"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

High, low, jackpot

A strange little story today on the Ministry of Truth (Provincial):

Low turnout at Advance Polls

A little over 200 voters turned out to cast their ballots in the Advance Polls for the up-coming Terra Nova by-election. That is a mere fraction of the over 8-thousand eligible voters in the district.

[And, edited to add, the Quebec Daily Newspaper:]

Small turnout in advance polls
The Telegram

A total of 219 people voted in advance polls Saturday for the Terra Nova byelection, according to the province’s office of the chief electoral officer.

It is indeed a "mere fraction" or a "small" number.

But guess what? It's always a "mere fraction" of eligible voters who show up for advance polls in any electoral event. The small-ness and low-ness (or big-ness and high-ness) of the turnout at advance polls is not measured by the fraction who show up; it's measured by how high that fraction is compared to other electoral districts, or other electoral events in the same district.

According to the Chief Electoral Officer, 219 of 8,282 eligible voters cast advance ballots in the Terra Nova by-election. That's 2.6%.

In the last provincial general election, only 1.9% of the overall vote in the district was cast in the advance polls. By that measure, the advance vote in the by-election is high.

In the last provincial general election, overall 2.1% of the vote was case in advance polls. Again, against that yardstick, the advance vote this time is high.

And, of the four by-elections held so far in the life of this legislature, the advance poll turnout has been 2.5% in The Straits and White Bay North (up from 1.4% in 2007), 2.1% in Baie Verte–Springdale (up from 1.6%), and 1.2% in Cape St. Francis (down from 2%, the only by-election decline). In other words, as compared to other by-elections, the advance vote is high.

So, only if by "low" or "small" they meant "high", the Ministry of Truth and the Quebec Daily Newspaper are absolutely correct in saying that turnout in the Terra Nova advance polls is low or small.


At 6:17 PM, November 22, 2009 , Blogger Mark said...

Just out of curiosity - is it regular or common practice for a Chief Electoral office to release advance poll data ahead of the polls closing?

Not that there's anything wrong with it, I just don't ever recall such a thing...

At 8:22 PM, November 22, 2009 , Blogger Edward G. Hollett said...

Paul has been trying on some new things for some unknown reason.

That includes confirming the announcement of a grant of poll, for example. There's the official government news release, then follwoed almost immediately by paul saying: "Yep, there's an election so let's get at 'er."

At 9:07 PM, November 22, 2009 , Blogger WJM said...

Just out of curiosity - is it regular or common practice for a Chief Electoral office to release advance poll data ahead of the polls closing?

The only data that's released is the total number of advance votes. They've been doing so provincially since at least the 1997 education plebiscite, and federally since at least the 2000 election.


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