Monday, February 8, 2016

All school and fire Levies pass. A look back at November 2015

Updated 2/10/2016: All School and Fire levies pass. 32% turnout with 40K voting.
Today (February 9th) there is a special election for school  and fire district financing throughout the county ... Remember to Vote. Drop Boxes are placed throughout the county. If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked (with stamp) by February 9th. If you are around downtown Bellingham, there will be a drive through drop box near the court house open until 8 p.m.  You can check your voter status, update your address, or register to vote online in WA at .  Some Charts from the 2015 Election are below the break.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Defense Indexes vs Mass Shooting Database >= 14 'Dead + Injured'

In my last post, I established that the FBI will complete the three year period (2013 - 2015) with ~64M NICS background checks for firearms purchase.  In this post, I look at the relationship between two Defense  index/exchanges traded over the same period. Specifically, I am interested in the whether there is a relationship  between high volume "spree shootings" and equity increases for defense companies. If widespread publicity of spree shootings encourages Americans to purchase extraordinary volumes of weapons, does this in turn equal greater purchase of defense stock? R code here.

Here are the eleven events with (Dead + Injured) >=  14 mass shooting incidents according to Mass Shooting Tracker. I have left out shooter names. Some of these events will be recognizable by location:

Monday, December 14, 2015

AR-15s, Shopping Carts and Gun Ownership in America

Update: December 2015 and 2015 the year broke records which rendered my 2.3M projection for December short. 3.3M NICS  checks were completed for December 2015 bring the yearly totally 23M. Both numbers are records. I will update my projected  December data at some point. - RMF

Last week's cover for the "New Yorker" shows a happy, clean cut, young couple picking up their AR-15 (?) with their milk and hand grenades in their shopping cart at a local super mart.  2.2M NICS FBI  firearm checks were completed in Novermber 2015. After the December totals come in, it looks like we will have over 23M NICS checks for 2015, an all time annual record. Ironically, the day of the San Bernardino shooting (12/2), the NYT announced we broke a record for single day guns sales on the last Black Friday. If we don't already, we probably now have more firearms in America than cars. This would make sense because more people now die from firearms than car accidents in America.  I made a quick projection of the 221M NICS gun checks in America for the last 17 years. Between 2013 - 2015, 29% of all gun checks for the last 17 years will have been processed. I projected December 2015 at 2.3M.:

 (21093273 + 20968547 + (19827376 + 2300000)) / (222363898 - 892840)
2013 + 2014 + projected(2015)  / (eighteen year total  - first incomplete year)
[1] 0.2898311

For the three years 2013 - 2015, there will be (projected) 64,189,196 (~64M) NICS FBI gun checks processed. If all of those checks were approved, that three year total would be equivalent to 20% of our 315M population.  More data on NICS Operations can be found here

This is a (table) matrix from the data found here.  December 2015 data projected. Click to enlarge tables and charts.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Gun Deaths in America: Suicides, Homicides, "Mass Shooting Tracker" Data


Important note: RMF:12/24/2015 Shooting Tracker data  is now maintained by Gun Violence Archive at

This is an attempt to parse some of the data from Shooting Tracker and talk about death by firearms in America. The project took me a bit longer than I wanted because that data needed normalization and corrections and because the subject is somewhat poorly researched due to Congressional limitations on research. See my R code here.  I bound together Shooting Tracker data from three years of  mass shootings which those publishers define as any shooting that injures and/or kills four or more combined. This definition gives us 1,347 dead and 3,817  injured  from "mass shootings" for the three year period 2013 - 2015 (to date).  Before we talk about this comparatively small number of deaths and injury, some background statistics are in order on gun violence in America. I assume the data is accurate and analyze it as I find it for all my sources including Mass Shooting Tracker, CDC and the FBI.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

GIS based precinct maps: Ballots Good, Jack and Joy.

These are 2015 precinct election maps. GIS code in R is time consuming and complex. Click to enlarge these maps. The equal frequency (quartile) class intervals are expressed as: (min,max) for good ballots for the 2014 and 2015 general elections. The Jack Louws, Joy Gilifilen, and  precinct differences (Jack - Joy) totals for 2015 are expressed in color driven scales which have separate ranges (indexes) per map. Both precincts 182 and 183 have part of their data hidden in the totals by the state of WA to protect privacy. The shape files  and precinct maps can be found here. My R code (which is very derivative - see 1,2) can be found here (3,4).  If you are a friend and you need code and data, email me.

Friday, November 27, 2015

2015 Voting Analysis Under Construction: Joy vs. Jack, Jail_yes vs. Jail_no

 By precinct diffs. Those points above the horizontal blue 0 line are precincts that sided with Jack Luows. Those points left of the vertical red 0 line are precincts that voted against the jail.   (Vertical Axis: (Louws - Gilfilen) ~ Horizontal Axis ( Jail_Yes - Jail_No)) . Strong relationships are revealed between those precincts voting  more for Jack and the Jail  (far right) and those voting more for Joy and not for the Jail (bottom left).  The dense 'crook' in the middle of the graph represents those precincts still mostly totaling for Jack  Luows but very split in voting for or against the jail.  Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Still Counting Ballots, 11/16/2015 Matchback Report, We are the sixth highest in total ballots in WA.

Top ten WA Counties by ballots counted in table below. Note that Whatcom County outvoted three counties more populous than than itself this year, making us the county with the sixth largest vote in WA. 2014 population figures (1000s): Whatcom = 208K, Yakima = 247K, Kitsap = 254K, Thurston = 265K . High turnouts are very useful and advantageous. Politicians and other pundits notice when your county can "bring it"!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Curing your Ballot: A look at Signature Issues

So these numbers below might help those reclaiming challenged ballots or "curing ballots". If we look at the results to date, we see there are 656 Challenged Ballots.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Matchback Report 11/03/2015

Ralph Schwartz is reporting from the Auditor that our ballots will roll in heavy through Thursday because of  "the move of our mail processing facility from Everett to Redmond."  Heaven help us. Our ballots have to ship four counties away and come back? What kind of secure "chain of custody" is that?!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Carbon, Snow and Ice: How I voted and why...

Three PDF based snapshots from the Whatcom County Sample Ballot are at the end fo this post.   Here's a rundown on how I voted:

Matchbacks for 11/02/2014

Tonight's Whatcom County matchbacks counted 10,560 votes from this last Friday evening until Monday evening. The voter roll now stands at 129,857 registered voters. It has not been frozen. I asked the election staff tonight to update that figure, but they will not update it until after the election. 93,862 ballots remain out. Currently, there are 34,752 Good ballots (e.g 'ready for tabulation'), 245 Challenged Ballots, 504 Undeliverable, 904 ballots have been marked Void. You should receive notice if your ballot has been challenged. If you would like to check, go to to see the status of your ballot. If you have not received a ballot and believed you were registered but did not change your address at, you may still be able to contact the Elections office and work that out.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Matchbacks 10.26.2015

Another 4,903 ballots were returned from Friday to Monday afternoon, bringing the total marked good ballots to 14,146 to date. These are the top ten precincts with the most "Good" ballots: