According to the November 10 numbers from the Department of Elections, the final round tally in the San Francisco Mayoral election was 79,147 votes for Ed Lee, 51,788 for John Avalos, and 48,983 “exhausted” ballots. “Exhausted” means the ballot did not contain a vote for either Lee or Avalos, thus the voter was excluded from sharing his/her preference in the final runoff.
Percentage-wise, Ed Lee won the vote of 43.4% of voters participating in the Mayoral election. John Avalos received the final vote of 28.4% of voters participating in the election. And 28.2% of voters casting ballots in the Mayoral primary were blocked from expressing their preference in the final runoff (26.9% were exhausted and 1.3% were over/under votes).
In fact, less than half of those not voting for Lee or Avalos in the first round listed either of them as their #2 or #3 choices. In the first round, 89,681 voters cast ballots for Lee and Avalos, while 90,431 voters preferred other candidates as their first choice. As those other candidates were eliminated, 41,254 additional votes were added to Lee and/or Avalos. But 48,983 ballots were “exhausted” and dropped from the counts.