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They Teach Math In Virginia, Right?

By Greg L | 3 November 2010 | Keith Fimian, Gerry Connolly | 18 Comments

On election night the State Board of Elections reported that they had 26,000 absentee ballots yet to tabulate in the 11th District, even though their website showed they had tabulated the absentee precincts.  Later, they said they had counted all 26,000 ballots in this tweet:

Now official: In Virginia’s 11th district race the 26,000 outstanding absentee ballots HAVE BEEN COUNTED & ARE INCLUDED IN THE RESULTS posted on the sbe website #vaelections

The SBE tallies for absentee ballots in the three localities in the 11th District total 15,825 votes.

So just where did the other 10,175 votes go?

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  1. Not Larry Sabato said on 3 Nov 2010 at 9:47 pm:
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    They don’t call him Boss Connolly for nothing!

    (I kid, I kid).

  2. Cromagnum said on 3 Nov 2010 at 10:28 pm:
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    I smell something fishy?

  3. local gop said on 3 Nov 2010 at 10:47 pm:
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    I think early voting ballots are counted as “absentee” but are tabulated into the precinct results and not the Central Absentee Precinct. Mailed absentee votes are tabulated into the Central Absentee Precinct.

    But that’s just my speculation.

  4. Not Larry Sabato said on 3 Nov 2010 at 10:52 pm:
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    local gop- not sure about PWC, but that is not how they do it in Fairfax.

    Greg- my best guess is the guy was looking at numbers from all of FFX and PWC and not just the 11th precincts.

  5. Greg L said on 3 Nov 2010 at 11:16 pm:
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    I can accept if this was an honest mistake of someone putting out inaccurate information from SBE over twitter, but it really doesn’t help things when they do and then go silent. They hope the information they put out earlier gets ignored, perhaps, as their means of dealing with this?

    There were perhaps as many as three tweets with this number, following some reporting issues that you noticed, and it starts to make people wonder about the integrity of the process. The silence only makes those concerns more troubling.

    Answers would be most helpful in this case.

  6. local gop said on 3 Nov 2010 at 11:42 pm:
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    Thanks, NLS. That was just some off the cuff speculation.

  7. Not Larry Sabato said on 4 Nov 2010 at 12:12 am:
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    Greg, can I just say one thing for anyone concerned with the process. Virginia Electoral Boards by county are made up of 1 Democrat, 1 Republican and 1 member of the Governor’s party. So Republicans have been taking over the boards as terms expire this year- not sure if you have in PWC yet, but I know Fairfax switched over in March. That’s where the ballots were, so I think you can be very confident that nothing happened that swung this election to Gerry by nefarious means.

  8. Greg L said on 4 Nov 2010 at 12:37 am:
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    That wasn’t the first place I went to - the first place was SBE twittering things that weren’t accurate. It’s still worth running down an answer, though, even if you don’t expect it to go beyond the most likely explanation of a human reporting error in a tweet.

  9. Logical Thinker said on 4 Nov 2010 at 6:39 am:
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    I’ll bet that was for all of Farifax, which would have been about right. Botome line is they have a lot of room to improve…

  10. Gurduloo said on 4 Nov 2010 at 7:53 am:
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    Greg, you should email SBE with this question. It might take them a little while to respond as they’re surely busy right now, but I’m sure they would be happy to explain the discrepancy.

  11. Ya Know? said on 4 Nov 2010 at 8:46 am:
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    If something deliberate is happening, please consider the make-up of the Fairfax Electoral Board. With the victory of McDonnell, the make-up shifted from 2 dems and one repub, to 2 repubs and one dem. That is not to say the repubs aren’t hostile to Fimian and carried a grudge from the primary, but considering who the GOP was targeting, that’s a big leap for me.

  12. VW said on 4 Nov 2010 at 9:49 am:
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    By my count, 27,943 absentee ballots were cast in all of Fairfax County, PW County, and Fairfax City. That’s probably the figure the SBE dude was looking at.

  13. Kevin Ricks said on 4 Nov 2010 at 10:31 am:
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    Connolly wins, stop whining.

  14. cdubbs said on 4 Nov 2010 at 5:55 pm:
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    I agree with Kevin. Connolly and his party are DOA for the next two years at least anyway. So while I supported Keith, Connolly being on the parks and recreation subcommittee for footballs as a minority member accomplishes about the same thing. PWC wasn’t going to get any of his support anyway. At least now our tax dollars won’t be going to Fairfax County.

  15. Western Fairfax said on 4 Nov 2010 at 8:10 pm:
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    The answer is that there are two different numbers on absentees. The higher number of almost 28,000 represents the TOTAL number of absentee ballots sent out for all three jurisdictions combined. The number of over 16,000 represents the number of absentee ballots returned and counted by the deadline of 7pm on November 2nd. Yes, that would mean that 12,000 ballots were not returned.

  16. Anonymous said on 4 Nov 2010 at 8:14 pm:
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    Please take a little time out tomorrow to remember the victims of Fort Hood, Texas who were so brutally murdered by an ISLAMIC JIHADI, posing as a U.S. military officer. Responsible for the deadliest shooting in history on an American military post, he murdered 13 people, and injured 32.

    It happened on November 5th, last year.

    Pray for those who are still trying to recover from the injuries inflicted, those who we lost on that day, and for the many friends and family members who will be forever altered.

  17. Harry said on 5 Nov 2010 at 10:47 am:
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    Connolly picked up a net 6 votes during the PWC canvas

  18. me said on 5 Nov 2010 at 2:03 pm:
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    Kevin Ricks said on 4 Nov 2010 at 10:31 am: Flag comment

    Connolly wins, stop whining.

    ………Are you the same Kevin Ricks?


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