Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recount Missouri?

The Post-Dispatch updates us on the status of the Missouri vote count. McCain's lead is now down below 5000 votes mostly because St. Louis County officials have stumbled upon 3200 votes that "had apparently not been tallied by polling place workers during the initial collection of votes." Good to know someone is checking their work.

The 7000 provisional ballots cast state-wide are just now starting to be counted. As the Post earlier reported, in the past two elections, fewer than half of the provisional ballots cast ended up counting as legitimate. In 2006, only 3,282 of 7,401 provisional ballots counted. In 2004, 3,292 out of 8,183 counted.

So it seems a fair estimate that once all votes are actually counted, McCain's lead in the state will probably be around 3500 votes, well within the 1% margin that permits a party to request a recount under Missouri law.

Should Obama request a recount? What if I told you there was a better than even chance that Obama could win Missouri with a recount?

If there is a hand recount of the scanned ballots, many of the scanned ballots not read would be counted because the voter's intent would be obvious. These are ballots where a voter circles the candidates name or marks the circle with an "x" instead of shading in the circle, etc.

I can't decide how I feel. A recount is expensive for the state and would not change the outcome of the election. However, a recount could change the electoral college math for the benefit of history.

What do you think?

UPDATE: And if you think MO is moving slow, 30% of Alaska's ballots have yet to be counted.

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