One month later, the murky outcome of the Nov. 6 election is finally clear.
In the final vote results announced Wednesday evening, Alison Hicks won the undecided City Council seat with a narrow but significant lead over incumbent Pat Showalter.
For observers (including the Voice) it was simply too close to call. But as of Wednesday evening, elections officials announced that every last vote in the county had been tallied. The final count gave Hicks 11,129 votes, 97 more than Showalter's 11,032 votes.
Taken altogether, the theme of the Nov. 6 election appears to be a mandate from voters for a change of leadership -- albeit with candidates who share many of the same priorities and principles as the old guard. Along with Hicks, Mountain View's newest City Council members will be Ellen Kamei, who received the most votes (11,916), and Lucas Ramirez in second, with 11,397.
In an email to the Voice, Showalter pointed to the accomplishments during her four years on the council, including the North Bayshore precise plan and citywide housing growth.
"It's been a great honor to serve on the Mountain View City Council," she said. "The new council members are all high caliber. I wish each of them the best and will be glad to provide any assistance."
Mayor Lenny Siegel, with 9,929 votes, came in fifth, denying him a second term. Former councilman John Inks came last with 7,319 votes.
Voter turnout in Mountain View last month was unusually high for a midterm election, with 77.1 percent of registered voters casting ballots, according to the Registrar of Voters. It's far higher than the 2014 midterm election, when the city's turnout fell just shy of 53.9 percent, and even better than the 72.9 percent turnout in 2010.
To put that in perspective, the highest vote-getter in 2014 (Showalter) received fewer votes than the lowest voter-getter in this election (Inks). Reports following the election found that 2014 had the lowest turnout of any U.S. general election dating back to World War II.
The council election sticks out from the rest for other reasons as well. Two of the incumbents failed to retain their seats, which rarely happens in Mountain View, and the election was a nail-biter for more than a week after Election Day. Records from the county Registrar of Voters show that the dividing line between winners and losers hasn't been this narrow since at least 1996.
In the final results announced Dec. 5, Hicks prevailed over Showalter by only 97 votes. In past races, that gap typically exceeds 600 votes. The only race that comes close was in 2004, when Tom Means eked out a victory over Margaret Abe-Koga by 105 votes.
Turnout was highest among the single-family neighborhoods in the southern end of Mountain View, particularly precincts in the Waverly Park, Cuesta Park and St. Francis Acres neighborhoods -- each easily exceeding 83 percent voter turnout. The apartment-heavy neighborhoods of Castro City and the Del Medio area west of the San Antonio shopping center had the lowest voter turnout in the city, according to county data.