Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Is this the spoilage? And thanks for your efforts in Whatcom County!

Having looked at these the latest  (certified) general election statistics this morning, now I have to ask:
(87,431 Ballots Returned) - (86,993 Total Ballots Cast)  = 438 spoiled ballots? That would be a pretty low percentage of spoiled ballots if so:  438/87431 = 0.005 or .5% (1/2 of 1%).  It would be interesting to know what the causes of this election's spoiled ballots are in any event.  Missing signatures, deceased voters, food spilled over the ballot?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Larsen Analysis in Whatcom County

The Washington Post is running a fascinating article on the election results, with a chart that maps the endorsements of candidates from "Freedom Works", "Tea Party Express", Sarah Palin and the confluence between these groups.  The 2nd Congressional was one of the six races where all three of these groups were apparently endorsing the same candidate (John Koster).  Despite this, Larsen narrowly won his seat, after winning his three previous elections by over 60%
Why were San Juan and Whatcom County so resistant to the combined right wing push against Larsen? Below is what the final total will probably look like, excluding the 260 total votes from the small corner of King County that is part of second congressional. Essentially, Larsen drew even in Island and Skagit counties, San Juan (the most progressive vote in WA State), nullified his narrow loss in Snohomish (the most populous county in the 2nd Congressional), and Whatcom County assured most of his margin of victory. Since the vote drifted left as the counting continued (at least it did so in Whatcom County), we can assume Larsen benefited from high turn out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whatcom County at 86,949 Votes Counted

Certification Date:11/23/2010
Number of Precincts:120
Number of Registered Voters:116576
Total Ballots Cast:86949
Ballots Left to Count:0
Next Ballot Count On:Nov 23 2010 5:30PM
Last Tabulated:Nov 17 2010 5:07PM
Voter Turnout:74.59%

Vincent Buys (Prefers Republican Party)
Kelli Linville (Prefers Democratic Party)

30594 - 30436 =158 difference between them now.
30594 + 30436 = 61030 total votes
158/61030 = 0.0025888907094871374733737506144519 percentage difference

So does Linville qualify for a manual recount now or not?

"A machine recount will occur if the election results for the top two candidates are separated by more than 150 votes and less than 2,000 votes."
"A manual recount will occur if the difference between the top two candidates is less than one-quarter of one percent and the two are separated by 150 votes or fewer."

Looks like she is eight votes short (!!)

So here's my pitch:

The November 12th print edition of La Raza Del Noroeste

Editor's Note -  12/24/2015 RMF : I  updated link addresses for La Raza Del Noroeste to I also updated demographic stats to 2014 from Census for WA and Whatcom County. For some reason, this 11/17/2010 post became very popular this week. 

Above is a photo of the political cartoons in the November 12 print edition of La Raza Del Noroeste, available this week at Taco Lobo in downtown Bellingham.. Beneath the cartoon is an editorial by Maria Elena Salinas entitled, "Impacto Latino legislative elections" [Google Chrome will translate this into English if you like, with some accurate results...].

Ms. Salinas comments:
"the first published data on voter turnout among Latinos continues to reflect 2 votes Democrats for a Republican. Latinos voted between 62 percent and 64 percent for Democrats and between 30 percent and 33 percent for Republican candidates, except Florida and New Mexico."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Whatcom County at 86,758 votes counted: Spoiled Ballots, Recounts, and Precinct Analysis

Not quite the end yet...

Certification Date:
Number of Precincts:
Number of Registered Voters:
Total Ballots Cast:
Ballots Left to Count:
Next Ballot Count On:
Nov 17 2010 5:00PM
Last Tabulated:
Nov 12 2010 6:13PM
Voter Turnout:

Here is a rough summary of the election week to come:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Whatcom County at 86,379 Votes Counted

Certification Date:11/23/2010
Number of Precincts:120
Number of Registered Voters:116576
Total Ballots Cast:86379
Ballots Left to Count:400
Next Ballot Count On:Nov 12 2010 5:00PM
Last Tabulated:Nov 10 2010 6:38PM
Voter Turnout:74.10%

Except for the short Saturday count, Linville has been narrowing Buy’s tenuous lead at every ballot count. To be frank, I was surprised (given the drift toward the Democrats), that she didn’t catch Buys earlier. I chocked it up to the poor showing for the Democrats in the 42nd (Jensen and Jerns were never really within striking distance…). However, Linville is a long time incumbent. She would have many established relationships among 42nd precincts. In addition, even the 42nd was drifting toward the Democrats in the Jensen and Jerns races, although the ‘drift’ was no where near the Democrat stampede in the 40th in Whatcom County: Morris and Lytton each have over 61% of the Whatcom County Vote for their seats. Whether Linville can pick up enough votes in a manual (hand) recount...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Whatcom County at 84,835 Votes Counted

One more (very small) count! Strange that they didn't finish all the votes tonight.  Linville and Buys are separated by 311 votes with 1900 to count. Here's the law  on recounts (I think):

"In races where the top two candidates receive a combined total of more than 60,000 votes, a manual (hand) recount is required when the difference between the two is less than 150 votes. In races with fewer than 60,000 votes, a manual recount is triggered by a difference of less than one-quarter of one percent."

Buys/Linville are at 59561 total votes tonight with 1900 noted as left to count. This means if Linville narrows the lead by 161 votes in this next count there will be a manual (hand) recount. I'm trying to understand the electoral dynamics that lets Charlie Wiggins almost catch Richard Sanders in Whatcom (actually Wiggins will apparently win statewide now), but has kept Jean Melious consistently 10 percentage points or more behind in a race where all the liberals/progressives/Democrats have consistently narrowed the gap or taken the lead almost immediately after the initial count in "all county" votes.

Certification Date:11/23/2010
Number of Precincts:120
Number of Registered Voters:116576
Total Ballots Cast:84835
Ballots Left to Count:1900
Next Ballot Count On:Nov 10 2010 6:00PM
Last Tabulated:Nov 9 2010 5:43PM
Voter Turnout:72.77%

Whatcom County at 83,070 Votes

Almost done!  Do you think Kelli Linville is jealous of fellow Democrat Kristine Lytton's 5259 vote lead in Whatcom County ? The participation rates for Murray and R. Larsen's election are running very high: currently 97.94% for Rick Larsen's inevitable victory. He leads now by 5484 for all of the 2nd Congressional. In Whatcom County, he leads by 5035!  Most probably, he will lose Snohomish, Island, and Skagit to Koster , even in spite of all those Boeing jobs he tries so hard to save in his birth county of Snohomish.  Essentially, he will owe his victory to the 'fighting progressives' of San Juan and Whatcom County!  Where are our jobs, Congressman Larsen? With Linville's impending loss, can there be any doubt that R. Larsen's lead comes from the same 5K thousand vote difference that Lytton has from the 40th state district?

Number of Registered Voters:116576
Total Ballots Cast:83070
Ballots Left to Count:3800
Next Ballot Count On:Nov 9 2010 6:30PM
Last Tabulated:Nov 8 2010 7:24PM
Voter Turnout:71.26%

Monday, November 8, 2010

Whatcom County at 74,322 Votes Counted

A meager four thousand plus  ballots were counted over the weekend on Saturday. Linville's comeback attempt slipped a bit. Melious continued to slip further behind T. Larson. Essentially, all the other Dems who had extended their leads in recent counts, continued to do so. (Murray, Larsen, Lytton, Morris). The losing Democrats (Jerns, Jensen, Wiggins) held about even. It is unlikely that the last 12,000 votes will change any of this, with the longshot exception of Linville.  An increase in her voting might at least force a recount.  The ballot counting will probably conclude Tuesday, barring unforeseen consequences.

I find it important that the total votes for the federal county wide races (Murray, R. Larsen) are roughly nine thousand more than Melious/T. Larson county seat race.  (This phenomena is known as "fall off".) The initial ballot count on 'opening night' had the total participation between the races with about 5K difference.  The last two ballot counts have really opened up that gap to 9K.  I would suggest that is indicative that recent ballots counted had less interest in the county seat. Participation in the  40th state district in Whatcom County is remarkably equal (>10 votes) for both seats. This suggests  a very committed and  liberal block in the 40th that has given over 60% of the vote to both Morris and Lytton. The 40th state district plus the 42nd state district  total participation are nearly equal to Murray/Rossi turnouts. Clearly, were all of Whatcom County one district, it is unlikely that any Republicans would serve here in elected capacity. Interestingly enough, Morris and Lytton are not winning either Island or Skagit (where they both reside).  If Skagit/Island were one state district and Whatcom/San Juan another, the representation would clearly be Republican for Skagit/Island and Democratic for Whatcom/San Juan.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Whatcom County at 70,712 Votes Counted

This is the fourth round of ballot counting. 70,712  ballots have been counted with 17,000 ballots noted as left to count. Kelli Linville has drawn within 545 votes of Vincent Buys.  The remaining 17,000 ballots (if no more arrive) should be representative of the increasingly  liberal turnout here, a pattern revealed in the general election of 2008, which broke a record for turnout in Whatcom County. Support for  Murray, Larsen, Morris, Lytton continues to strengthen in Whatcom County. In contradistinction, Tony Larson increased his large lead over Jean Melious. Go figure.

Why should the 'later' turnouts be more 'liberal' or 'progressive'? Actually, it is not a "late" turnout since the ballots are all collected or postmarked on time. And it may not explicitly be 'liberal' or 'progressive'. I believe this is a question of participation. There are a number of natural constituencies for the Democratic or a progressive party in Whatcom County that have only recently begun to be tapped. I imagine, based on current census data, that some of these groups would/could include names/numbers like these:
  • Students 16,000 - 18,000 95% registered?
  • Hispanic Origin 12,000 - 13,000 60% registered?
  • Native Americans 5,000 - 6,000 60% registered?
  • African Americans  2,000 60% registered?

These groups may represent as many as twenty-five thousand registered votes in Whatcom County and they will continue to increase in volume over time.  These groups may also represent some of the least resourced and/or most transient populations in Whatcom County, making it more difficult for them to consistently complete the fundamentals of citizenship.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Whatcom at 62,132 votes counted

This is the third night of counting ballots in Whatcom County. There have been 62,132 ballots counted. There are 24,000 ballots left to count as of tonight. The combined totals of counted + uncounted ballots for the last three nights are: 65378, 75869, 86132.  Each round of voting has seen an acceleration in the combined total. This is where we stand now:

Number of Registered Voters:116576
Total Ballots Cast:62132
Ballots Left to Count:24000

There has been a substantial shift to more progressive/liberal/Democratic votes over the last two rounds of ballot counting. It is entirely possible that Whatcom County votes are saving Patty Murray and Rick Larsen their seats. (And that says something remarkable and flexible about Whatcom County progressives, particularly after some progressives were  thrown in jail  for their anti-war efforts at Larsen's office. )  Lytton and Morris totals are approaching 60% of the vote, the modern landslide margins of victory. Linville and Wiggins continue to close the gap on their opponents in Whatcom County. Jean Melious has not seen any benefit from from this tendency, which surprises me because the other countywide races and the 40th state district races have.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Whatcom County at 55,869 counted

(Your going to have to look at this post in something besides IE.  My open office pastes do something weird in IE.)

Okay.  55,869 total ballots counted tonight with 20,000 noted as now left to count. Murray  and Larsen are starting to pull away in Whatcom County and Linville made up some serious ground as well. My math shows she still has a chance to pull this out. Melious can't catch a break though, still behind by roughly that same amount despite an extra 5K votes counted for that race.
So I find this interesting. This round of voting reflects a more liberal bias with increased turnout, but not for Melious.  This confuses me. Melious should be benefiting similarly, especially since her connections in the progressive 40th district should translate into more votes. Well, there are still 20,000 left to count. Maybe they contain lots of WWU ballots!  A look at the dense Bellingham precincts confirm that she is doing well there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Whatcom County had 49,378 votes counted by 8:10 PM.!

(I'm sorry this post displays so badly in Internet Explorer....Try Firefox till I figure out IE. 8.0 column display...)
Well, I must have missed something. Whatcom County had 49,378 votes counted by 8:10 PM.! 
In Whatcom County, with 49,378 counted and 16,000 to count tomorrow, Patty Murray holds an 164 
point lead over Dino Rossi. If she wins, and it looks like she might, Whatcom County will have played
a part.  She's only ahead in nine counties tonight. We are one of them.  Rick Larsen  is doing just a 
little better than Patty with a mere with a 600 point lead (in Whatcom) over John Koster. Rick is 1429
votes ahead behind Koster on the strength of  Whatcom and San Juan Counties with 50% of the vote counted.
He is losing Island, Skagit, and Snohomish.  If these two Dems win their races, they will owe it to progressives
here in Whatcom County. Let us make sure they know this.

Both these races collected over 48,500 votes tonight, significantly more than state legislative races of 
Ericksen/Jerns, Overstreet/Jensen, Buys/Linville, each of which gathered nearly 35,000 votes per each

Because Whatcom County state legislative districts are divided  between the 40th and 42nd districts,
most of that 13,500 vote participation difference between the state  and federal races can thus be understood.
Nonetheless, it looks like the federal Democrats will ride to victory (just barely!) in this county, while the state
Democrats candidates here in the 42nd (Jerns,Jensen,Linville) apparently will go down to defeat so that Lytton 
and Morris can win in the 40th. What a difference Lytton's 2307 strong lead tonight would have made
for long-time incumbent Kelli Linville, who is losing to Vincent Buys by 1519 votes. That may be too much
for Kelli to make up in tomorrow's count, but it is hard to know. I find it surprising that Murray and 
(Rick) Larsen are squeaking out a lead tonight while (Tony) Larson is thumping Jean Melious by 
6020 votes. For all the heat he took for it, Tony's strategy of skipping debates to meet county folks paid off.
Who knew? Somebody did....

Remember to Vote!!

Today is the big day! As of last night (5:00 PM November 1) 55,583 ballots (48%) have been returned. The new drive-in ballot box for Whatcom County is in the (south Courthouse Parking Lot next to the LightCatcher Cafe/Whatcom Museum. The new drop box has a Grand Ave entrance. There will be ballot drop boxes all around the county. "Your ballot needs to be postmarked no later than Election Day or deposited at a drop site below." All  these locations can be dropped into  except for the WWU site:
  • Blaine City Hall 344 H St., Blaine, WA
  • Deming Library 5044 Mt. Baker Hwy., Deming, WA
  • Everson Library 104 Kirsch Dr., Everson, WA
  • Ferndale Library 2222 Main St., Ferndale, WA
  • Laurel Fire Station 6028 Guide Meridian, Bellingham, WA
  • Lynden Library 216 4th St., Lynden, WA
  • Western Washington University 515 High Street, Rm 714 Viking Union, Bellingham, WA
This election will be big news all over the country.  The San Francisco Giants did us a big favor by taking the World Series in five games. World Series Party Tonight? Election Tomorrow?  S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsom should give the entire city the day off...The morning to recover from their hangovers and the evening to vote... But back to Bellingham...Here in Whatcom County, rain should mostly pass by leaving us not too cold and somewhat clear for Election Day. I would imagine turnout will be substantial and that the vote counting will go on for at least seven days or longer. Don't be a goat, VOTE!!!