Thursday, November 6, 2008

49,129; 48,130; 49,131...

That's the Department of Elections, counting ballots. Estimates are ranging wildly from 60,000 (Dept. of Elections) to 130,000 (Aaron Peskin in the Chronicle) of how many SF ballots are still to be counted. Here's what it says on the Dept. of Elections website as of today at 1 pm:

Last Updated: 11/5/2008 2:55 PM

Total Registration and Turnout

Registration 477,651
Total Ballots Cast 241,090 50.47 %
Election Day Reporting 191,962
Vote by Mail / Absentee Reporting

Check out that turn-out number: 50.47%. (This reflects only those ballots that have been counted.) Now go to the elections archive page and see what historic voter turn-out in SF has been: 74.3% in November 2004, the last presidential election. With Obama and Prop. 8 on the ballot, did only 63% of San Franciscans turn out (projected total if there are only 60,000 ballots left to count)? I don't think so. If there are 130,000 left to count, the total turn-out would be 77.6%. Now that sounds more like it.

I think Rachel is right in concluding that the number of outstanding ballots must be much higher than 60,000, because I can't believe that turn-out for this election was less than for the last presidential election. In Noe Valley alone, which usually has the highest voter turnout in the city, they are currently only recording a 56% turnout. And best of all, Rachel feels that these uncounted ballots will tend to go more moderate, which favors her (she is the one who tipped me off to the historical turn-out figures). The Department of Elections is now saying they should know the results by Friday. Stay tuned.

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