Final Day of Counting: Math Says Do Defeats Correa in Every Likely Scenario
Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 30, 2015
As the final day of counting in the First Supervisorial District Special Election commences, Lou Correa is simply running out of ballots to overtake Andrew Do’s lead. While provisional ballots helped Correa narrow his deficit from 239 to 85 yesterday, that 154-vote swing is not enough for Correa to defeat Do.
765 ballots remain. Of those, 294 are provisionals, 396 are SB 29 ballots, 70 are traditional late absentees, and 5 are paper ballot votes cast at the polls. To make things worse for Correa, multiple observers who were at the Registrar of Voters yesterday reported that the SB 29 ballots appeared to be 2/3 to 4/5 Vietnamese language ballots. (I imagine Correa regrets authoring SB 29.)
Late absentees were trending at a 5% lead for Do. The 70 traditional late absentees would then give Do an increased lead of 3-4 votes. Let’s say the five remaining paper ballots split evenly between Correa and Do, with one going to Phan. That leaves the 294 provisionals and the 396 SB 29 ballots.
Correa gained 622 votes in yesterday’s count, Do gained 468, Chris Phan 193, Chuyen Van Nguyen 44, and Lupe Morfin-Moreno 18. Correa gained 46.25% of the 1345 ballots counted yesterday while Do gained 34.80%. However, of that amount there were 970 provisionals and 375 absentees. In other words, 72% of yesterday’s count came from provisionals while only 38% of today’s count will come from provisionals. If yesterday’s trend were to continue today (which is not possible due to the much lower proportion of provisionals, but let’s give Correa the benefit of the doubt), Correa would gain 319 votes from the remaining provisional and SB 29 ballots while Do would gain 240 votes. That would net Correa an additional 79 votes. Add in the 70 traditional late absentees and Correa’s net gain is 75-76, which is still 9-10 votes short of overtaking Do. Correa still loses in his best case scenario.
A more likely scenario comes from applying yesterday’s trend to provisionals and prior days’ trends to SB 29 ballots. Correa gains 135 provisionals and 143 SB 29 ballots. Do gains 102 provisionals and 162 SB 29 ballots. That’s a Correa gain of 278 and a Do gain of 264, or Correa shrinking Do’s lead by another 14 votes. Throwing in the traditional absentees reduces it to a lead reduction of 10-11 for Do, which would still have Do winning by 74-75 votes.
However, with the reports of the SB 29 ballots being overwhelmingly Vietnamese language ballots and the fact that more SB 29 ballots can still come in today, Do likely wins this election by well over 100 votes. That’s not a landslide, but it’s certainly well beyond the margin for a recount in this low-turnout election, where less than 49,000 ballots were cast.