Entry for November 24, 2006

 Cartoon by Baton Rouge musician Sparkie Hostream (email).

Washington Post op-ed columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s in today’s piece, “An Electronic Canary,” talks about more irregularities in Florida elections–this time in Sarasota County:

The official vote count in the battle for — you won’t believe this — Katherine Harris’s seat put Republican Vern Buchanan 369 votes ahead of Democrat Christine Jennings out of roughly 238,000 votes cast.

But in Sarasota County, there was an “undervote” of more than 18,000 — meaning that those voters supposedly didn’t choose to record votes in the Buchanan-Jennings race. Jennings carried the county 53 percent to 47 percent.

The Sarasota undervote in the congressional race amounted to nearly 15 percent. Kendall Coffey, Jennings’s lawyer, has pointed out that in the other four counties in the district, the undervote ranged from 2.2 to 5.3 percent. Put another way, roughly 18,000 of the 21,000 undervotes in the contest came from Sarasota County.

It’s hard to believe that Sarasota’s voters had a different view of the race than voters everywhere else in the district, considering that the undervote on the county’s absentee ballots, cast on paper, was only 2.5 percent. The upshot: Any reasonable statistical analysis suggests that only 3,000 to 5,000 of Sarasota’s undervotes were intentional, meaning that 13,000 to 15,000 votes were probably not counted.

If you believe that these machines operated properly, then you must also believe that I missed my true vocation as an NBA center.

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A link from John Dufresne, the Warholizer.  And today I read an example of what John  would call a short story wating to be written:  “In Canada, a Sequel to an Old Cloak-and-Dagger Story: Suspect Could Be ‘Part of the First Post-Soviet Generation’ of Spies for Russia” by Doug Struck of the Foreign Service Desk.

 

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Now  with David Brancaccio featured a program (video) on New Orleans charter schools, in particular the Lafayette Academy.  My question:  if the books weren’t delivered by the beginning of school, why didn’t the teachers go online and get some alternate material? 

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