Don’t pick your office before they count your votes

The early voting edition…

As we have been reporting at, two races in Oregon are going to be decided by the “late” early voters. Most readers are probably familiar with the Oregon governor’s contest already. More than 91,000 ballots were delivered on election day in Multnomah County–about 25% of the total–and these ballots gave John Kitzhaber his victory.

How do we know this? Of course, the ballot remains secret, but a sneaky little feature of vote by mail allows us to infer a bit more: the final day’s ballots are counted last. Same things goes on in Washington and Alaska. I wonder if election officials have thought about the implications of announcing an hour by hour vote total as they count the “late” ballots.

This also highlights a point I was making throughout this election: the “early” early voters are very different from the “late” early voters. Very little can be inferred from the first few days, or even first few weeks, of early vote results.

Here is the Ashland story.