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December 27, 2004
WA Governor's Race: Gregoire and the Ukraine County Lottery
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

I promised further analysis on the manual recount focused on King County.

I think the best way to talk about it at this point is to look at probabilities. To do that it will be instructive to go back to the machine recount briefly (the first recount). These are the final certified results for King County for the machine recount:

Gregoire Post Gregoire Pre New Gregoire Rossi Post Rossi Pre New Rossi
King 505836 505243 593 351127 350779 348

Let's evaluate this in a probability context. For our purpose we will look at this as a binomial distribution. What this means is that we are only going to look at the pool of Gregoire and Rossi voters - so all of our math will ignore the third party candidate and any other kinds of ballots (like over votes and under votes). This simplifies the mathematics but the results won't be any different. This is the rather daunting looking binomial distribution formula:

Binomial Distribution

Where the (n over x) value is n! (n factorial) over x!(n-x)! - or n!/x!(n-x)!

Stay with me now. Fortunately, we don't have to slog through the whole calculation by hand. Programs like Microsoft Excel have a built in function called BINOMDIST which will calculate the probability solution of a binomial problem for us.

So let's set up the problem: For the machine recount, assume that we have a large bag of marbles, they are either red (Rossi votes) or blue (Gregoire votes), there are a total of 856,963 (505,836 blue + 351,127 red) marbles in the bag (it's a BIG bag of marbles) - these numbers are inclusive of the 'new' ballots discovered (336 apparently), or 'enhanced' during the process.

These marbles are uniformly distributed in the bag - like people, they are all mixed up together and there is no formulaic method to tell where one of the 336 new ballots came from or what precincts or demographics characterize those ballots that required 'enhancing'.

Let's set up the BINOMDIST function:

BIOMDIST(Number of successes in trials, number of trials, success probability per trial, cumulative - TRUE, FALSE supplied value to get either a cumulative probability (up to the number of successes - TRUE) or the actual probability of the number of successes occurring - FALSE.

In our case the numbers are:

a) Number of successes in trials: 593, the number of blue marbles (Gregoire votes) taken from the bag in total.

b) Number of trials: 941, the total number of blue marbles (Gregoire votes) and red marbles (Rossi votes) taken from the bag.

c) Success probability per trial, The probability of reaching into this bag and pulling out a blue marble is 59.03% (505,836/(505,836 + 351,127)) - which corresponds to the overall Gregoire percentage win in King County.

d) Cumulative value in this case is FALSE - we want the actual probability for the case at hand - this is the worst case scenario.

The result? The probability of reaching in this bag of marbles and pulling out 941 of them and having 593 of them be blue is: 0.12%. That's odds against of 853 to 1. Not impossible but very improbable - if we performed this test 853 times we would expect to get this result once.

Now, let's evaluate the manual recount. Once again, it is a good assumption to say that we don't have any kind of demographic or precinct formula to describe the 566 'new' ballots that were counted - they were a random sample of ballots that happened to have signature problems. Nor is there any particular way to determine how additional over votes were converted to voter intent by the Canvassing Board. The King Country manual recount results:

Gregoire Post Gregoire Pre New Gregoire Rossi Post Rossi Pre New Rossi
King 506,194 505,836 358 351,306 351,127 179

So let's solve the binomial distribution for the manual recount in King County:

a) Number of successes in trials: 358, the number of blue marbles (Gregoire votes) taken from the bag in total.

b) Number of trials: 537, the total number of blue marbles (Gregoire votes) and red marbles (Rossi votes) taken from the bag.

c) Success probability per trial, The probability of reaching into this bag and pulling out a blue marble is 59.03% (506,194/(506,194 + 351,306)) - which corresponds to the overall Gregoire percentage win in King County - these numbers are so massive that the recount additions can do little to change the overall percentages - which makes this mathematical solution especially compelling.

d) Cumulative value again in this case is FALSE - we want the actual probability - again the worst case.

What's the manual recount result? The probability of reaching in this bag of marbles and pulling out 537 of them and having 358 of them be blue is: 0.0048%. That's odds against of 20,695 to 1. This is much more improbable than the machine recount -if we performed this test 20,695 times we would expect to get this result once.

There's much more to this story though. The machine recount and the manual recount can be viewed as individual probabilistic events - we can easily calculate the odds of these two events happening back to back (i.e. in sequence). This is given by the probability of the first event multiplied by the probability of the second event.

We can frame the question this way: What are the odds of taking two random samples from a very large bag of marbles back to back with the total ratio of marbles in the bag being 59.03% blue and 40.97% red - in the first sample pulling 941 marbles and having 593 of them be blue, and in the second sample pulling out 527 marbles and having 358 of them be blue? The answer is 0.12% x 0.0048% = 0.00000567%.

The odds of these two improbable events happening back to back is 17,650,517 to 1.

Binomial Distribution

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Washington state lottery site has 'Election Results' listed at the top center of its site. The odds of winning the Lotto game in Washington (picking 6 of 49 numbers) are 13,983,816 to 1 (you get two chances per one dollar ticket).

What King County and the Democratic party would like us to believe is that Christine Gregoire is the recipient of good fortune that is 20% more improbable than a Lotto win. That one county produced two sets of recount data, reported that data after all the other counties had reported, and just randomly found enough 'votes' to overturn an election.

Cynics might offer that people actually do win the Lottery. They might suggest that this is just the way things happened, that simply because it is this way - it just happened. Against all odds, it just happened. They forget that when the Lottery is won it is the result of millions and millions of chances taken by millions of people so that the odds are matched by the number of sets of numbers selected.

The only certain way to win the Lotto is to buy 6,991,908 tickets and pick all 13,983,816 sets of numbers. The only certain way to overturn the Washington gubernatorial election through recounts was to do so with explicit human intervention.

Cynics might also offer that statistics and probabilities are just numbers games and don't mean too much. They don't realize that billions of dollars are risked and invested in the insurance business, in the commodities markets, in environmental regulations, and the reliability of the products that are bought by billions of consumers - all based on calculations like these. They don't realize that calculations like these are used as a basis for government policy in such diverse things as Middle East peace, war games, and interest rates.

Now, it is also the case - and really the more realistic case - that the number of blue marbles we pull out of the bag could be any of a number of values and calling for them to be specifically the number that King County came up with belies that they could be within a group of numbers. This is certainly true and can be thought of this way: For the machine recount, 83% of the time when we draw the marbles out of the bag we will pull out between 535 and 576 marbles for each trial. Almost 8% of the time we will pull out 534 or less marbles out and about 7% of the time we will pull out less than 592 marbles for each trial. We would only pull 593 or more marbles out a total of .67% of the time in a trial. For the manual count those numbers are that over 99% of the time we will pull out between 287 and 347 blue marbles per trial. We would only pull 358 marbles or more out 0.0164% of the time. Giving every possible benefit of the odds being at least the number that King County produced for each recount in this way still produces an overall odds against of 898,272 to 1. Not quite the odds of the lottery but is it a bet you would ever take for any reason? And I'm not talking about a $1 lottery ticket. I mean something valuable to you something that would hurt if you lost - like what value would you put on democracy? Would you bet living in a nation, in a state where government was by the will of the people? Do you know anyone on the planet that would take that bet with these odds?

The partisan Democrats and individuals at King County who are behind this are willing to play the odds that no one will pursue and gather the evidence that will expose their actions. Do you like being played by King Ukraine County?

Pulled by Emcee on December 27, 2004 at 05:44 PM
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December 26, 2004
WA Governor's Race: Even Strident Partisans Can't Face This
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

On Thursday (December 23rd) friend Brian Crouch included the 'blank' ballot picture in his post that I had posted about back on November 25th during the machine recount.

In the subsequent comment discussion to his post, it was seriously proposed that I had used Photoshop to alter this photo - the phrase 'has been doctored' was used- and there was considerable discussion about what could be seen and what couldn't be seen on the ballot.

It appears that commenter to Brian's post, 'ScottM', properly demonstrated there the source of video from which I obtained the frame capture. It should be obvious to everyone that the picture is simply a frame from the Robert Mak video (right side of page under Video Clips sidebar: 'Robert Mak reports on ballot enhancements') that I referenced in my original post. You can clearly see this ballot starting at about 1 minute, 21 seconds into the King5 video up until about 1 minute and 28 seconds - MS Media Player is sufficient with its pause button to take a good look at it in quite a few frames - there are about 210 frames in total in this video that depict this ballot. Note that when an oval is filled in by an election worker during 'enhancement' there is no problem seeing it. The fact that a considerable amount of attention in Brian's post was focused on the fact that people couldn't see the ovals well speaks for itself - there's no mark in any oval for Governor.

The point I want to make is that from trolls to the most partisan Democrats to thoughtful independents - no one can face up to this work of fraud - fraud at least by the King County Canvassing Board.

Let's be clear. No one that looks at the picture of this ballot contends that it is a valid vote - except for 2 members of the King County Canvassing Board. And, to be clear again, those two members are in violation of RCW 29A.84.720 because they are "knowingly or fraudulently violat[ing] any of the provisions of law relating to such duty" and should be tried and convicted of the class C felony provisioned in this statute.

If they did believe that it was an actual vote for Gregoire, trolls and partisans wouldn't need to invent a Photoshop story to explain its existence. It doesn't even pass their sense of scruples.

Every ballot that went to the King County Canvassing Board - and there are hundreds of them - should be examined - by a forensics lab if necessary.

Why? I say again: If this ballot can be counted for Gregoire - then anything can happen.

Pulled by Emcee on December 26, 2004 at 03:02 AM
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December 23, 2004
WA Governor's Race: SecState WA FAQ
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

I came across an FAQ on the recount process at the SecState WA site here. The site says that this FAQ was issued on November 15th, 2004. There's an answer to the question on this memo that I imagine provided solace to a considerable number of people who were concerned as to what would constitute the recount process:

Q: What is a recount?

A recount is the process where the counties simply re-tabulate all the ballots that were counted in the original count.

In the original count, final determinations are made by the county canvassing boards on what votes will be counted.

The recount does not allow a review of decisions by the county canvassing boards of what constitutes a vote.

Thus, the same ballots counted in the original count will simply be re-tabulated.

Anyone who read this Q&A and believed it applied to either of the two recounts we have had thus far has legitimate concern at this point to question most any answer the SecState would give on most any topic.

Pulled by Emcee on December 23, 2004 at 11:49 PM
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WA Governor's Race: Heard at the corner cigar shop
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

I decided to celebrate Rossi resiliency this afternoon and went down to the downtown Bellevue, WA cigar shop for a bit.

At the center table the topic of discussion was the recount. A grizzled codger said "I've never heard of any kind of contest where you win 2 out of 3 and aren't the winner. Since Rossi has won 2 out of 3 counts he's certainly the winner to me!"

I said, "I'll drink to that." There were spontaneous high-fives and toasts all around.

It ain't over.

Pulled by Emcee on December 23, 2004 at 11:22 PM
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WA Governor's Race: Last Ratio Table for manual recount
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

Since King County has certified, this is the final Ratio post for the manual recount.

Manual Recount Table 4

The ratio divergence continues unabated (surprise!) with King County's numbers. King County's impact on the total added votes for the rest of the state changed a 50.35% to 49.65% Rossi lead (remember this is just added on votes between the candidates state wide) to a 55.16% to 44.84% Gregoire lead. That means a representative sample of a little over 31% of the vote moved a representative sample of just under 69% of the vote by 5.49% - that's a huge change.

In the natural world such an event would be viewed as cataclysmic. In the sports world such an event would be like setting an incredible world record. In the WA manual recount, this is to be understood as the dispassionate, unbiased counting of votes with no relationship to the timing of events.

We will examine King County number details in a subsequent post.

Pulled by Emcee on December 23, 2004 at 08:03 PM
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WA Governor's Race: King County Updates
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

King county managed to certify 566 of 635 ballots within one day of the WA Supreme Court's opinion that they could do so and counted those ballots: 311 for Gregoire, 191 for Rossi, 26 for Libertarian Bennet, 2 write-ins, 35 overvotes, and 1 undervote.

King County has now certified their returns to WA SecState:


506,194 505,836 +358 351,306 351,127 +179 18,952 18,936 +16

Which makes the net WA total for this recount: Gregoire net +920 votes, Rossi net +748 votes.

Overall, up to the point of the manual recount, Gregoire had 49.99% of the vote (between her votes and Rossi's) and Rossi had 50.00% of the vote - the recount yielded a 55.1% share for Gregoire and 44.8% for Rossi. Without King County - Rossi's lead in the recount was 50.30% to Gregoire's 49.5% (about the same as the election in general). In King County that number was 66.67% for Gregoire and 33.33% for Rossi.

We're not supposed to have a problem with that?

Pulled by Emcee on December 23, 2004 at 06:24 PM
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WA Governor's Race: Decorum? Decorum is out!
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Video, WA Governor's Race

I'm steamed. There are many things that I want to say, but every time I start to write them I hear my dear late mother's voice say "If you can't say it with decorum, try saying it with art."

I can find little decorum in the process we are in. The WA gubernatorial race recount has become a re-doo.

Spanky Does Ukraine County

So, without further a-doo, please click on the picture to see a video of what's been happening in our fair state during the last few weeks.

Warning: This video contains repeated depictions of animated animal defecation. If you are offended by depictions of animated animal defecation or you don't want to see a new political definition of the word 'pork' please do not watch the video.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jeff Goldstein (whose conservatism is only exceeded by his ribaldry) at Protein Wisdom for caring.

Pulled by Emcee on December 23, 2004 at 11:42 AM
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December 22, 2004
WA Governor's Race: Activist Supremes After All
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

I was wrong. The WA Supreme Court decision today proves that they are activist after all.

Relying on a reading of the law other than what the statutes say and what the legislature intended, the court issued its opinion - reversing the Pierce County Superior Court - after hearing oral argument this morning beginning at 9:30 AM Pacific time. The text of the opinion is here.

Local news channels are reporting that Gregoire is ahead by ten votes in the recount without counting the new ballots.

You're seeing it in the light of day folks. This is how the Democrats steal elections. Shark is reporting that King County will certify Gregoire +47, Rossi -12, all by 'correction' apparently by the Canvassing Board - want to take bets that the corrections were 2-1 votes by the Board?

Here's my comment to Sharks's post:

What's weird about it is that in that large a sample to have one candidate go significantly positive in the count and one go significantly negative shows clear counting bias. (Except for Adams which is an extremely small sample), there is no county except Grant (which is a 69% Rossi county) reporting count numbers with opposite mathematical signs.

In fact, in no county where there is more than 30,000 votes for either candidate is there a negative result - except for King County where they apparently took 12 votes from Rossi.


More later.

UPDATE: Powerline and Michelle Malkin are continuing to keep tabs as well.

Pulled by Emcee on December 22, 2004 at 05:01 PM
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WA Governor's Race: Rumors Fly
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

Courtesy Sound Politics.

It is rumored that Democrats came up with 57 more votes in King County for Gregoire than they did for Rossi. That would give Gregoire an 8 vote lead.

Of course, the Democrats announcing this no longer call it a tie like they did Rossi's 261 vote win and his 42 vote win.

If this is the case, then another manual recount is automatically triggered. Then there's the WA State Supreme Court hearing in the morning at 9:30 AM Pacific time.

This is a Winter Solstice evening that may mark a Democrat diabolical deal far into Washington's future.

It's a long way from over.

UPDATE: Powerline has a little to say. See my entire history of this election here (very long).

UPDATE: The State Supreme Court has heard the Democrats' appeal, the GOP arguing essentially the same as I did in this post and adjudicated that way by Judge Stephanie Arend.

UPDATE: Then there's Precinct 1823 described by Shark at Sound Politics!

Pulled by Emcee on December 22, 2004 at 12:55 AM
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December 21, 2004
Welcome to Winter
Filed in: Celestial, Current Affairs

According to my ephemeris - The Winter Equinox will occur within the minute of 7:42 PM Pacific Time today (December 21st).

Welcome Winter!

Pulled by Emcee on December 21, 2004 at 02:06 AM
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