Cannot be Called on Election Night
Dear Election Accuracy Advocates,
In states like CO and FL where strict matching rules have been used to
purge voters, more eligible voters than ever before in history will
cast provisional ballots that are *not* counted on Election Night.
Recent implementation of no-fault absentee voting in many states,
together with the rational distrust of e-ballot voting machines, and
election officials who have encouraged voters to vote absentee in
order to reduce lines on Election Day have all combined to greatly
increased the use of absentee ballots that are also *not* counted on
The logical consequence is that the rate of absentee and provisional
ballots may have overtaken the unofficial reported margin between
candidates in several States.
It is therefore very likely that the press and candidates will *not*
be able to call close elections in several states on Election Night -
and must wait days or possibly weeks until sufficient absentee and
provisional ballots are evaluated for eligibility and counted or even
possibly contested by candidates.
To be sure to accurately call the winner of any close State election
contest, press and candidates must do the following little numerical
IF the total number absentee and provisional ballots cast in any
election contest in any State
is greater than
the difference between the unofficial reported votes for a winner and
THEN the candidate and the press will have *in*sufficient information
to determine the winner.
This will be a uniquely new situation in the 2008 election as the rate
of provisional and absentee voting overtakes the margins between
Unfortunately election officials do not customarily publicly report
the number of provisional and absentee ballots.
Although election officials do not routinely report these numbers,
election officials do have the number of uncounted provisional and
absentee ballots at their finger-tips because the number of
provisional ballots are counted and reported from each polling
location to each county election office and county officials have a
count of the absentee ballots.
Open records requests rather than simple requests may have to be made
immediately on Wednesday a.m. or even now prior to Election Day in
order to obtain this information (the number of uncounted provisional
and absentee ballots) on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning from
IF the difference in unofficial reported votes between the top two
candidates is less than the number of provisional and absentee ballots
cast statewide in an election contest (any contest, not just
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