Re: A lovely little present from Iowa

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Fri Jan 04 2008 - 12:10:40 CST

Dear Bev,

Iowa has arcane rules for how it allocates delegates through
caucuses. Each caucus allocates County Convention Delegates. That
involves a round-off and second-choice process.

The number of County Convention Delegates is then rounded off to
create the number of State Convention Delegates.

The Iowa Democratic Party reports the percentages of the State
Convention Delegates at as well as
the numbers of County Convention Delegates at each County.

However, how many State Convention Delegates are allocated based on
the County Convention Delegates depends on a weighting per county,
based on votes in the 2004 and 2006 elections (according to Chris
Allen, a spokesman for the Iowa Democratic Party).

For example, the weighting for Adair County is 0.08 State Delegates
per County Convention Delegate, while in Adams County it is 0.06, in
Allamakee County it is 0.15, and in Appanoose County it is 0.18.

The weightings are found in the Delegate Apportionment charts found

Perhaps if you can figure out which precincts in your data correspond
to which precincts in the 2008 Delegate Apportionment, you can create
a spreadsheet that verifies the calculations accordingly.

Best regards,

At 12:03 AM -0600 1/4/08, Bev Harris wrote:
>Guess what? That wonderful Canadian fellow who volunteers his expertise at
>Black Box Voting from time to time, John Howard, has published information on
>some of the innards of the Democratic results program:
> file
>This file appears to have been the live file with live detailed
>precinct results
>statewide. So, we started capturing it in successive iterations.
>More specifics are here:
>Of course, you have to be somewhat of a computer geek to extract all
>the stuff.
>The link above provides links to the key files to identify the counties, the
>precincts, and it is possible to extrapolate the candidate fields in the data.
>But requires great geekiness or patience to use the raw data tables. But this
>does provide a way to look at the whole state at once by detail.
>Also in the thread is a csv file of the total statewide results, captured by
>Mike LaBonte who is an elections official/software engineer in Massachusetts;
>he notes that the percentages in the data file do not quite match
>the announced
>percentages for Obama. I have nothing intelligent to add to any of this; in
>fact, anyone reading that thread will note that I am not making sense even to
>myself tonight.
>Would enjoy any perspectives from this list on that reporting
>program. It worked
>quite well for the small Iowa counties, tended to freeze up on Polk, Johnson,
>and Linn counties, which are larger.
>Bev Harris
>Founder - Black Box Voting
>* * * * *
>Government is the servant of the people, and not the master of them. The
>people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right
>to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to
>know. We insist on remaining informed so that we may retain control over the
>instruments of government we have created.

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Fri Jan 11 16:16:30 2008

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