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13 Comments by TimS


Bishop Leads Altschuler After Absentee Ballots Counted

I agree with the other comments here that Altschuler will pull it out. The bottom line is that Altschuler has done better with the absentees in Southampton than people expected, and the same is true of Bishop in Smithtown. I think the key point, however, is that of the 11,000+ absentee and affidavit ballots, almost 400 more come from registered Republicans vs registered Dems. Bishop can claim he has "momentum" but the percentage of registered Repubs and Dems who crossed party lines in this election will not be statistcally meaningful and most of those party crossers will cancel each other out, anyway. In all likelihood, Altschuler will add another 400 votes to his lead unless the Dems pull some funny business, which they've been known to do when it comes to stealing elections." Nov 18, 10 10:03 PM

Are you referring to registered independents or people not affiliated with a party, or both? If it's both, we're talking about only 22% of the absentee and affidavit ballots (see below). Not sure that's "significant" but let's look at the math. JDBeee already did it above but I'll break it down for you.

Start by assuming all registered Repubs and Dems vote for the party candidate. Something like 95% will and the ones who don't get cancelled out by the 5% of the opposing party who also cross over. So looking only at R's and D's, Altschuler would add another 367 votes to his original lead of 383, for a lead of 750. So looking at the 2,481 "independent" votes (either blank affiliation or independence party), Bishop needs 65.3% or more of those to win. That's what it comes down to and the challenges won't affect much assuming both sides challenge a roughly equal number of ballots and the quality of the challenges are about the same. So based on that math, I'd still much rather be in Altschuler's shoes right now. The fact that Altschuler's lead has shrunk is probably more a reflection of the towns and districts that have been counted than anything else. It's basically dead even going into Brookhaven and Riverhead. I'm not saying Bishop can't win, but it's still a tall order.

"According to Bishop spokesman Jon Schneider, the breakdown for the 10,119 absentee ballots goes as follows, by party:"

* Democrat - 3,684
* Republican - 4,039
* Independence - 313
* Conservative - 248
* Working Families - 13
* Blank - 1,822

Schneider said the affidavit ballots breakdown as follows, by party:

* Democrat - 349
* Republican - 361
* Independence - 57
* Conservative - 30
* Working Families - 8
* Other - 14
* Blank - 289
" Nov 19, 10 11:33 AM

Steve, I hate to burst your bubble but what could possibly make you think your sampling of absentee voters was statistically meaningful? You say that you went to see "home-bound voters," presumably meaning seniors. I would venture to guess that seniors make up a relatively small demographic component of the absentee electorate. Just out of curiosity, what percentage of the military absentee ballots do you think went for Bishop? I bet you any advantage Bishop might have with seniors would be more than wiped out by military votes." Nov 19, 10 11:44 AM

"BOE Starts Counting Shelter Island Absentee Ballots"...

I have no doubt that absentee ballots from Shelter Island will favor Bishop, but I wouldn't expect there to be a lot of them, considering there are only 2,200 residents on the island. My guess is maybe 50-100 absentee ballots, so even if Bishop wins those by 70-30%, we're talking about maybe a 30-vote gain.

Brookhaven is the big one as its 292 districts make up more than half the Congressional district." Nov 19, 10 1:22 PM

"In a press release issued on Friday morning, Mr. Schneider pointed to the fact that Mr. Altschuler’s campaign has challenged the legitimacy of 535 absentee ballots cast in support of Mr. Bishop, calling it a strategy “designed to suppress Bishop’s momentum.” Mr. Bishop’s campaign, in turn, has challenged the legitimacy of 342 absentee ballots cast in support of Mr. Altschuler, his Republican challenger."

To the author of the article, Will James. You should correct this because 99% of the ballots that are being challenged are UNOPENED ballots, so it is incorrect to say that they are ballots "cast in support of" one candidate or the other. All the reps from each side know is whether the voter is a registered Dem or Republican, but again they DO NOT know who the votes are for because they are set aside before being opened." Nov 19, 10 1:34 PM

Why, you know everyone who lives on Shelter Island? My fishing guide lives on Shelter Island and votes Republican." Nov 19, 10 1:35 PM

Quote from riverheadlocal.com:

"Nearly half of the absentee ballots received in the race so far — about 5,000 in total — are from Brookhaven residents, according to election officials. Brookhaven will be the last town to have absentee ballots tallied, they said."

So that leaves roughly 1,000-2,000 from Riverhead and that's it. All the Dem strongholds have been tallied.

I'd also note that Bishop's camp is being a bit disingenuous when they say that Altschuler is trying to disenfranchise voters because he's challenged almost 200 more votes so far. I'll bet you those numbers start to even out between the two sides when they start checking the Brookhaven and Riverhead votes. We all know you only challenge the registered voters of the opposing party and Altschuler's challenges were higher because they've already gone through all of Bishop's left-leaning districts. Just watch..." Nov 19, 10 3:35 PM

It does include the military ballots that have already arrived but there may be some still coming from overseas. They have to be postmarked by November 1st and must arrive by Nov 23rd. That said, my understanding is that because there are no military bases in the district the # of military ballots is fairly small and not particularly significant." Nov 19, 10 5:42 PM

At this point it looks like it could go either way. Brookhaven was a statistical dead heat on election night out of over 100,000 votes cast. If we are to believe the current vote tallies and asssume both sides will only succeed in tossing out 5% of the challenges, Bishop is probably ahead by around 200 votes. So if there are roughly 5,000 ballots remaining, all in Brookhaven, Altschuler has to win those by 4.5 points, meaning he needs 52.5% of them, or better, to win.

I suspect that starting Monday, which will be the first day that only Brookhaven is counted and no east-end towns, we'll see the momentum start to shift back and Altschuler regain the lead. But if anyone honestly thinks they know what the outcome will be they're kidding themselves. I'd be curious to know the party affiliation breakdown for the 5,000 remaining Brrokhaven ballots and if I had to guess I'd say there are more Republicans there because that is really the only plausible explanation for how Bishop picked up approx. 500 votes so far on the absentee ballots when the 11,000+ absentee ballots cast reflected a 400 person advantage for registered Republicans over Democrats. As was stated earlier, Bishop would have to win more than 65% of the non-party-affiliated and independence party ballots to overcome his original 383 vote deficit plus the registered shortfall of 400 for registered Dems. In a year like 2010 that would be an impressive feat to pull off, for sure." Nov 19, 10 10:05 PM

Here's the breakdown of what's left in Brookhaven.

"According to Ryan, 2,004 of the remaining ballots — more than 40 percent of them — are from registered Republicans; 1,826 are from registered Democrats, 920 are from unaffiliated voters, 160 are from people registered to the Independence Party, 137 are from registered Conservatives, and the remaining 50 are from others."" Nov 19, 10 10:12 PM

sorry I don't have the lingo down but my point was that it was basically a tie, give or take a few hundred votes which gave Bishop a 0.2% advantage." Nov 20, 10 8:10 AM

He means 40% of the Brookhaven votes (around 5,000), not the total absentees." Nov 20, 10 8:13 AM

The public is not in the dark. These numbers being published are accurate. Before they get reported in the press, both sides agree to them and then they double check them with the BOE #s and then the press updates the public. The fact that the BOE won't announce the results until after all lthe votes have been counted may mislead some into believing the official results may differ but they won't. That's because the representatives from both sides are counting with the BOE and making sure they're all in agreement before either sides goes public with the #s." Nov 20, 10 8:18 AM