Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
All right, I’m not jumping down any one’s throat here on the vote count, but I would really like an honest explanation how this worked out.
In the unofficial numbers tweeted by a Sun reporter (which we posted below), and I do realize they are unofficial, there are a couple numbers which are different than the final spreadsheet the Lowell Sun posted later on.
While the total of votes and ballots cast are the same in both images, the vote totals for two specific candidates differ. In other words, the newer spreadsheet from the Sun has Derek Mitchell with 32 fewer votes than the older, unofficial tweeted printout, and Vesna Nuon has 32 more in the new sheet than in that earlier tweeted image.
A simple transcribing error by the Sun or whoever gave them those original unofficial numbers doesn’t explain this. If that were to happen, you would see someone’s numbers being different between unofficial and the second Sun spreadsheet, not vote totals for two candidates moving exactly the same number, one up and one down. And with optical scanners, the printouts at the end from the machines might be unofficial, but really, they’re usually damned accurate. So…what happened? Inquiring minds want to know. I assume there’s no hand-counting going on, except as spot random auditing (do we even do that?).
I’m sure there’s an explanation, but I’d like to see someone figure out what that is and tell us. It’s always best when we can have full confidence in our voting systems and this just seemed weird.
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Another minor error in the Sun’s more official, newer spreadsheet is that the total votes cast for 5-2 is off by three votes (listed as 659 when it should be 662), which you could account for if their spreadsheet failed to count the 3 write-ins for that precinct. Since the box with that erroneous number has a green triangle in its corner, which is likely indicating that the Excel formula that added that column is out of pattern with the rest of the ones on that row (an Excel feature to help you see that something might be wrong), this is 99% the likely scenario.
(By the way, I’m writing this post, but it’s really the Mr. who did all this leg work. Him and his spreadsheets. He even has set up conditional formatting to indicate the strength of each candidate’s showing in each precinct. I kid you not. Spreadsheet geeks…)
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