MN-Sen: Audit Regression

The following analysis uses data provided by Prof. Jeffrey B. Lewis of UCLA who coauthored Residual Votes in the 2008 Minnesota Senate Race. My analysis is entirely independent and not in anyway shape or form associated with the aforementioned individuals or institutions. The data contains an exhaustive compilation of the revised Post Election Audit Review published by the Office of the Secretary of State in Minnesota.

I parsed the data and created the graphs shown below. The three graphs immediately following this paragraph depict the number of votes gained or lost with respect to the total votes recorded for each precinct included in the audit. The dots represent the change between the machine counted votes and hand recorded votes surveyed in the audit. A dot located at (443, 2) represents a gain of 2 votes by the given candidate in a precinct with 443 total votes. Each approximation line uses a least-squares nonlinear regression for arbitrary fit functions as provided by Mathcad's genfit() function:

MN Senate Precinct Audit Regression

You'll notice that the graphs range from 0 to 2,645 votes; this is because the largest precinct surveyed in the audit contained just 2,645 votes.

The following functions correspond to the resulting regression's interpolation. The input x represents the number of votes in a given precinct. Although it appears as though the first two terms cancel, the truncated three decimal numbers are in actuality much more precise:

MN Senate Precinct Audit Regression

The following graph illustrates the best fit regression functions, developed above, extrapolated out to include the vote totals of all 4,130 precincts statewide. As of right now (12:55 AM CT 11/20) the Otstego precinct of Wright County currently leads the state in total votes with 6,621.

MN Senate Precinct Audit Regression

I plan on rehashing this analysis with the current results of the recount within the immediate future. Today Franken gained 43 votes as a result of today's recount over the certified returns published on November 18th:

                       Nov. 18       Recount    Change
       Coleman (R)     195,708       195,638     -70
       Franken (D)     180,950       180,923     -27

                       Franken Net Gain:          43

Franken made up much of his ground in St. Louis County, as I have previously suggested, by gaining 40 votes and losing 16. St. Louis County has recounted just 77 of 232 precincts (33.18%) and has contributed to a 23 vote decrease in Coleman's lead. Overal, Franken gained votes in 50 precincts, and lost votes in 79 while Coleman gained votes in 40 precincts and lost in 92.

While today's result appears to be good news for Team Franken, the result of a Ramsey County lawsuit may be even better. The Franken Campaign sued the St. Paul county for the names of voters whose absentee ballots had been rejected. The presiding judge issued this statement: "With each passing hour, the Franken campaign is irreparably harmed in its efforts to ensure that each valid vote is properly counted." Franken's attorneys said the ruling strengthens their case in other counties and with the canvassing board over the ongoing issue of "wrongfully" invalidated absentee ballots.

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