Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Do the ballot numbers add up in King County?

I wonder if we will ever find out what the true, complete and accurate vote counts for King County were.

Just poking around in their data for the initial ballot canvassing and initial certification of the county’s 2004 general election returns, I found that I couldn’t get their numbers to add up.

Is this November 3, 2004, statement by Logan’s office simply wrong?

Final results from the polls indicate 305,380 voters cast ballots at the polls; however, the majority of ballots cast in King County will to come by mail. Of the 646,537 absentee ballots issued, 400,507, or 62 percent, have been returned.

The reported total of 305,380 ballots cast at the polling places doesn’t seem to add up correctly with the totals reported for provisional ballots and absentee ballots.

The number of absentee ballots was reported as 566,291 on November 15, 16, and 18, 2004.

The number of provisional ballots cast was reported as 31,545 on November 17 – along with a reported total of 27,641 provisional ballots which were accepted as having been cast by eligible voters.

305,380 ballots at polling places,
27,641 provisional ballots accepted as valid, and
566,291 absentee ballots accepted as valid, add up to
899,312 total ballots as of Nov. 17, 2004, when the county's election returns were certified.

Yet the reported total ballot count was 898,238, which is 1,074 less than the total of the three kinds of ballots. [Update March 7, 11:50 AM: The same 898,238 ballot count for the initial certification of election returns on November 17 was reported to the Secretary of State.]

Why can’t I make the numbers add up for the initial election returns from King County?

Am I missing something?


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