Thursday, November 09, 2006

Where things Stand with the SC SSIE Race

Here's an article from (registration required) has the latest on the Rex vs. Floyd race:

Floyd team, Rex both declare victory

Early Wednesday morning, Rex, the Democratic candidate, proclaimed himself the winner. Later that afternoon, the state Republican Party said Floyd was victorious. The numbers showed Rex in front, but they kept changing. [...]

State law requires a recount when the margin is less than 1 percent. According to the unofficial numbers as of 10 p.m. Wednesday, with all 2,059 precincts reporting, Rex was up by 620 votes -- 510,987 (47.52 percent) to 510,367 (47.46 percent). [...]

The next step comes Friday, when county election commissions certify their results, according to Chris Whitmire, a spokesman for the state commission. That process includes the counting and contesting of provisional ballots -- those used when there is a question about a voter's eligibility, Whitmire said.

The state commission will certify the results Wednesday. The recount will be held the next day, Whitmire said.

Once the recount is completed, one side or the other will most likely file a protest, Beltram said.

"Having been through a half dozen protests, what I would suggest would be to send teams of people out to suspicious areas now to see what is out there," Beltram said. "Clearly with such a slender margin, there's no downside to a protest."

So we will have to wait at least a week, possibly longer, to see who the winner is. The fact that Rex is up in all the various vote counts is a good sign, but there is no guarantee that a recount won't shift things in Floyd's favor. And while I understand the usefulness of declaring yourself the winner and convincing the public that your victory is a fait accompli (it worked great for Bush in 2000), I for one am not confident enough to declare Rex the winner outright. There have been races in recent times with larger vote margins that ended up switching once the recounts were done.

Oh, and just for fun, here is the Floyd camp's take on Rex's lead:

Just after lunch, state GOP Executive Director Scott Malyerck sent an e-mail to party faithful, saying that "the numbers we currently have show Karen Floyd winning." Spartanburg County GOP Chairman Rick Beltram said Malyerck did not provide any numbers to back up the claim.

It looks like Floyd and her team are using a strategy they've learned from hobnobbing with the intelligent design creationists: claim that you've got the evidence, but refuse to show it to anyone.