What is a LOST VOTE?
This documentary deals with finding and demonstrating lost votes all across the State of Texas – but more specifically in Brazos County. We picked Brazos because it is a medium size county, and because it publishes a list of voters each day of early voting and on election day.
But to answer what is a lost vote – we have to look at the RECONCILIATION REPORT first.
When all of the vote counting is complete – each county (with a few exceptions) is required to produce a reconciliation report like these and post them on the county website. These are important numbers. However the most important numbers are boxes (E) (H) and (M)
E: Total voters
H: Total Ballots Rejected
If you subtract H from E – this is the total number of legally cast ballots. In the case of Brazos County – you add up the Democratic and Republican values for a formula of:
E(R) + E(D) - H(R) - H(D) = 17,048 + 4,911 - 110 - 37 = 21,812
Then the reconciliation also gives the number of ballots that were counted by the machines – in this case
M(R) + M(D) = 16,765 + 4747 = 21,512
Now there are some lost votes in here – there are 300 votes that are not accounted for. The explanation provided by the county was: FLEEING VOTERS AND BALLOTS NOT RETURNED BY MAIL.
We are still working with several counties to figure out why mailed ballots appear to be in the count. A mailed ballot is not a vote until it comes back and is certified as appropriately cast. So we will update this site once we get clarification.
BACK TO LOST VOTES
So the county needs to explain 300 votes – and by definition the difference between legally cast votes and the number of votes processed by the machine is the first definition of a lost vote.
The second is when comparing to the State of Texas final voter turnout. This comes from https://votetexas.com and it looks like this:
So if we look at all of these numbers together we see the following for the Both Parties:
THE TEXAS OFFICIAL NUMBER: 21,178 TOTAL VOTERS 21,959 REJECTED BALLOTS - 147 ------- 21,812 <--- TOTAL LEGALLY CAST BALLOTS TOTAL BALLOTS COUNTED (machines) 21,512 -------- Difference 300 <--- County Lost Votes STATE LOST VOTES TEXAS OFFICIAL NUMBER: 21,178 TOTAL LEGALLY CAST: - 21,812 ---------- - 634
There were 634 lost votes in Brazos county – 300 of them appear to be the responsibility of the county, and the rest (334) appear to be the responsibility of the state.