Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Obama tightens margin in Missouri vote count

Barack Obama has tightened the margin in Missouri, between his votes and those for John McCain.

However, McCain still leads in the state. The latest news on the ballot count, from "The Kansas City Star":
The Kansas City Election Board certified its final results Monday.

Barack Obama picked up 491 votes from provisionals and other adjustments in the city; John McCain picked up 123 votes (from unofficial returns released election night.) That's a net gain for Obama of 368 votes in Kansas City.
Overall, the Missouri Secretary of State says Obama trails McCain by 4,716 votes as of 2:30 p.m. Monday.

(UPDATE: The margin moved back to 4,780 at 3:15.)
Final certifications are due with the SoS Tuesday, although the state has until early December to certify its final totals.
Incidentally, Kansas City reported 23,344 absentee ballots this year -- more than double the absentees in 2004.

From fivethirtyeight.com:
Why The Networks Haven't Called Missouri

From turnout guru Michael McDonald, who is in a position to know:
As someone who works in the quarantine room on election night at Edison Media Research, I can tell you that we will not make a call if a race has the potential to be in a recount situation. In a close race, we review the recount procedures and consider what we believe to be the outstanding absentee and provisional ballots before we are willing to make a call. It is not the job of the media to prejudge the election process when there is a possibility for recount procedures to take place. Think: Florida 2000.
If the Obama campaign makes a formal statement that they concede Missouri, then I would expect the media would call the election outcome. My guess is that they will wait until the results are certified to make a decision if they will request a recount. As we have seen in Minnesota, there can be human errors lurking in the results reported to date.
The big picture: the Obama campaign has every right to a recount if they want one, and the networks aren't presuming to make that judgment for them. There is also a small but tangible chance of a material human error in the vote tabulation.

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