Village Awaits Federal Review to Release Vote Data

The preliminary report will offer insight and statistical analysis on how Port Chester's voters utilized the new cumulative voting system.

A preliminary report on Port Chester's historic election will be available to the public after a review by federal and village attorneys.

The report, which was compiled by a pair of political science professors, is in the hands of lawyers from the Department of Justice, Mayor Dennis Pilla said. The report was filed July 9, but officials say the DoJ must give the green light before it becomes public.

"I don't expect their review will take too long," Pilla said.

Political scientists David Kimball of the University of Missouri and Martha Kropf of the University of North Carolina were tasked with reviewing exit poll data taken from voters who participated in last month's much-publicized election.

The exit poll data was collected by organizers working with consultants from FairVote, a Washington-based group that helped Port Chester implement the cumulative voting system.

Village attorneys will meet with the new board at a special meeting on July 26 to discuss the report's findings and update members on ongoing federal supervision of the village's elections, Pilla said.

In an interview with Patch last month, Kimball said he hoped to get better insight into how voters utilized the new system and whether or not they decided to "plump" -- election-speak for combine -- their six votes.

The data could reveal voting trends, and it may help observers answer several questions about the long-awaited election. Perhaps the most important: did voters understand how the new system works when they pulled the lever?

Federal oversight of Port Chester's elections will continue through at least 2016, and the exit poll analysis will help officials decide if the election process needs to be tweaked the next time around, when Port Chester's trustees are up for re-election.

The story of Port Chester's election saga went national, attracting the interest of news sites, print publications and political blogs.

And the ongoing narrative had life beyond election week -- bloggers, journalists and observers alike continued to follow developments after the votes were tallied and Democrat Luis Marino became the first Hispanic citizen to win a trustee election in Port Chester.

"There's a lot to learn about this election," FairVote's Amy Ngai said last month, "and a lot of people are interested."


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