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Something's fishy in this state, too
November 8, 2008 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Very, er, unusual voting results in Alaska.

This Huffington Post article describes seriously, seriously fishy results in Tuesday's election in Alaska. The Alaska Division of Elections is reporting the lowest voter turnout in Alaska's history, for one. (Despite, for example, large increases in voter registration, primary voting, and the largest ever turnout of early voters.)
posted by flotson (90 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Darnit. Link is in the main page text, but not in the [more inside]. I am clearly a moran. Mods? Pretty please?
posted by flotson at 7:25 PM on November 8, 2008


Something stinks. Not just an ordinary low tide smell.

I think the writer from the Huffington Post article stinks. The first paragraph was full of sarcasm and snide innuendo, without ever getting to the point. Is there a quick summary of what stinks about the Alaska election?
posted by KokuRyu at 7:34 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


The link looks fine to me. What do you want them to change?
posted by delmoi at 7:36 PM on November 8, 2008


Thank God the American election is over. Now we can get back to posting about slight irregularities in the local Belgian elections.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:37 PM on November 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's ok, Barack Obama makes every vote count TWICE AS HARD, so he only needs half your votes.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:39 PM on November 8, 2008


SLBOE? Why is this a good Metafilter post?
posted by Class Goat at 7:39 PM on November 8, 2008


Is there a quick summary of what stinks about the Alaska election?

A bunch of numerical anomalies that are explained in the article, which takes like 5 minutes to read.

I'd been reading about that in different places. Here is an article about it on 538. Basically the voter turnout was way, way lower then expected despite the fact that their own hugely popular governor was on the ticket, despite the fact that democrats were excited about Obama and there had been huge turnout for the Alaska democratic caucus, and there had been huge lines and tons of early voting, and that the polls were way off, etc.
posted by delmoi at 7:39 PM on November 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


I've seen this article linked from about 5 different sites over the past few days, and I have to say: The opening few paragraphs are so poorly written and vague that it makes me doubt the overall claims of the piece. Something's fishy about this article.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 7:42 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nate Silver, who's earned the right to talk election numbers, sounds off on this:
There are three plausible explanations I can think of to explain this discrepancy. The first and most likely is that the Democratic vote became complacent and did not bother to turn out. The outcome of the presidential contest was not going to be close in Alaska, and Barack Obama's victory in the Electoral College was apparent as of about 4 PM local time.
posted by escabeche at 7:45 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the 538 article is worth reading, the huffingtonpost one notsomuch.
"Not only that, but this historic election both nationally and for Alaska HAD THE LOWEST ALASKA TURNOUT FOR A PRESIDENTIAL RACE EVER!!! That makes sense. REALLY??? Something stinks."
I CAN'T BELIEVE SOMEONE WOULD WRITE LIKE THAT!!! I MEAN OMG, BECKY, DID YOU SEE HER ASS???

Seriously. At least on 538 the worst you get is an occasional typo.

Still an interesting topic. Hope it's a tempest in a teapot. Thanks for the 528 link, delmoi.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:56 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I showed up for the caucus in Juneau and the turnout on both sides was so high that the facility chosen for the caucus couldn't hold everyone (and it was the biggest public meeting place in town). In the last few days before the election, everyone I know, even people who previously couldn't give a rats butt about politics, were talking about who they were voting for and why. It seemed like Palin was on the lips every five minutes whether you were a Democrat or a Republican and, when you weren't talking about Palin, it was all about Stevens. The Senate and House races were both do or die, no matter your political creed. I can't imagine the people in my state just decided to fuck all on election day and order pizza instead.
posted by Foam Pants at 8:01 PM on November 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


I've been curious about this as well, but had I made this FPP I would've used better source material. I don't know who Shannyn Moore is, but she's not a very good writer.

This whole thing does indeed stink, and what's so infuriating about it is that whenever it's discussed as such, people asking the questions are dismissed as conspiracy nuts or something. That and the mainstream media won't touch these voting irregularity stories with a ten-foot pole.
posted by zardoz at 8:09 PM on November 8, 2008


The outcome of the presidential contest was not going to be close in Alaska, and Barack Obama's victory in the Electoral College was apparent as of about 4 PM local time.

There are two very large problems with this argument.

The first is that there were a larger number of early voters this election. Those votes:
  1. ...statistically tended to favor Obama (in the 49 other states, at least)
  2. ...wouldn't be affected by the early East Coast call for Obama
The second glaring problem is that Obama didn't just lose, he lost:
  1. ...by a larger projected margin vs. exit polling than has ever been recorded
  2. ...by the exact same margin that Bush/Cheney got in '04.
Don't know what to make of it, but it sure doesn't look right to me.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:09 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


The first is that there were a larger number of early voters this election.

Which are YET TO BE COUNTED.

When they are, Begich may very well come out ahead.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:12 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]




yes, i've been following this. i say shenanigans.
posted by brandz at 8:15 PM on November 8, 2008


Bacon can always count on my vote.
posted by mds35 at 8:20 PM on November 8, 2008


Has anyone heard about Georgia? I can't remember right, but I had heard that they might not have counted all of the early voting when they called the state.
posted by jb at 8:23 PM on November 8, 2008


consider the source.
posted by dawson at 8:30 PM on November 8, 2008


I'm wondering if someone stole the body and blood of this election. I'm wondering if the wine isn't poisoned. Take a few whiffs. Breathe deeply.

I can see the crazy from my house.
posted by shadytrees at 8:44 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another article that clarifies the points: Alaska's voting turnout puzzling.
posted by nickyskye at 8:57 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Things indeed do smell fishy. However, I do not see the fact that the margin is the same as in 2004 as a significant factor. That's the sort of fact that conspiracy nutjobs use as evidence. Hm, that's an unusual coincidence...must be evidence for my theory! In any case, once the votes are completely tallied, if the turn-out does turn out to be as surprisingly low as currently seems to be the case, I believe an investigation is warranted, regardless of who wins. In fact, it might be a better idea not to give a lot of press to the hypothesis that the election was rigged in Stevens' favor (at least not until the results of the investigation are in). It's much easier to convince people that an investigation is necessary if you don't sound like you already know what the results will be.
posted by ErWenn at 9:00 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the writer from the Huffington Post article stinks. The first paragraph was full of sarcasm and snide innuendo, without ever getting to the point. Is there a quick summary of what stinks about the Alaska election?

What's that? An Huffington Post article full of snide innuendo and sarcasm?

No way!
posted by mattoxic at 9:07 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yes Nate Silver's article on this is far better. Huff Post is best for picking out the Reuters photos I'd like best anyway and skimming headlines to see what everyone on the left is talking about today.

That said, WTF Alaska?
posted by Tehanu at 9:15 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


A terrible article, poorly written.
posted by boo_radley at 9:36 PM on November 8, 2008


Yeah, I saw this on Rachel Maddow a couple of nights ago.

Can we put Alaska on e-bay, please? Just sell it back to Russia or whoever wants it, and use those funds to pay back the Chinese/ fund universal healthcare/ buy everyone a beer.
posted by jnaps at 9:51 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can we put Alaska on e-bay, please?

This whole thing is \ an elaborate oil industry strategy to get the lower 48 to say "Fuck it! Drill the whole damn state!"

It seems to be working so far.
posted by tkolar at 10:14 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh also: That article was swamp shit. Kudos to those who have found less breathless sources.
posted by tkolar at 10:14 PM on November 8, 2008


So anyway, somehow I thought I was reading the Washington Post, and not the Huffington Post, and I got to the part with all capitals, and I thought, "really, it's come to this?"

As it turns out, no, it hasn't come to this. It's kind of disappointing, really.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:22 PM on November 8, 2008


Alaska: We're the New Florida!
posted by Pope Gustafson I at 11:32 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, I'd like to describe a serious fishy. That'd be sweet.

This:
OMG!
Really?
...no.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:33 PM on November 8, 2008


Man, I'd like to describe a serious fishy. That'd be sweet.

Why describe a serious fishy when a picture is worth a thousand words.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:35 PM on November 8, 2008


Democracy: The Deadliest Catch
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:43 PM on November 8, 2008


jeez, haven't you heard of the principle of alaskan exceptionalism?
posted by russm at 12:04 AM on November 9, 2008


"MetaFilter: All American Politics, All The Time, FFS."

And yet, MeFi has covered elections in places all over the world in the past. Canada (six times for the recent election), Britain (twice for the most recent by-election!), Mexico (re: the 2006 election), Zimbabwe (three times!), Malaysia, Armenia, Kenya... and several posts about a MeFi running for office in KS, as well as a post about Lawrence Lessig's aborted run for the CA-12 seat.

... and that was just this year!

The fact is, these American state elections are not exactly meaningless. Oftentimes, they're very significant, in that they could mean a historic, unstoppable majority for the Democrats in the U.S. senate. Quite often, they have a lot to do with more general themes of potential election fraud, which are important and oftentimes seem to be of interest to people, no matter where the election is.

The populations represented in these toss-up states aren't exactly tiny either. Georgia, the state, for example, has a population over twice the size of Georgia, the country... about the size of 30 Icelands, larger than Sweden, larger than Scotland and Ireland combined... larger than Latvia, Lithuania, AND Estonia combined.

Politics is a big, important topic to people no matter where you go, it seems. I don't remember any U.S. MeFiers complaining about recent British by-election posts... presumably because many find them interesting regardless.

Frankly, I'm always surprised to find that people who *aren't* interested in any given post take the time to drop by and snark, rather than going on to the next post.

Next time I read a post about pillowfights, I'll be sure to drop by and say "BORING!!!"
posted by markkraft at 12:05 AM on November 9, 2008 [23 favorites]


Dodgy results notwithstanding, it seems like both parties want rid of Stevens now so there's no way he's going to last out his term.

Neither side likes the fact he's corrupt, the left don't like the fact he's Republican and completely out of touch, and the right don't like his spending record and like the prospect of Palin getting his congressional seat.
posted by HaloMan at 12:38 AM on November 9, 2008


dawson comments--

consider the source.

The source for all the figures cited in the article is the Alaska Division of Elections: 2008, 2004
Here's a summary:

According to the DOE voter turnout for the presidential election this year decreased by 90,334 voters, or 29%, from 2004. Intuitively, this seems, er, extraordinary to me, given the historic nature of the election and the fact that the Republican candidate for Vice-President is the most popular Governor in Alaska's history and also attracted an unprecedented level of public interest nationwide. Moreover, an array of other indicators render this outcome. . . remarkable. Compared to 2004, this year:

--the number of registered voters in Alaska increased by 20,991
--participation in the primary increased by 12.4%
--early voting increased by 28%, and set a new record for the state

Despite the above, the 45.2% overall voter turnout reported by the DOE is the lowest ever recorded in Alaska's history.

In addition, other outcomes of the presidential and congressional elections invite further scrutiny:

--the Hays Research poll released last Sunday showed McCain/Palin leading in Alaska by around 3 points, but the Republican ticket won the election by a 25 point margin (61 - 36)
--pre-election polls also showed Democrats Mark Begich and Ethan Berkowitz beating their Republican incumbent opponents by 6 - 10 points, but the DOE reports Stevens ahead by 1.5 points and nearly 8 points for Young
posted by flotson at 12:44 AM on November 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Do any U.S. states provide transparency in their elections or is Alaska just like all the others?
posted by crapmatic at 1:09 AM on November 9, 2008


There's something fishy in the state of Alaska. It's either salmon, king crab or pollock. Maybe Denmark could shed some light on the subject.
posted by robtf3 at 1:41 AM on November 9, 2008


Maybe Denmark could shed some light on the subject.

You can see Denmark from Wasilla? Or just it's lights?
posted by mattoxic at 2:09 AM on November 9, 2008



Something stinks about this article. For me to plug my nose, I'd have to overlook some curious facts.

It starts in the middle of a thought. Yes. It does. In turn, I have to ignore the author's rambling second paragraph that makes Sarah Palin sound like a straight talker by comparison. I would have to glance past the barrage of numbers she throws at me without telling me where they came from. I would also have to forget her confusing metaphor about smells, and low tides, and infections. It would be helpful not to know that the halting style of this screed reminds me of a transcription of a speech by James T. Kirk. Try not to remember the use of ALL CAPS FOR EMPHASIS. Don't think about the fact that the author uses phrases like "hanky panky" and "But wait, there's more" in a serious article. Try to delete the memory file, though difficult, that she thinks that if one question mark makes a great rhetorical device, three must be better. REALLY??? Something stinks.


Ahem.

Can we start a new FPP with the 538 article so that we can talk about the issue instead of the spectacularly bad writing of this article? I want to care about the real issue, but the bad writing bothers me so much more than the state of Alaska ever did.
posted by mmoncur at 2:25 AM on November 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


dear shannyn moore, I have a hunch is not enough for an article entitled with an inflammatory headline like "stolen election in alaska?" - even if you attempted to cover your buttocks with a flimsy question mark.

your job is to follow up on said hunches, to figure out what is behind it all, whether there really is something rotten in ...errr... alaska. all this piece really is is a lead. it's a fucking little note you make after a phonecall and some basic running of the numbers, that you leave on your editor's desk to see if they want you to follow this story and turn it into a juicy investigative piece.

that article is just as much a shitty piece of journalism as a fox news anchor opining that obama is a terrorist. oh yeah? prove it. show me the beef. just because it smells like fire doesn't mean there is a burnt turkey in the oven. a journalist filing a story like this hasn't done their work and deserves to be called out as lazy.

where is seymour hersh when we need him?
posted by krautland at 2:27 AM on November 9, 2008


Something stinks about this article.

I'm thinking that Palin's henchmen stole the author's writing ability, solely in order to ensure that the intellectual liberal elite would dismiss it as the woo-woo conspiracy claims of some Alaskan redneck.

Seriously, there are all kinds of plausible explanations for this stuff. Palin might have been extremely popular before she had the gaze of the world's media on her. But by the election, she was making any Alaskan's voting for her look as boneheaded as she is. And sure, Alaska has long been a Republican state -- but that was before the economy tanked under their watch. Given those things, it doesn't seem at all implausible to me that a lot of die-hard Republicans might stay home rather than voting for Obama.

And why just compare this election with the previous one? Surely if you're wanting to make a serious argument here, you'd need to show the numbers over a longer timescale?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:48 AM on November 9, 2008


The New York Times:
Back Home, Palin Finds Landscape Has Changed

A rookie opportunistic governor, in far over her head, now faces the challenges of a politically divided electorate, $60 a barrel oil threatening statewide tax rebates, and the speculation of a 2012 presidential bid in the midst of newly arising information regarding her vice-presidential campaign. Not to mention the Ted Stevens conviction and the ensuing contested razor thin re-election margin.

These are interesting times in Alaska.
posted by clearly at 3:19 AM on November 9, 2008


I blame Seward.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:52 AM on November 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Mudflats blog wrote about this too (and a new post after the adn article here). What I found most interesting was this:

As these strange numbers rolled in at Election Central, I was there watching. Here’s how it fell out over time.

With 36% of the precincts reporting:
61.76% for McCain
35.64% for Obama

With 81.3% reporting
61.54% for McCain
35.69% for Obama

With 96.1% reporting
61.29% for McCain
35.96% for Obama

Alaska, like many states, has blue areas and red areas. The Mat-Su Valley, home of Sarah Palin is very very red. Anchorage? Blue. The Kenai Peninsula? Red. Juneau? Blue. You get the idea. When I, and my fellow progressive celebrants watched the first numbers come in, we thought, “That must be the Valley”, because the latest polls actually had the presidential race neck and neck with Obama only 2.7 points behind. We kept waiting for the progressive areas of the state to kick in, but they never did. No fluctuations one way or the other more than .3%.

posted by davar at 4:08 AM on November 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Given those things, it doesn't seem at all implausible to me that a lot of die-hard Republicans might stay home rather than voting for Obama.

No, see, there you go trying to stupid around the problem. This is not what the article said, nor what anyone here said. Die-hard Republicans didn't stay home. That doesn't even make any sense. People ponder why McCain/Palin got more votes than expected, and your genius idea is that die-hard Republicans stayed home. How does that work? How does this tie up any loose ends at all?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:16 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jesus FUCK, people! It's ONE TINY STATE! Can't we just let Sarah carry her own state? Why do libruls hate America so?!?!

How fucking dare anyone out there make fun of Sarah after all she has been through!

She lost her race for the White House, Republican lawyers are flying to Alaska to repossess her clothes, and her unmarried daughter is pregnant. She had four fuckin kids.

Her husband turned out to be a user, a secessionist, and likes to call himself "First Dude". All you people care about is….. readers and making money off of her.

SHE’S A HUMAN! What you don’t realize is that Sarah is making you all this money and all you do is write a bunch of crap about her.

She hasn’t called the president-elect a terrorist in days. She calls herself "a pit-bull with lipstick" for a reason - because pit-bulls are always HUNGRY HUNGRY HUNGRY!

LEAVE HER ALONE! You are lucky she even interviewed for you BASTARDS! LEAVE SARAH ALONE! …Please.

[Crying]

George Will talked about professionalism and said if Sarah was a professional she would’ve pulled it off no matter what.

[More crying]

Speaking of professionalism, when is it professional to publicly bash someone who is going through a hard time.

[Still more crying]

Leave Sarah Alone Please….! Leave Sarah Palin alone! Right now! I mean it!

Anyone that has a problem with her you deal with me, because she is not well right now.

LEAVE HER ALONE!
posted by swell at 4:18 AM on November 9, 2008 [9 favorites]


Sarah? Is that you?
posted by nax at 4:57 AM on November 9, 2008


I think it's interesting that the two states still left to call are Alaska and Georgia, both states using exclusively Diebold touch screen voting.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:09 AM on November 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


You can see Denmark from Wasilla? Or just it's lights?

If you squint, you can almost see the windmills.



And please, no Huffington Post articles. They are pretty much all overwrought, with no links to their sources and misleading headlines. The ones intended to be humorous aren't. There are much better sites all over the Internet.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:11 AM on November 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


all this piece really is is a lead. it's a fucking little note you make after a phonecall and some basic running of the numbers, that you leave on your editor's desk to see if they want you to follow this story and turn it into a juicy investigative piece.

Actually, this is a good start for the first in a series of stories. Perhaps they ought to be written by some other individual who is less prone to using all caps as a way of expressing herself. But the facts themselves are important enough to be newsworthy, and many journalistic investigations begin with a piece sharing just these few tidbits of information. Comparisons of the voting habits of residents this election to previous elections are often stories all by themselves. Exit polling that doesn't match up with the outcome is also noteworthy. In fact, if you can set aside the tone of the Huffington Post piece for a moment, you can plainly see that this is going to be a story worth following.

If we all waited until we'd investigated every nook and cranny, FOIA'd ourselves into a frenzy, and finally gotten the entire story from beginning to end, there would be a lot less news. And people would have bombs dropped on them all the time. People would say, "Wait. There was an election? Between John McCain and Barack Obama? And Obama won? Why didn't I know this earlier?"
posted by brina at 5:18 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Let's just make sure those Alaskans don't drink Canada's milkshake.
posted by autodidact at 5:29 AM on November 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can we put Alaska on e-bay, please? Just sell it back to Russia or whoever wants it,

No way. Alaska's awesome. Much of it is still pristine and beautiful. We can sell off Sarah Palin, and all her heartless neo-con friends, but we get to keep Alaska. Otherwise, no deal.
posted by IvoShandor at 5:58 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


In defense of the original poster, of all the articles linked here the Huffington Post still contains the most hard data. Read AROUND the stupid.
posted by Peevish at 6:17 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


zardoz: "I've been curious about this as well, but had I made this FPP I would've used better source material. I don't know who Shannyn Moore is, but she's not a very good writer."

But you didn't use better source material. Just the 538 article already mentioned and the Moore article on another site.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:12 AM on November 9, 2008


As far as I can tell, nobody's actually linked the 538 article, so here it is: What In The Hell Happened in Alaska?
posted by languagehat at 7:15 AM on November 9, 2008


Something stinks about this article.

I don't like the messenger's shoes! That means I don't have to listen to the message!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:29 AM on November 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


So the "hard data" is that the total vote count is lower than the author expected. Yeah, that is a little weird, and I hope someone looks into it. I'm sure Uncle Ted is quite capable of supressing the vote. But how about some actual evidence before screaming vote fraud?
posted by Nelson at 7:33 AM on November 9, 2008


Remember six months ago, when Alaska wasn't the laughing stock of the nation?
posted by dirigibleman at 7:53 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


brina: I think you are misunderstanding this to be a black-white kind of argument. while you are right that we would miss out on up-to-date news if people only would write erudite books on any given subjects like doris kearns-goodwin tends to, this is by no means the only other option. this particular writer here should have made some calls to officials, should have at least attempted to find preliminary answers. instead she did nothing. she merely regurgitated something up, looked in passing at it and wrote "pasta!" it's shoddy workmanship of her and a competent editor should have sent this back to instead be posted two or three days later when she actually had something tangible (and cleaned up that writing, as others have pointed out).
posted by krautland at 7:54 AM on November 9, 2008


Uhh, languagehat, delmoi linked to it, as did zardoz.
Here are some articles about verifying the 2004 Alaska election results: Alaska Daily News and Vote Trust USA.
Looking at the Alaska division of elections website, it's interesting to see that there are districts reporting only one uncounted early vote. Wouldn't it be easier to just count it than to report it? Or does that take assembling a group of lawyers/watchers etc?
posted by Killick at 8:10 AM on November 9, 2008


krautland, I have read the article again, again with an editor's eye. If the lede were changed and the nutgraph expounded upon in an unbiased manner (to whatever degree that is possible), it would still be newsworthy. Say what you will about Ms. Moore, but she didn't regurgitate. She linked to several reliable outside sources, and it is pretty clear that she did a bit of research before submitting her findings. The Huffington Post exists mainly to bring us liberal op ed pieces, which are and should be appreciated for what they are.

In a regular newspaper, I would expect to see interviews with both Democratic and Republican officials in the state, as well as interviews with the state's attorney general and the Board of Elections.

I realize I was being hyperbolic -- and purposely so -- in the latter half of my earlier comment. But my point here is that Ms. Moore's research appears solid and worth more attention. Articles of this sort serve to raise awareness of the situation at hand; I imagine that as the work week continues there will be more solid information, and we'll begin to hear a lot of educated opinions from politicos with bona fide certifications in wonkery.
posted by brina at 8:19 AM on November 9, 2008


I heard no screaming. I just read a bunch of numbers that don't readily make much sense. And, since most people seem incapable of reading around stupid and getting to the facts (before commenting) the article is scarcely about the presidential race, but more about the Senate and House seats.

Remember, kids, Congress is a very important part of government, called The Legislature. I know it has been largely irrelevant since most of you crawled out of your mother's basements, but that's just part of the political disease we're getting over, known as "Bush". With the new president, Congress, I'm sure, we'll finally get back to the serious business of telling the President "no".
posted by Goofyy at 8:21 AM on November 9, 2008


For those posters still arguing that the article lacks hard facts, a summary of my summary (with updated #s for early voters and absentee ballots):

According to the Alaska DOE, compared to 2004:

--the number of registered voters in Alaska increased by 20,991
--participation in the primary increased by 12.4%
--early voting increased by 28% 127% (28,000 in '08, 11,000 in '04), and set a new record for the state

However, voter turnout for '08 (including 74,257 uncounted absentee, early and provisional ballots) was smaller than '04, and--at 60.1% of registered voters--the second lowest ever recorded.
posted by flotson at 8:52 AM on November 9, 2008


In the spirit of All Sarah, All The Time, let's also think about this:

She or Walt Monegan has commited perjury.

I think it's about time for her corrupt little world to come crashing down.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:21 AM on November 9, 2008


The Huffington Post exists mainly to bring us liberal op ed pieces, which are and should be appreciated for what they are.

that's a fair statement to make but even then is she doing the story a disservice. breaking this now has not made the story any bigger - quite the contrary is true. it's just a small, unfinished piece now that got out because a writer was too impatient to wait until she really had something that could have made an impact. she didn't prove her hunch. this could have been something even fox news would just have to talk about.

it reminds me of those activists who defaced an AT&T billboard to highlight that NSA snooping. they did it in san francisco, which meant they essentially ended up preaching to the choir. doing the same in dc would have been far more effective in shaping policy but they didn't do that.

Ms. Moore's research appears solid and worth more attention
we don't disagree that there may be something that could turn into something but do disagree on the quality of her research work. I think it could have become a solid piece, that it had potential. I'm even prepared to say that it still has in the hands of someone more talented. I do not however think she has the patience and gusto required to turn this into a solid five-w piece. her problem seems to be that she is already convinced she's right and that she is not attempting to convince anyone not already convinced of the same. that's not good enough for me.*

we'll begin to hear a lot of educated opinions from politicos with bona fide certifications in wonkery.
that would be nice. I'm just concerned she lost the game with her weak first pitch before the hot dog crowd even sat down in the bleachers.

*there are a handful of people who have earned enough of my trust that I will take their statement blindly and even then does it leave me feeling uncomfortable. she does not belong to that group.
posted by krautland at 9:47 AM on November 9, 2008


"Reverse meteoric fall." Good stuff. This blog post is the first use of that phrase that google is aware of.
posted by rlk at 9:59 AM on November 9, 2008


From the article:
The world is watching Alaska's US Senate race.

No, really, we're not.
posted by modernnomad at 10:23 AM on November 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America - that was a pretty serious fishy. He needs glasses he's so serious.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:23 AM on November 9, 2008


Something stinks. REALLY???
posted by tawny at 11:35 AM on November 9, 2008


Holy christ you puny children! Talk about fiddling while Rome burns! The numbers pretty clearly indicate bald election fraud, and while all the article asks for is further investigation you'd rather snicker over sloppy writing than preserve your democracy. Obama may be moving purposefully to get the job done, but apparently much of the American electorate is too frenzied in their amusements to hear his message that political change starts from the ground up.
posted by kaspen at 12:26 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


(That outburst was not directed at the sizable contingent of the thread speaking rationally to the facts and the import, and trying to link to more reputable discussions. Keep asking questions, this kind of frivolity is what we have to work to overcome.)
posted by kaspen at 12:28 PM on November 9, 2008


After 2000 & 2004, you'd think that the Democrats and Republicans would have election observers present at every polling place that had significant numbers of voters.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:51 PM on November 9, 2008


And not allow crooked Diebold machines to be used.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:10 PM on November 9, 2008


No, really, we're not.

In other news, World Spokesperson modernnomad denies that the world has any interest in the U.S. Senate race in Alaska. "We're much more interested in other things. It's a big World," the spokesperson stated from his home in Speakforyourselfville, outside Sweden.
posted by Hat Maui at 2:14 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can see Denmark from Wasilla? Or just it's lights?

Based on how baked that First Dude sounds in interviews, I'm pretty sure he's seeing Amsterdam.

Folks griping about US ElectionFilter: this is really a post that's interesting because it's an update on the crazy shenanigans of two of MeFi's favorite people: Sarah Palin and Ted "Tubes" Stevens. (If the FPP had mentioned that, it wouldn't be so politickyfiltery smelly.)
posted by rokusan at 2:31 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!1111ONE
posted by zhivota at 3:11 PM on November 9, 2008


cjorgensen: But you didn't use better source material. Just the 538 article already mentioned and the Moore article on another site.

I was referring mainly to readability of the article...did you even try to read that H.P. link? Me, made my brain hurt. At least the other two were coherent.
posted by zardoz at 4:16 PM on November 9, 2008


"talk about fiddling while Rome burns! The numbers pretty clearly indicate bald election fraud, and while all the article asks for is further investigation you'd rather snicker over sloppy writing than preserve your democracy."

Well - where is everyone? I mean, Badnarik was leading the charge in Ohio. But Obama wins and it's "Diebold who"?

Been that way for years too. It'd be nice to have some election reform. I don't forsee that coming from either of the major parties.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:27 PM on November 9, 2008


After 2000 & 2004, you'd think that the Democrats and Republicans would have election observers present at every polling place that had significant numbers of voters.

When I voted in Juneau, the lady having me sign in, leaned over to a dude and showed him where my name appeared on his list. I asked what that was all about and he said he was a Democratic party poll watcher so, at least in Juneau, there was a poll watcher at every precinct.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:09 PM on November 9, 2008


...so, at least in Juneau, there was a poll watcher at every my precinct.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:00 AM on November 10, 2008


If you round election results to the nearest percentage point, then there is a 1 in 100 chance that this year's result is exactly the same as a past result. Now, my math is a little rusty but a binomial calculation yields a 40% probability that at least 1 state out of the 50 will encounter this scenario. Not guaranteed, but not unlikely either.

So what's the big deal?
posted by randomstriker at 5:03 PM on November 10, 2008


That's assuming all factors are equal. Yet the pre-election activity and interest indicate there should have been a very different outcome. This means it warrants closer inspection. We know elections are rigged. That means we need to check against.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 PM on November 10, 2008


Anchorage Daily News:
Most uncounted ballots will be tallied Wednesday
90,000 VOTES: Stevens vs. Begich isn't the only race in question.
posted by grouse at 10:21 AM on November 11, 2008


Now Stevens is losing.
posted by grouse at 11:30 PM on November 12, 2008


By 3! votes. (3 with emphasis, not 6)
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:34 PM on November 12, 2008


Begich wins.
posted by grouse at 6:42 PM on November 18, 2008


Goodbye, Senator Stevens.
posted by Tehanu at 6:56 PM on November 18, 2008


Ha-ha!

</nelson>
posted by grouse at 8:01 PM on November 18, 2008


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