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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's the Closeness of the Race, Not the Speed of the Tally, That Makes Ballot Counting Look Slow

Posted by on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:04 AM

For all the bitching about how long it takes to count ballots in Washington State, it turns out we're not so different after all:

Two weeks ago, Barack Obama was triumphantly re-elected as US president. The strange thing is that the votes are still being counted 14 days later.

[...] As several slow-counting big states and cities – most notably in New York and California – continue to report new vote totals, it's increasingly clear that the 2012 election wasn't that close after all.

In fact, in this whole piece on slow vote counting, Washington isn't mentioned at all. Go figure.

The truth is, any jurisdiction with a substantive number of mail-in/absentee and provisional ballots is going to look like it counts ballots slow whenever it has an extremely close race. (And any jurisdiction without a substantive number of mail-in/absentee and provisional ballots is likely suppressing turnout.) Washington had no close races at the federal or statewide level this year, so our ballot counting was plenty fast enough to produce quick and conclusive results.

 

Comments (7) RSS

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7
@6:
We don't know who the governor-elect is or who the senator-elect is or who the new AG is for days and days and days.

Oh really? In 2012, we knew who was the Senator-elect long before the election; the ballots merely confirmed it. While the pundits may have rumbled for several days about a "too-close-to-call" gubernatorial race, those who actually looked at the numbers (e.g. Slog and HorsesAss) called it for Inslee on the day after the election ... based on the Election Day ballot totals. And the AG race was so over after the first ballot drop that no one even bothered to "call" it for Ferguson.

Besides, we know who won all races well before January. And really, all that matters is that the Chief Justice (or President of the Senate) swears in the correct person.
Posted by N in Seattle http://peacetreefarm.org on November 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 6
OK, point taken, G. But still, I want to see something implemented wherein we know the winner of a close race (and there are a lot of them in Washington) in a matter of hours - not weeks. I mean it seemingly happens every election cycle. We don't know who the governor-elect is or who the senator-elect is or who the new AG is for days and days and days.

What we really need is a national standardized system managed by an independent third-party like the League of Women Voters for instance.
Posted by Bauhaus I on November 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
5
@4:

Surely you mean "cobbling", not "hobbling".

Have another cup of tea, Goldy.
Posted by N in Seattle http://peacetreefarm.org on November 21, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
Goldy 4
@2 Whatever. You try quickly hobbling together an early morning post before your first cup of caffeine has kicked in.
Posted by Goldy on November 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM · Report this
3
I think that for a couple of King County Superior Court judges, the ballot counting is agonizingly slow.
Posted by Count Vronsky on November 21, 2012 at 8:36 AM · Report this
2
It's "substantial" - not "substantive"
Posted by Fluffy on November 21, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 1
The real irony is as the vote count closes, Rmoney is almost exactly at...wait for it... 47%! Yes, that and he won the red taker states. It was himself he's been talking nasty about!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 21, 2012 at 8:21 AM · Report this

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