Friday, November 09, 2007

Why you need bloggers

If you've been relying on the newspapers to cover the election results, you're probably a bit confused or blissfully misinformed:

1) ThisWeek reported that turnout was about 3,300 out of 10,000 registered voters, and they restated later that turnout was 33%. This is simply flat out wrong. They reported the correct percentage for Brennan, 24.86%, so they obviously had access to the right numbers, so there really is no good excuse for that. I can't be too hard on them, though, as even though turnout was better than 40%, it appears that I double-counted the absentees (the original count didn't include them, then the absentee report went up, and I added that number to the unofficial count, as (oops) did the BOE). So go to the Board of Elections results page, and do the math yourself. You'll find 4239 votes.

2) The Dispatch reports that there are several local races that could be subject to mandatory recounts, but they do not mention the School Board race here in Bexley. The election night margin of 13 votes between Joan Fishel and Michele Kusma is well within the 1/2% of the total votes cast. That margin does not include provisional ballots and there are potential overseas absentee ballots that could be added to the total. There are therefore three possibilities: 1) Joan Fishel could pick up enough extra votes (about 10 more than MK) in the official count to bump the margin to more than 1/2%*, and a recount would only happen if Kusma requested it. 2) The margin could stay roughly the same, and an automatic recount would be triggered to confirm a Fishel victory, or 3) Kusma could pick up 13 more votes than Fishel, and an automatic recount would be triggered to confirm a Kusma victory. I'll let folks know what I hear about updated vote totals.

3) The Dispatch speculates that provisional and absentee ballots could cause the mayoral margin to move into automatic recount territory. That's some ridiculously unrealistic speculation. You'd be looking at Lampke picking up approximately 30 more votes than Brennan. I highly doubt that there are even as many as 50 outstanding votes. Brennan and Lampke took fewer than half of the votes overall in the unofficial results, so giving them 80% of the outstanding votes is another stretch. Then, Lampke would have to defeat Brennan 35 to 5 among those 40 votes. Mr. Lampke is not talking like he expects a recount, and nobody else should be holding their breath, either.

*Thanks to those who pointed out the correct margin - I had said elsewhere that off the top of my head I thought it was 1/4%, which was incorrect recall on my part.

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