Saturday, November 27, 2010

Do the Math: Part II (Emmer's Strategy)

A few people called me to ask if there was a math formula to calculate the actual number of ballots that would have to be pulled to allow Emmer to overtake Dayton’s lead. Here it is.


D= Number of votes Dayton loses in reconciliation per 100 ballots.
E= Number of votes Emmer loses in reconciliation per 100 ballots.
G= Net gain(loss) of votes to Emmer in reconciliation per 100 ballots.

1/100 (N +(G)) =8770

N= Number of ballots removed in reconciliation.

Assume for every 100 ballots removed during reconciliation, 60 below to Dayton and 40 to Emmer.

60-40 = 20

1/100 (N +G) =8770

1/100 (N (20))= 8770
20N = 877,000
N = 43,850

Now assume that for every 100 ballots removed during reconciliation, 50 below to Dayton and 45 belong to Emmer.

50-45= 5

1/100 (N +G) =8770
1/100 (N (5))= 8770
5N= 877,000
N= 175,400

Notice several things with reconciliation. First, assume during reconciliation that Emmer and Dayton are close in votes statewide and therefore removal of ballots would produce a rough equivalent for each of them. In this scenario for every 100 ballots removed 50 belong to Dayton and 45 to Emmer. This is a net gain of 5 for Emmer. This would require 175,400 ballots to be removed from the state. This is 175,400 phantom or overvotes. An improbable number.

Second, since Emmer and Dayton in the general election appeared to receive about the same percentage of votes, randomly removing ballots during reconciliation to produce a 50/45 let alone a 60/40 ratio is statistically near impossible. This is a point made in the Pioneer Press last week by UMN statisticians.

Third, if in fact ballot removal during reconciliation could produce 50/45 or other ratios like this, it suggests that in fact Dayton did get more votes than Emmer and that what the latter is seeking to do is shrink the size of the voting pool until he wins. There is only one way Emmer can do that and win–cherry pick the electorate.

Specifically, look to the three biggest counties for Dayton–Hennepin, Ramsey, and St. Louis. If Emmer can concentrate on removing ballots from these counties then he runs a statistically better chance of winning than if ballots are generally removed by reconciliation across the state. Thus, Emmer’s route to victory? Remove ballots in counties that went for Dayton and hope it alters the outcome.

This explains claims of fraud in these three counties. Assert fraud here, remove (presumably Dayton) ballots, and use that strategy of vote suppression to win. This is a cherry-picking strategy no different that what Bush accused Gore of in Florida 2000 when the latter only wanted recounts in the three counties he thought he had most to gain. Here, Emmer wants to remove ballots from the three counties he did the worst in, hoping to achieve victory by not counting every vote but by suppressing selected ones.

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