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The bias might narrow slightly as more votes are counted; late-counted votes tend to be Democratic in most states. - Nate Silver, 538, "Senate Polls Had A Significant Democratic Skew"

  1. Does the data bear that assertion? (this is coming from Nate Silver. Of course it does :)

  2. If so, what are the proposed plausible explanations? I'd prefer explanations that are backed up with data, or at least are testable/falsifyable.

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    Just a guess as to one theory: late votes tend to come from highly urbanized areas (due to the volume of voting that needs counting). Large urban areas tend to lean Democrat. – user1530 Nov 5 '14 at 17:24
  • @DA. - I used to vote in NYC - that's as urbanized as you can get :)Didn't see a single long line in several years. Possible but unlikely. – user4012 Nov 5 '14 at 17:26
  • My understanding of late counts is that it's not the in-person counts that are the hang-up (as most of those are tabulated electronically) but all the provisional ballots that may be cast that need hand-counting. – user1530 Nov 5 '14 at 17:28
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    @DA agreed. It isn't how long it takes people to vote in person that holds things up but the sheer amount of people voting leads to higher provisional ballots and other irregularities that take longer to sort out properly. Given that these areas already trend Democratic, that's what leads to the blue shift late in counting. – Michael Kingsmill Nov 5 '14 at 17:37
  • @DA. provisional as in mail-in? That should have enough data to prove/disprove... – user4012 Nov 5 '14 at 18:31
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In Australia, small, rural ballot stations tend to have their counting finished before large, urban ballot stations within the same electorate, because there's fewer votes to count. The former tend to be more right wing, the latter more left wing.

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  • But shouldn't larger districts also have more people doing the counting? So some source with explanation would be nice for that – user45891 Nov 6 '14 at 13:24
  • The AEC needs to supply enough people at small booths to conduct a booth including toilet, meals, supervision, chief electoral officer in booth. Large booths distribute such "overhead" costs more effectively, so have fewer AEC officers per booth. – Samuel Russell Nov 7 '14 at 3:24

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