Another Election Eve in Alaska. Recount Possibility?

17 11 2008

1600. That’s the magic number. If Mark Begich can increase his lead from 1022 to 1600, it will put him over the recount threshold. If the margin of victory is under .5%, the state will pay for a recount if requested by either candidate, or a group of 10 citizens. If the margin is over .5%, then the candidate would have to pay for a recount himself. An automatic recount is generated only in the unlikely (but nothing would surprise me at this point) event of a tie.

Will Stevens ask for a recount if he comes up short?  It’s anyone’s guess.  If anyone would do it, it’s Ted.  But he may decide to leave well enough alone, and spare himself from his almost certain expulsion from the US Senate.  But Stevens is not one to back down.  Ever.

Let me be the first to say that Alaskans are eagerly looking forward to this election being over.  We were all prepared to wrap it up on November 4th, and are now faced with the election that wouldn’t die.  But, there is a bright side to a potential recount.  Recounts are done by hand count.  It would be interesting to see how a good old-fashioned hand count fared in comparison to the suspect results that come from our particular brand of nefarious vote counting software.  It might be the only vote of integrity Alaskans will have seen for several cycles.

And, if it flips the other way and Stevens regains his advantage, maybe Mark Begich will demand a recount.

The counting finishes tomorrow with approximately 24,000 ballots coming from Anchorage, Southeast Alaska, and the Kenai Penninsula remaining.  When all is said and done it looks like Alaska’s percentage of voter turnout will be about 65%, which is less than the 66% voter turnout just four years ago, despite Palin and Obama on the ticket, and despite the addition of more than 20,000 new registered voters this year.  There are many loose ends to be tied up before this is all over, and once the votes are counted.

And just in time for a little comic relief from the Stevens-Begich duel to the death, check out Juror #11’s Blog! That’s right.  Blogging jurors.  This is a hilarious recounting of the Ted Stevens trial from the perspective of Juror #11.  Too bad she wasn’t allowed to blog during the trial! This is the juror who, although initially pegged as an alternate, got to step in when the infamous Juror #4 fled the scene after making up the story about her father dying, so she could go attend a horse race.

Here’s Juror #11’s summary of the trial’s opening statements: (‘Salmmy’ is Ted Stevens….we don’t know why yet, but have been promised an explanation in the future)

The prosectution: I am Rosie, and Salmmy is guilty of fraud! False Statements! Lying! Receiving Gifts! Furniture! Generator! Free Work done on his house! Statue! Puppy! Stained Glass Window! Mustang! – Wait?! Did she just say Mustang? What was that about a Mustang? Whose Mustang? Are you giving out Free Mustangs? Damn, now I really have to listen to find out more about that mustang! (yes, I love mustangs and am sure at one point I doodled ‘Mustang of love’ a dozen times in my notebook like a love sick teenager. I really hope they shredded those notebooks). Sadly, after the mustang bit my head was a little cloudy, but I think she said that they would prove their evidence in the next couple of weeks.

The defense: I am a whimisical old man! I don’t like microphones or standing in one spot! (I swear his nickname was going to be Orville Redenbocker if he had continued in this vein. I wanted to give him a straw hat, bow tie and a red stripped vest). Luckily he got to the point: Salmmy is innocent! He is old and confused! He hardley even goes to Alaska! His wife handled all the bills! His bestest friend didn’t tell him what was happening! Seriously? Oh, and Bill Allen is the Evil. He tricked Salmmy!

There are also before and after pictures of Ted’s chalet, and other amusing tidbits about the Alaskan trial of the century.  I’ll be putting a link in the sidebar for this one.

And then tomorrow, back to the serious stuff.


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67 responses

17 11 2008
akmuckraker

On topic posts are welcomed! Other topics and chatter are welcomed on the Blog thread in the Forum!

17 11 2008
culturepress

Thanks for the update!
I still can’t believe that Ted Stevens got as many votes as he did…

17 11 2008
jwa-Cheney Hussein Palin

so…..do we have a count for today????

17 11 2008
CRFlats

Any thoughts on how long the recount will take? It seems a certainty. And you’re right, it would be worth it just to compare.

17 11 2008
BigPete

I was surprised to see the photographs of Stevens’ chalet (on juror #11’s blog), before it was improved. For someone who has drawn a Senator’s salary for 40 yrs, the shack looked almost too humble. I doubt that the Palins would deign to set foot inside that humble abode.

Is it possible that Stevens has a gambling problem?

17 11 2008
Grammy in PA

BigPete

I saw a before and after pic of that house – wow, what a transformation; they didn’t really live in the before house I’m sure, it was probably a get away “cabin” something that has to be rustic. But wow, the after pic!!

17 11 2008
pvazwindy

Lets hope Begich expands on his lead. Popcorn time.

17 11 2008
empish (wasilla)

Stevens doesn’t have a gambling problem. He has a Miser problem. Notorious for not spending his own money, which is how he got into this mess. Election count should be finished tomorrow and made public late in the afternoon.

17 11 2008
Aeroentropy

How long do you suppose a full recount would take?? Just hand-counting these 90K ballots has been glacier-speed.

17 11 2008
halcrow

Should that magic number (1600 votes) appear, and should Stevens want to request a recount, does he have enough money in his re-election fund to pay for the recount?

I presume that he would be permitted to use the funds for that purpose, as supposedly Young has used over $1 million of his campaign dollars for legal fees.

In a way, it would be nice to see every vote eye-balled by a human and counted by hand, as that might be America’s sole opportunity for an honest test of the worthiness of the Diebold tabulating machines.

17 11 2008
Peggno in SoCal

I still don’t get the low voter turnout count. Do you think this will be looked into? A hand count would be awful – I’m too impatient to wait! But it might uncover the truth about the ‘missing’ voters.

17 11 2008
Mrs. Tarquin Biscuitbarrel

Hey, that wasn’t just any old horse race that the Sen. Toobz’s juror wanted to attend–it’s was the Breeders’ Cup Weekend, a major event here at Casa Biscuitbarrel. The manly Mr. Biscuitbarrel and his equine-lovin’ pals thought that the juror’s excuse was not only hilarious, but altogether understandable.

In any case, I have my fingers crossed for Mark B.

17 11 2008
halcrow

Wasn’t there comment before that in previous elections the Diebold machines double-counted votes in some small villages?

In a small village, that would be quite noticeable, but might some double-counting have slipped through undetected in a larger centres, inflating the total vote numbers incorrectly?

17 11 2008
Peggno in SoCal

Juror blog is hysterical! Related to you?🙂

17 11 2008
akmuckraker

@halcrow – Yes, there were artificially high turnouts in Anchorage and other areas as well. Dems sued to get the central tabulator info, and two years later when they finally got it, it had been tampered with. There was no dispute about that. Just don’t know who did it, or what was affected.

@jwa – I thought they were supposed to be counting a batch today, but it looks like they aren’t….. I’m confused myself. I’ll post if I learn more.

17 11 2008
Anonymous

Yes anxiously awaiting the results…

@Martha Davidson Vancouver B.C. Canada (14:15:29) from prior thread

Thanks for the YouTube. Great Fun. My computer froze and I had to start a full scan and a PUP tried to download (Potentially unwanted program like spyware or a keylogger).

17 11 2008
Nisperos

Yes anxiously awaiting the results…

@Martha Davidson Vancouver B.C. Canada (14:15:29) from prior thread

Thanks for the YouTube. Great Fun.

My computer froze and I had to start a full scan and a PUP tried to download (Potentially unwanted program like spy-ware or a key-logger). BTW, anyone working on this – this is the 2nd time this has happened in a few days and both times, I also had the forum open too.

17 11 2008
halcrow

Thank you, AKM.

It would seem that there might not be an accurate benchmark for voter turnout which can be compared to this year.

Scary to contemplate that perhaps the 20,000 newly registered voters are just enough to cover the undetected double-counts and over-counts which were mixed into a previous election.

17 11 2008
the problem child (a jerk, also)

Wow, I think that Diebold must be sh*ttin’ themselves. IF someone actually demands a recount, their machines will be shown to be the junk they really area!

17 11 2008
264 Crayons

I know this is OT but please everyone go to http://www.Time.com and vote for the Time’s person of the year. When I voted this morning Obama was number one with an average rating of eight and had about 2,000 votes and Darth Palin was number six with an average rating of five and around 1,000 votes.

Now flash forward this evening and she’s number one with an average rating of eight and Obama is number two (with an average rating of six) and nearly 6,000 votes behind SP! Such an abomination and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Palianites weren’t voting multiple times to jack up the vote! She’s now over 11,000 votes!

OK so go & click away my friends!

17 11 2008
Political Amazon

Are you kidding me? Time picks its person of the year by an internet poll? When everyone knows that internet polls are meaningless?

What a bunch of horses*it.

Sign me,
Disgusted in California

17 11 2008
Goalie in NM

Ted should just concede and leave quietly with as much dignity as could be mustered.

He’s embarassing himself IMHO.

Okay off to read Juror #11 blog…

17 11 2008
halcrow

@ the problem child (a jerk, also) (14:56:47) :
“…IF someone actually demands a recount…”

Yes, especially with the actual hard-copy votes seemingly still on hand (I’m unsure of the way Alaska voters cast their vote).

We only use paper ballots in Canada, which in some municipal elections are scanned into a tabulating machine when you return the marked ballot to be entered into the counting system.

In federal and provincial {state} elections, the folded paper ballot is put into a box which is sealed at the close of the polls and then transported to a centralized electoral office for counting. Each ballot is taken out of the box, read, and the voter’s selection is called out by one tabulator to another elections employee, who physically assigns it to the candidate…all under the supervision of various election supervisors (but not lawyers).

I am presuming that a batch of a hundred or so votes and the pertinenent tally sheet are stapled together for recount/verification purposes.

17 11 2008
dove in canada

264 Crayons (15:02:06)

I just voted in the Time poll……….if a person isn’t careful they could vote for SWWNBN just because her photo is shown first with the ‘submit’ box adjacent…….thinking that you would would get a ‘ballot’………to vote for anyone else requires scrolling through the candidates……..beware……..the submit box is a vote for the candidate next to that box………..
also, remember that ridiculous pre-election poll on pbs !?!?

17 11 2008
A Fan From Chicago

Must have missed a nugget of information…but, Mustang a horse or Mustang a car? Never sure with Stevens. Fish sculpture or edible fish?

You guys in Alaska are making this up, right?

17 11 2008
A Fan From Chicago

I know it was a sculpture of the fish. Confused about the Mustang.

17 11 2008
the problem child (a jerk, also)

halcrow (15:21:16) :
Yeah, I know. I vote in Canada, too. I’m in NB.

17 11 2008
Scrimshaw aka Sack Panther Hussein

Salmmy is short for Salmon, of course.

The old fish is slippery, and none too fresh, but grizzlies don’t mind.
Salmmy!! Waitin’ for ya, waitin’ for ya – my dear old Salmmy!!

17 11 2008
Nisperos

Vote , delete browsing history, refresh page, vote again…

As numerous as grains of sand on a beach…

17 11 2008
SMR

I think that Ted traded his Mustang for a Land Rover for Lily (his daughter in law school).

17 11 2008
SMR

Looked at that TIme poll. Obvs the right-wing nut jobs are out in full force. Reminds me of the PBS poll. Have to give it a pass guys, it’s been infiltrated by Bible Spice’s fellow whack jobs…

17 11 2008
Bec -Yes We Did - in Illinois

There is this article at ADN now that says Alaska could record a record voter turnout after all.

http://www.adn.com/election/story/591659.html

17 11 2008
Moose Pucky

Tiptoeing. Testing. Any sinkholes in here??

I’ve already decided to let my subscription to Time expire (after 45 years of it) because of earlier abysmal election reporting. I hope they pick SP as their person of the year because then their subscriber base will be limited indeed.

Macleans of Canada arrived in the mail today with the most awesome cover photo of Barack and Michelle as their election special cover and more awesome photos inside, one of Michelle and Barack which brought tears to my eyes. Coveted copy. Canada, you rock.

Re: Stevens recount. Sean Parnell did not ask for a recount??? Would Stevens??? I’m thinking not unless it appears to be extraordinarily close. Waiting anxiously for results.

17 11 2008
Aeroentropy

Political Amazon (et al) (sorry following ot above):

On the Time person of the year site they do mention:

” Vote for your choice, though the editors reserve the right to disagree.”

I suspect the voting has little to do with anything except whipping up a little controversy.

17 11 2008
Proud Community OrganizerWA

Ok Juror 11 is a riot and I will be following her reports! I am praying Begich gets the numbers so there will be no recounts by Slammy!

17 11 2008
rpahk

If the handcount takes place and the totals vary considerably from the machine count, wouldn’t this be grounds for recounts of all electoral races including local?

17 11 2008
Proud Community OrganizerWA

oops Salmmy LOL!! I like Slammy better!

17 11 2008
SMR

@Moose Pucky —

Their commemorative issue following the election of Obama is good so far. Did that not redeem it in your eyes?

I say that as someone who just wrote an email to Newsweek today saying that I’ll never buy another copy of their mag, and canceled my subscription to ADN because of their suck-upiness to you know who…

I may just have to boycott everything written apart from what has been written by a few awesome bloggers, this election has brought out the worst in some, that’s for sure…

17 11 2008
Moose Pucky

No redemption for Time who when picking five words to describe Obama, three of them were “black man”, “radical”, and “novice”. Kicked them in their tahooties with my hind legs and then stomped on them. If the commemorative issue is any good, I’ll keep it though. Store it in the skunk cabbage patch. But subscription expires soon. And that’s it!

17 11 2008
Chief Shikago

On the Time magazine voting thingy: TIME: Vote for your choice, though the editors reserve the right to disagree. They will never pick a some loser.
It will be PEBO no doubt.

17 11 2008
Moose Pucky

Yeah, Shikago, whether their advertisers (oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies) like it or not!!

17 11 2008
Phillies Phan

I’m following this wonderfully intelligent webspace that is all about Alaskan politics, and I can’t stop…well, let’s just say that I’m really in need of a new pair of cotton undies. I’m just laughing at how awful your state is run, since it’s only marginally better than mine!

Granted, I live in New Jersey, and I thought we had the worse state politicians in the world…AKM, and all of you Alaskan Mudflatters…you truly have my sympathy!

Is there anything I can bake or cook to make up for the difference?

17 11 2008
SMR

@Moose Pucky —

Okay, you’ve got a fine point. I’d have had to vote them off the island as well. Keep the commemorative issue though for historical value…

17 11 2008
Moose Pucky

“Unease among GOP lawmakers over the prospect of ejecting convicted felon Alaska Senator Ted Stevens from their caucus may forestall any action against him Tuesday.

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint plans to offer a motion during a caucus meeting — in which lawmakers will elect their leaders — to eject Stevens from the GOP conference. It is unclear whether DeMint will get a second to his motion.

Many of Stevens’ Republican colleagues fretted Monday that DeMint’s motion is premature, given that the outcome of Stevens’ re-election bid remains uncertain…”

Fulll story at CQ politics here:
http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000002987087

Watch out GOP–there’s quicksand out there–just step a little more to the right!
Kick!

17 11 2008
SMR

@Phillies Phan —

If you can cook up a little legal stew for Bible Spice that gets her thrown in the pokey I’m all for it.

Alaska politics sucks. I’m so tired of it. It has always sucked. I have been tired of it for about 6 years now, long story…

17 11 2008
Political Amazon

[[[Ok Juror 11 is a riot and I will be following her reports! I am praying Begich gets the numbers so there will be no recounts by Slammy!]]]

ITA! I especially loved her comments about Geriatric Barbie, Juror #4.

Now thet thar’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

17 11 2008
Deep Blue in VA

SMR (17:17:30) :

Alaska politics sucks. I’m so tired of it. It has always sucked. I have been tired of it for about 6 years now, long story…

++++++++++++++++++++++

I have a friend who is from Alaska but who lives in DC now. The other day we were talking about Alaskan politics and she said that as a liberal in Alaska, she just got used to ALWAYS losing and always being disappointed.

She and I both really hope this time is different.

17 11 2008
Moose Pucky

Juror #11’s blog: hahahahahahahahahaha! Priceless.

17 11 2008
Phillies Phan

@SMR

Let’s see what I can cook up…how about this:

1 Bush, chopped
1 Cheney, diced and silenced
1 Cup of Rice
4 Cups of Republicans
Three cups of the “Supreme Court”
One cup of Rove
A touch of Palin and McCain

1 – Warm a couple of tablespoons of butter, and saute the Bush until he goes soft, and goes back to Texas.
2 – Add the Cheney, and cook until the screams are silenced.
3 – Add the Rice, and cook slowly until she remembers that she’s going back to Stanford to write a book.
4 – Pour the four quarts of Republicans in…if you run short, Independents are a fine substitute
5 – Add the three cups of the “Supreme Court”, but do so gently…they might curdle the soup.
6 – Add the cup of Rove, and bring it to a simmer.
7 – And, as a final touch, add a touch of both Palin and Stevens to finish off the dish.

Voila!! One toxic soup for your enjoyment!
😉

17 11 2008
CRFlats

The silver lining in this might very well be the hand recount. Our ballots are very easy to read. It will be important to know if the optical scanners correctly read the ballots. It’s worth the wait.

The biggest problem with Alaska politics is it is WAY to OILY. We lived in a blue state before oil. Now receipts from oil account for 85% of our budget. That has translated into 85% influence in our politics, IMHO.

We were poor before oil, but we had our dignity.

17 11 2008
Moose Pucky

Delicious, Phillies Phan. Marvelous brew to treat waiting-for-the-vote-count syndrome, currently expressed as wandering aimlessly among the willows and tripping over snags.

17 11 2008
Phillies Phan

@Moose Pucky

Cheers, my dear…and, thanks!

17 11 2008
Mollys Mum

Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com was on Rachel Maddow tonight (though Rachel wasn’t –😦 – her show was guest-hosted by Arianna Huffington) and his contention was that Begich would win by 3000-4000 votes. Now, considering Nate’s track record on the recent election (he called every state accurately except for that little square in Nebraska I think it was that went blue), I am going with that prediction myself.

17 11 2008
Irish in FL

Mollys Mum ….Sure hope that’s what will happen…..

17 11 2008
lock pepper in honolulu

That was Arianna with the heavy accent? Interesting! I would never have envisioned her like that—

17 11 2008
SMR

Hey Lock Pepper — question for you: what do you call the pork cooked in banana leaves, served at luaus, really yummy, falls apart as soon as you take it out of the leaves?????????

17 11 2008
asiangrrl"Yes we DID"MN

I can totally sympathize with Alaskans because we Minnesotans are going through a recount right now. The difference is, we have the fill in the oval and scan ballots, so less machinery involved. Still, the recount will be done by hand, and Normie is sending his lawyers to every counting place. Jerk.

Lock Pepper, it’s actually kinda fun in the forums, but I also like to post here at night. Much more leisurely, and easier to read everything that everyone says.

17 11 2008
asiangrrl"Yes we DID"MN

P.S. Lock Pepper, Arianna was on Rachel last week, and it took me by surprise, too. She is not at all like I thought she would be.

Anyone know why I can’t stream MSNBC any more?

17 11 2008
sparky

I have been getting your emails, and I am thrilled at how this place has taken off! I am proud to have been here when it first got started. It is more fun to come here than some of the other blogs because people here have such a GREAT sense of humor and I always leave laughing.

Here’s hoping that Uncle Ted gets a nice early retirement and we get closer to a filibuster-proof senate.

17 11 2008
SmallSteps in Blue VA

Marty –
>We’re going to fight fight fight to steal a line from McLost.. Anyone want to join the Mudflats Army?
—–
Is it like Oliver’s Army? Sorry I have that Elvis Costello tune on my Ipod🙂 Just popped over to the ‘Flats to see what was new in the world of alaskan politics and …..wow! I have to admit I have only been on the chat once (pre-election). The speed of chat is, well, not me. If I get started on a chat, I become a total computer zombie and my family was a little tired of that before November 4, so I promised not to be so engrossed again. My house IS cleaner now, and we are eating healthier home cooked food again. LOL! And, finally, today, I got the last of my free, transplanted perennials into the ground! Yippee! Before the snow they predicted tonight (which won’t happen but was an awesome weather prediction!)

I have to say, that Mudflat’s as a blog with comments is just the speed I think of when I think of Alaska on the internet. It’s not frenetic like chat is. And Alaska is not frenetic – nothing like NOVa (Northern Va – DC metro) or NYC or LA. I come to Mudflats for so many reasons, and I hope they don’t start to disappear, like the beluga and the polar bears. Mudflats is something really special which is why it garnered such an amazing following.

I loved the picture that was with the post the other night for the BedTime Thread Adventure Thread. It reminded me of a most wonderful afternoon several years ago with a bunch of dear “Mommy” friends. We took our young kids blueberry picking in Hatcher’s Pass (near Wasilla). The weather was gorgeous and the trail we were on looked just like that picture. We had an amazing time, and no bears🙂. I think they were afraid of all the toddler boys we had tearing around the trail!!!

Maybe that’s what we have been doing to the Mudflats: tearing it up like those toddlers. Perhaps we can learn to walk on the trail a bit better and not to mess up the fragile vegetation so it will be here for future generations. Maybe we can be a little more considerate of the wildlife too.

In the meantime, I will follow Marty’s advice to Snos and “Go to Bed” as it’s midnight here on the East coast. What AM I doing up???? Dear Hubby is snoring over there and my fingers are freezing on the keyboard. I’m nuts to still be up, but i love mudflats and just wanted you to know that I hope it can retain all the wonderful attributes that made so many of us into faithful followers of your literary gift for creatively expressing all the amazing oddities of Alaskan politics.

I’ll check back tomorrow to see how the count is going – keeping my fingers crossed that Begich hits the magic 1600.

17 11 2008
Chief Shikago

asiangrrl you here?

17 11 2008
paperwghts

Maybe people were posting too much on MSNBC’s threads?

17 11 2008
participant42

Whatever one thinks of Sen. Stevens—and I disagree with most of his votes–his legal case deserved to be heard by jurors who took it more seriously than did Juror #11. *Anyone* deserves that: it’s their honesty that’s being judged, it’s their livelihood and profession that’s being affected, and sometimes their freedom and their life itself is in the balance.
The juror’s attitude is disgusting and contemptible. If it were you on trial, or a family member who were charged with not reporting some $100K, although paying over $150K on contracting costs (is this non-reporting case really so serious that a person should be called a “convicted felon” for this apparent non-disclosure), you’d want a non-flippant juror who would pay close attention and be fair.
For a variety of reasons, by the way, including prosecutorial misconduct, this verdict will be overturned on appeal.

17 11 2008
SMR

@Deep Blue —

Yeah. Sigh. Even though I’ve been a registered Republican up until after the Palin pick, I guess that I could be considered a liberal because I always voted for the “silly things” like parks and fixing schools and stuff like that. I mean here everyone gets an annual dividend check and they still can’t manage to cough up a few more dollars per year on their property tax to pay for a new school roof or an extension of a park or something crazy that adds quality of life value. But let there be something on there that includes throwing money at “pipeline studies” and they’re all over it! I always worked for an oil company up until we moved overseas in 2004, but I’ve always felt that the oil companies could & should pay for those studies, NOT the taxpayers…

Call me crazy. I’m a stranger in a strange land up here…

17 11 2008
asiangrrl"Yes we DID"MN

Yo, Chief! . I am trying to fix my forum profile. What’s up?

17 11 2008
Chief Shikago

asiangrrl sent you a message.

ah-KEH wahng-CHEE-yahng-keeng kteh everyone.
Chief Shikago

17 11 2008
SMG - MN

Shikago – you still here?




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