Friday, November 05, 2010

It's nearly official: Malloy Wins!

At a 6AM press conference Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced the final results of the vote count, with Dan Malloy receiving 17,800 votes to Tom Foley's 4,075. Which gave the Democratic candidate roughly a 5,000 vote lead statewide.

But of course, what fun is that without a little additional drama? From CT News Junkie:
Finch’s numbers did differ from the final tally prepared by his two city registrars after one final marathon vote-counting session. It lasted from 4:30 p.m. Thursday until 7:30 a.m. Friday. Their numbers: 17,042 to 4,099.

Finch’s numbers did differ from the final tally prepared by his two city registrars after one final marathon vote-counting session. It lasted from 4:30 p.m. Thursday until 7:30 a.m. Friday. Their numbers, announced at 7:30 a.m: 17,042 to 4,099. Registrars posted those numbers on the wall at 7:30 a.m.

But then there was another mess-up: The numbers came off the wall. Registrars said in their haste to put numbers up, they forgot to put some in.

At 8:47 a.m. registrars then called out the super-final, ultra-official numbers they will fax in to the state: 17,923 for Malloy (on the Democrtic and Working Families Party lines) and 4,092 for Foley. Those votes appear not to include ballots cast after 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

One reason for this one last discrepancy: Finch made the announcement at 6 a.m. The film vote wasn’t ready yet. Finch acknowledged that. He said all that was left to be counted at 6 a.m. were ballots that had been cast after 8 p.m. Tuesday—when a judge allowed some precincts to stay open an extra two hours to accommodate people who hadn’t been able to vote when the city ran out of ballots earlier in the day. It turned out there were only 57 votes cast for governor after 8 p.m.

What was odd: Finch actually offered a number for Foley that was too big. At first. (Once the registrars put up the final numbers, we’ll find out.) But the discrepancy should not make a difference in the statewide tally: Foley had been up by 8,409 without Bridgeport. Bridgeport’s final tally (whichever is used) puts Malloy comfortably ahead, by around 5,000 votes, more than double the 2,000-vote margin that would have triggered an automatic recount.
Shouldn't Mayor Finch maybe have had breakfast and read the newspaper before making his ridiculously early statement? I understand the desire to get the announcement out, but when the counting is still going on you probably shouldn't hold a press conference to announce the winner. I'm just sayin'...

Anyway, it appears that now, after 9:30AM, the totals are complete (pending any changes, of course, like finding additional bags of ballots that fell off the truck on the way to City Hall) and will now go up to the Secretary of State's office. Susan's job is to check the math and then officially certify the results.

At that point, we'll officially have a governor-elect.

And the inevitable blizzard of legal paperwork that accompanies any number of challenges by Foley and the Connecticut GOP.


West Haven Bob said...

As I was the Democratic Head Moderator in West Haven for this election, I can give an "expert's" viewpoint on this mess-up:

1) We were made aware of the issue in Bridgeport well before the polls closed; and we warned our district moderators to be doubly careful on their paperwork (in anticipation of possible legal challenges);

2) We also ordered too few ballots, but by carefully monitoring hourly vote counts, we ordered and obtained additional ballots well before we needed them (and I gotta give kudos to our City Clerk for going the extra mile - literally - to pick up these ballots);

3) Even so, we ran out of ballots in two districts; but these shortfalls resulted only in about 20 or 30 photocopied ballots, which needed to be hand-counted; and we had provided our moderators with a preprinted "hand-count" page in their Moderator's return.

It is important to note that this was the FIRST election that the state did NOT reimburse the towns for the costs of printing ballots. The towns - ESPECIALLY the larger cities - have severe budget issues; and the costs of these ballots are significant.

In 2002, West Haven had a 36% voter turnout; in 2006, it was 39% (but a 70% turnout in 2008's Presidential election). We expected (and ordered for) a 42% turnout...and had a 45% turnout.

West Haven Bob said...

I should have added that Finch's foolish presser is only topped by Bysiewicz' even dumber "unofficial" pronouncement (which was, as I understand, based on AP returns, which were in turn based on the SOTS returns which were....)

These premature pronouncements - based on a natural desire to provide info to the public as quickly as possible - only add to the public's confusion and doubts...and give unnecessary cause for the losing candidate reason to believe in potential fraud.

If there is any lesson to be had here, it is to give the public only what is certain (in this case, "We have to wait until Bridgeport hand counts, and then and ONLY then will we know the final result."

CT Bob said...

How much do ballots cost?

oldswede said...

Bob & Bob,
In today's America, the election isn't legitimate until the Republican wins. You should know that. It's been the law ever since Florida 2000.

CT Bob said...

Only if the GOP runs the election. Like in Florida2000.

lakezoarian said...

A bit O/T to this thread, but I thought folks would like to know (if they don't already) that it was a Deomcratic sweep up in Massachusetts!

And for those fun partiers; the ballot initiative to eliminate the state tax on alcohol passed too. Woo hoo! So now it might be a little cheaper when someone's got a dry throat from smokin' that big blunt (Decriminalization down to a mere infraction for a small amount from the last cycle) when they go out to the mini-mart to get some beer at 10:50 PM...

Sure makes the Nutmeg state seem pretty puritanical.

carterman said...

I am sure it's only a matter hours until the first "This election was stolen!" comments start to surface. Lawsuits much?

West Haven Bob said...

One single ballot cost us $1.00 each for the first 300 ballots, thereafter). We had four different ballots (because of differing State Senate & Rep races in town). Doesn't seem like a lot, does it?

But we ordered 12,500 ballots (for a town with 30,000 voters). that comes to over $6,000 out of the town's budget. Add to that the additional 4,000 ballots, and you're talking serious money out of a town's budget pared beyond the absolute minimum.

West Haven Bob said...

[$0.55 each for the ballots thereafter] is what is missing fm the above

CT Bob said...

That seems absurdly high for black ink on white paper. True, it's thick paper, but has the state put this out to bid, or is it up to each town to make their own deals for ballots? Is there a single printer to handle these?

You can probably buy a commercial printer that can create the two-sided ballots for less than a couple years' worth of printing costs. Then you'll have all the ballots you need, with the ability to print them as you go if required.

Anyway, we'll likely see a new law next year requiring towns to obtain one ballot for each registered voter. And when we get same-day registration, it'll probably be 110% required.

West Haven Bob said...

We are required to use only those printers certified by the state. As far as I know, these are LHS (who formats the tabulator memory cards - and who I've been told is owned by Diebold, the manufacturer of the Optical Scan tabulators) and Adkins. We used Adkins, located in New Britain.

If we are required to pay for a ballot for every voter, this will ruin each town's budget...unless they can freely have the ballots' printing put out to bid. We are at the mercy of the manufacturer of the memory cards, however, and I doubt this will come to pass.

CT Bob said...

It sounds like just another election-related problem that needs fixing.

I've got a hell of a list waiting for Denise when she takes office!

Unknown said...

"It sounds like just another election-related problem that needs fixing. I've got a hell of a list waiting for Denise when she takes office!"-CT BOB

CT BOB: Are you saying this is somehow DENISE NAPPIER'S fault? If so, how, pray tell? Thank you and God Bless you--Rev. Barb

CT Bob said...

Not exactly, Rev. Barb; I'm talking about our incoming Sec. of State Denise Merrill. She's gonna have a full in-box of my suggestions for improving voting here in CT.

matt said...

WH Bob, Diebold does not own LHS, but one of their subsidiaries does manufacture the AccuVote machines.

CT Bob, ballot prices depend on size and quantity of each ballot style -- from Adkins, you can get prices as low as about 30 cents, or as high as 50 cents. Red bubbles cost extra. LHS usually charges about a nickel extra per ballot, though some swear that their ballots have fewer alignment issues. (Other, more conspiracy-minded people believe that LHS is responsible for causing Adkins' occasional alignment problems. All it really means is that Registrars are, individually, pretty passionate advocates of one printer or the other.)

The other x-factor is that memory card programming and ballot printing need to be done in coordination, and the software to generate the unique codes for the ballots runs in the tens of thousands of dollars. You might, in the (very) long run, see SOTS centralizing the programming functions and ballot design, but the costs are prohibitive for towns to do this on their own.

Gabe said...

Hey Bob,

Why are you blaming the election on Denise Richards? Jerk.

Gabe said...

Initially, I thought you meant the Denise video chipset from the Commodore Amiga computer from the 1980s, because that would be the obvious reference to "Denise" in your post (or really any post, no?), not Secretary of the State-elect DENISE Merrill.

So I know exactly where Rev. Barb is coming from.

CT Bob said...

No no no, Gabe, I was blaming the election on the character "Denise" from the 1999 movie "Bad Girls", played by Joanna Brookes! She was the one responsible for the Bridgeport voting situation. Bitch!

FWIW, I think Denise Richards and the Denise chipset (along with Denise Nappier) are entirely blameless for the voting fiasco.

But I'm still waiting for the good Rev. Barb to make some sort of correction. Not holding my breath, though. 'Cause I'd probably die or something.

CT Bob said...

A Tweet from yesterday:

bluecanaan - New Canaan Democrats

@ConnecticutBob Holy cow. I personally blame Denise Richards. Or, perhaps, Dennis Leary. I know that's who you *really* meant.