OAKLAND (CBS/KCBS)_ The Oakland mayor’s race is down to two candidates with city councilwoman Jean Quan taking a slim lead over former State Senator Don Perata.

Dave MacDonald, registrar of voters for Alameda County said there are about 15,000 absentee and provisional ballots still to be counted countywide, and election officials warn the results are not yet official.

Perata had a double-digit lead on election night, but Quan picked up enough second and third place votes in ranked-choice voting to move ahead.

“Were leading him 51 to 49, but it looks like with 10,000 votes to go, we’ll probably hold that lead and if so, it’s a real victory,” said Quan.

MacDonald said that when eight other candidates for the position were eliminated, it came down to Perata with 48.91 percent and Quan with 51.09 percent of the vote.

Quan has said if her lead holds up, her election would mark a major upset. Quan would be the first Asian-American woman to lead a large U.S. city.

Quan issued a statement that says the fact that they have a slight lead in spite of Perata spending millions on the race is a tremendous accomplishment. She credits her grass-roots effort with the turnaround, but adds that the race isn’t over yet.

Perata’s campaign also released a statement saying that they’re still unclear about the County’s processes and still await a final count. They add that the mystery of ranked-choice voting continues.

MacDonald said that ranked-choice voting isn’t really a mystery at all and he is clear that votes are not being miscounted, and that the entire process is extremely accurate.

However, one effect it could have according to MacDonald, is affecting how candidates run races.

He said the fact that the majority of Councilwoman Rebecca Caplan’s votes went to Quan once she was eliminated, may mean that candidates run races in tandem. Meaning that in a sense, they affiliate themselves with another candidate in order to get their second or third-place votes.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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