November 9, 2005

Counting District 14 ballots

Last night, I thought Mike Lane was ahead of Mike Hattery by 10 votes. This morning, the Board of Elections reported Hattery ahead by 41. When I arrived at the Board this afternoon, the difference had changed to 36, as a 9 on the tally sheet had been read as a 4. The next three hours were a long process of checking the reporting sheets, examining (and sometimes challenging) absentee and affidavit ballots.

Republicans review absentee ballots
Republicans review absentee ballots.

Mike Lane inspects an affidavit ballot
Mike Lane inspects an affidavit ballot as Irene Stein looks on.

I saw an amazing number of split tickets - Mike Lane has clearly done well at convincing Republicans to vote for him regardless of party. The absentee ballots are a very different experience from the simple tallies, as you can see the patterns in people's voting, instead of just the totals.

At the end of this process, Hattery led 865-845, his lead reduced to 20 votes. There are still 19 ballots that could arrive by mail, including some military ballots, which can arrive by as late as the 21st. There were also 11 challenged ballots - I remember, though I'm not certain, that the Republicans challenged 8 and the Democrats 3.

I've posted a gallery of photos of this strange event. Sitting across from the Republicans led to a lot of photos of Republicans, leaving out another five or six Democrats and the WHCU reporter. There's also a picture at the end showing what the machine tallies looked like, for the last election using these machines. Sadly the page I shot is all zeros!

We'll see what happens. Close races are one aspect of politics I can't say is enjoyable.

Posted by simon at November 9, 2005 7:59 PM in ,
Note on photos