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View Diary: WA Gov -- recount final ... now what? (17 comments)

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  •  yabbut (none)
    RonK, are you saying that more of those 169 ballots would have been accepted as valid if there had been more time to make signature comparisons?  I suppose that's possible ... my knowledge of signature-comparison methodology is nonexistent.  How long does it ordinarily take for the comparison and decision?

    As for your point about Libertarians, let's stipulate that Libs might be outside-the-box types.  That does not in any way address the issue of why there were so many of them in this seemingly-random sample of absentee ballots.  I didn't look at whether the proportion of Lib votes by itself, without concern for how the other 540 ballots were distributed across the other possibilities, was significantly different from the expected value, but I'm absolutely certain that it was.  Quick-and-dirty -- if we expected 13 and got 26, that contributes about 13 to the chi-square value before looking at the other cell ... and it only takes 3.84 to achieve a p-value of 0.05 with 1 degree of freedom.

    You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

    by N in Seattle on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 12:41:07 PM PST

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    •  Yes, I'm saying that more would have counted (none)
      ... if these ballots went through the normal cycle -- a process that can take up to 5 weeks. Absentee ballots may be received up to 3 weeks before election day, and signature validation starts immediately upon receipt.

      "Normal" absentee ballots that failed the signature match triggered form letters to the voter (and in this race, a flood of volunteer telephoners and doorbell-knockers), and the problem may be corrected by affidavit or personal appearance up to initial certification (E-day + 2 weeks).

      The sidetracked ballots did not go through this process. They sat in file boxes until roughly the day before the first Supreme Court hearing, and the Arend hearing forcibly halted all related records-dredging and signature-matching.

      IIRC, Dean Logan indicated they had located original signature documents for 583 of the 735 ballots, as of the Supreme Court go-ahead. Canvassing Board met the next day to consider approve processing ballots, and certified the day after. I may be wrong, but I don't think they went beyond the 583, either in combing paper document troves for misfiles, or contacting voters for first-person verification.

    •  The Lib numbers look significant (none)
      ... but remember these were ballots that somehow avoided proper hardcopy-to-digital imaging, or indexing, or lookup for validation. Some misses were presumably random human error (imaging operator asleep at switch) or randomish machine error (form misfeeds) there are probably some non-random risk factors.

      Give a libertarian a form that says "do not fold, spindle or mutilate", and some of them will do all three, in addition to violating "last name first" and any other coding directives.

      My guess is that some of this "spite the system" playfulness gave libertarian registrations more than average odds of ending up in the Land of Lost Signatures.

      •  why bother? (none)
        If they're so damned contemptuous of "the system" that they'll resort to such pettiness, why participate at all?

        It's vaguely like all the Republicans who run for office (supposedly) intending to shrink government to insignificance.

        You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

        by N in Seattle on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 01:30:47 PM PST

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