Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mexico election: Early recount results are in.

Here is the latest that I can find on the partial recount of Mexico's July 2 presidential election.

Polls recounted: 11,838
Calderon: -6769 votes
López Obrador: +304 votes
AMLO gain: +7073 votes
Avg. gain per poll: +0.5975 votes

If we extrapolate the AMLO gain per poll over the 131,000 polls utilized in the election, and we say that AMLO would gain the same number of votes per poll, he would recover 128,000 votes. He lost the election by about 260,000, so he still loses.

I am not sure that the TEPJF (the election magistrates who are hearing the complaints and who ordered the partial recount) can extrapolate in such a manner. They are not allowed to do that by Mexican law. In fact, there were some 15,000 polls that AMLO did not challenge. In addition, some of AMLO's challenges to other polls were thrown out as being meritless. By law, the polls which were unchallenged as well as those unsuccessfully challenged cannot have their results changed or re-interpreted in any manner. The original count must stand.

The only hope that AMLO now has, IMHO, is that the judges may decide that the errors that they saw are indicative of an unacceptably high error rate. They could then, I would further suppose, order a full recount of every poll. The one number that I do not know is what percentage of the polls had counting errors. The PAN is braying that it was only 2%. I find that difficult to believe. Of course, AMLO's PRD has been claiming for a couple of days that he gained more than 15,000 votes in the partial recount. I didn't believe that either and that information now appears to have been, er, mis-information, possibly dis-information, at any rate bad information.

The only numbers that are or will be meaningful will be those released officially by the TEPJF. And that won't happen for a few more days, next Sunday, I think. I hope I can come somewhere close to live blogging the official TEPJF announcement, but the PGA may supercede the TEPJF, if you catch my drift (Tigre Bosques).

There are still at least a couple of thousand challenged ballots which are in the hands of the TEPJF in Mexico City so the numbers above are not final. Remember the "smiley face" ballot? These preliminary numbers are, however, a good indication of how this may go.

UPDATE: I have found a fellow, a researcher for the CIDE (Center for Economic Research and Education) who claims that only 1% of the total vote suffered "irregularities". Professor Javier Aparicio said in a radio interview that he had analysed the error incidence rate in polls from both PRD and PAN strongholds and reached the conclusion that the error rate was the same. For whatever that may mean.

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