Despite earlier predictions, the Humboldt County Elections Office said updated results of the Nov. 2 election won’t be available until tomorrow morning. The office reported late Friday afternoon that the ballot counting is continuing. While staff will be in the office Saturday, it was not clear if the results will be posted online.
I think they meant “when” the results will be posted online, but they have to know that thousands of people are on pins and needles about a few of the races. The close races
1. The D.A. race, though I think the spread is too large to expect Allison Jackson to catch up. And if statistical patterns of past Humboldt County races between progressives and conservatives hold up (with Gallegos as “progressive” and Jackson as “conservative,” Gallegos’ lead will actually widen.
2. The Hospital Board race down here. Estimates of 800 to 1000 votes to be counted, and only 44 votes between the third and (two) fourth place finishers. The progressive/conservative stat dynamics don’t really apply to this race (except that I think Stromstad and Wellborn did benefit from a “conservative” bloc, and to a slightly lesser extent Barb Truitt whose votes actually increased percentage wise at the precincts), but Judy Gonzales actually did outperform Gary Wellborn in precinct votes, though not by much. She seems more likely to catch up to Wellborn than Stromstad who did much better with the early absentees than the precinct voters. But looking at the percentages, 44 votes is significant. It’ll probably be close.
3. Dave Meserve is about 300 votes behind second place Alex Stillman in a race for the second City Council slot. Now, Stillman more than doubled Meserve’s votes in the early absentee count, while Meserve outperformed Stillman in the precinct votes counted on election night by about two percent of the vote. The late absentees and provincials, accounting for those votes to be counted, tend to fall closer to the precinct patterns. There’s about a 300 vote difference. There certainly aren’t 15,000 Arcata votes out there, so the uncounted votes would have to vary dramatically from the pattern of the counted votes. Seems unlikely, but the provincial votes there are probably student-heavy, so it’s bound to get closer.
4. Up in the 5th District, Ryan Sundberg, the “conservative,” holds a lead of less than 100 votes over “progressive” Pat Cleary. It’s close enough that even the slightest statistical anomaly can make the difference. But there’s really no discernible difference between the early absentees and the precinct votes, and I think the Native American vote probably messed up the usual progressive/conservative statistical dynamics. Definite edge to Sundberg.
5. Eureka City Council, Ward 3 – Kuhnel vs. Newman vs. Manns. Conventional wisdom suggests that Xandra Manns run split the progressive vote and thus delivered the win for conservative Newman. The other City Council races were blowouts in favor of the conservatives, so there are two ways to read this race. One is that Ron Kuhnel is personally more popular with Eureka voters than either Larry Glass or Pet LeVallee, and was therefor able to make the race closer. Another possibility is that there is a progressive element in Eureka which was dissatisfied with the progressive slate for one reason or another and so found in Manns a “protest vote” available in lieu of voting for someone more conservative than they. In any case, the vote difference is 171, which allows for a statistical anomaly win, but a solid edge to Newman. Kuhnel did outperform Newman in the precinct vote, and will probably do so in the votes to be counted. But the difference in precinct votes between them was less than 1 percent and Manns actually soaked up most of the precinct vote progressive advantage. There’s no reason to believe she won’t do the same with the late absentees/provincials. But there’s always a chance that Kuhnel’s GOTV brought in 172 votes in the later hour to make the difference. I say that this is the best possibility for a result reversal from election night totals, excluding the hospital race. I give Kuhnel maybe a 40 percent chance.
You can view all the election night results here. Scroll down to near the bottom.