them into the post office and have them hand cancelled with the date to ensure that they are not counted as late.
    A responsible voter would do the same with their ballot – Wait In Line at the Post Office – to get a proper postmark – if you can wait in line at the Post Office you can wait in line to vote.

    “If you use a postage label purchased at a USPS customer service window or vending machine, the date on the label is the postmark. This is the USPS recommended way to postmark your ballot.
    If you use postage stamps, ask that it be postmarked in person.
    You should NOT use a postage meter or an online service (such as stamps.com) to affix postage.
    It is your responsibility to make sure the ballot has enough postage.”

    “As these instructions suggest, getting a ballot postmarked requires extra diligence on the part of the voter. One can’t just assume the Postal Service will put a postmark on every ballot.
    That’s because the Postal Service does not postmark all the mail, and, as a general practice, it has been moving away from postmarking in favor of barcoding.
    The Postal Service says that postal cancellation once served a business function but
    postmarks are no longer necessary.”

  11. Just an observation,

    Yes there are many votes to be processed. And I am scared that if the votes do end up making Cindy the winner, given what we saw in 2020 election, I think all you know what will break loose in Santa Clara. The recent Arizona win regarding the senate is going in that direction. The lose is claiming that votes are being double counted.

    But as everyone here KNOWS each election form and electronic vote has a serial number assigned to a specific voter. Which means if 2 votes are submitted by the same person, that vote is likely to be tossed, or an attempt to “cure” the vote must be done. In other words, a double vote should be practically impossible.

    The voting system has many methods to detect improper votes, that is why it is required to be certified PRIOR to an election.

    In any event, why not just wait until all votes are counted?

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