Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Numbers Dropping

Something interesting is happening as the official numbers trickle out of the TSE. You will remember that according to a Tiempo article from this morning, with 8,862 of 15,260 urns counted:

Candidate

number of votes

Porfirio Lobo

897,335

Elvin Santos

613,384

Bernardo Martinez

35.593

Felícito Avila

31,174

César Ham

29,006

Totales

1,605,442


This count, with 58.07% of the urns counted, yielded 1,605,442 valid votes, giving a straight-line projection of 2,764,666 valid votes in the whole election, for an expected number of 60% of the 4.6 million votes possible. That would agree with the otherwise unbelievable claim by the TSE that turnout would be over 60%, much higher than the 2005 election.

Now, we do not expect a perfect straight-line projection, since different districts can contribute different numbers of votes. But what has happened since is interesting and may come close to explaining why the TSE expected 60%+ turnout while the official exit polling group expected under 50%.

La Tribuna just reported a new set of numbers from the TSE in their Minute By Minute archive for today. This count is for 10,120 urns of the 15,260:

Candidate

number of votes

Porfirio Lobo

937,006

Elvin Santos

639,481

Bernardo Martinez

37,029

Felícito Avila

32,113

César Ham

30,334

Totales

1,675,511


This count, of 66.31% of the urns, yielded a total of 1,675,511 valid votes which projected forward would suggest 2,526,784 valid votes expected when all the urns are counted, or only about 54% of the 4.6 million voter electorate.

What seems to be happening is that the original projection of turnout, based on the returns from just a few central municipios, especially the area around Tegucigalpa, overestimated the turnout in the rest of the country.

As these additional ballot boxes are counted, the percentage of valid votes is decreasing, approaching the levels reported by the exit polling company, whose sample was from across all of Honduras. At the same time, the number of null and blank ballots counted, as a percentage is increasing (6.94% versus 6.3%).

Or: polling wins. But will it trump propaganda?

5 comments:

Victor said...

Wow, fancy that. Honest reporting on the election results by the TSE. I thought that the idea was that they would artificially inflate numbers with stuffed ballot boxes and the like. Looks like they ran an honest election, eh? Congrats to President-Elect Lobo.

RAJ said...

Honest reporting? the TSE is still claiming over 60% turnout, ignoring the exit polling they authorized (which projected 47.6% participation) and ignoring where the trend we describe here would end up.

So, Victor is answering the question: propaganda will win over polling or even actual numbers.

Which is all, of course, quite separate from whether this was a free, fair, and transparent election.

phoenixwoman said...

For that matter, we don't know that ballot boxes haven't been stuffed. Blank ballots can be filled afterwards, for example.

As Zelaya once said, "I know a thousand ways in which fraud is committed." Which the coup press promptly distorted into an accusation that he was committing the fraud.

--Charles

TITO said...

RAJ,

I'm so sorry people like Victor are unable to read numbers, I hope he can read graphs.

Look for the images on the right side of the screen where there is a graph showing your exact claim, with pretty much the same numbers!

http://www.kaosenlared.net/noticia/empiezan-caer-mascaras-farsa-electoral-honduras109383

phoenixwoman said...

Now the count is going backwards. Last I checked it was 10%.

I guess the TSE is just showing what a spotless counting operation they have.