Sunday, November 12, 2006


CA-50: Votes not yet counted

The official election results for San Diego County are at (It forwards to a page under

At the moment, the results page says:
There are approximately 110000 Absentee / Provisional ballots still to be counted
It's been nearly a week since the election, and there are still 110,000 votes not counted. It looks like 657,000 votes have been counted so far (judging by the total votes for Governor and Senator), so about 14% of the votes haven't been counted yet.

Now let's look at the 50th Congressional District, which is entirely within San Diego County. The total vote count for the district is 29% of the total for the county (ignoring the possibility of undervotes, i.e., voters who voted for Governor or Senator but didn't bother to vote for a Representative). So assuming the uncounted votes are evenly distributed, there should be about 32,000 votes that haven't yet been counted in the CA-50 race. (Probably including mine and my wife's, by the way; grrrr.)

The posted results are:
  • Bilbray (R) 101967, 53.52%
  • Busby (D) 82175, 43.13%
  • King (Lib) 3529, 1.85%
  • Clark (P/F) 2858, 1.50%
but it's really more like this:
  • Bilbray (R) 101967, 45.8%
  • Busby (D) 82175, 36.9%
  • NOT YET COUNTED 32000, 14.4%
  • King (Lib) 3529, 1.59%
  • Clark (P/F) 2858, 1.28%
(These numbers are approximate, and they depend on a number of assumptions -- not the least of which is that I haven't made any arithmetic errors.)

Busby is still nearly 20,000 votes behind Bilbray. How likely is it that she can catch up when the remaining 110,000 votes are finally counted? Probably not very; the 50th is a heavily Republican district. But then again, a lot of the absentee and provisional ballots are bound to be from voters who don't trust the new Diebold touchscreen voting machines, and I'll bet they lean more Democratic than the district as a whole.

UPDATE: Francine Busby has not conceded:
As I promised my supporters, I will respect every voter’s right to have their vote counted before making any final statements about the election.
UPDATE 2: The number of uncounted votes county-wide is down to 60,000, and Bilbray now leads Busby by 20,913 votes. It ain't over until the votes are actually counted (or at least until the margin exceeds the number of uncounted votes in the district), but it's not looking good.

By the way, back when all ballots were on paper, it didn't take this long to count the votes. Have they forgotten how to count votes? Accuracy is much more important than speed, but what's taking them so long?

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