Before I get started, I think it would be helpful if we can all agree on some common abbreviations and terminology. To that end:
SMOV: Sanders Margin of Victory (%). Within a defined universe of ballots (say, one particular county's ballots on one particular day), it refers to the percentage of ballots cast for Sanders. [Ed. Note: I'm not expressing an ideological preference: as of this posting, Justice Sanders is leading the race; and using the leading candidate makes the math easier.] Accordingly, a SMOV of 51% means that if 100 ballots were cast, Sanders received 51 and Wiggins received 49.
VCR: Votes Cast in Race (# or %). Not every ballot contains a vote for Sanders or Wiggins. Indeed, on average so far, just under 77% of all ballots cast have contained a vote for either candidate. Some voters may have chosen to write in a candidate -- it's even possible that they may have chosen to write in Sanders or Wiggins, which creates some interesting possibilities (which may be explored in a later blog post). But largely, it's because people chose not to vote in this particular race. They may have been single-issue voters (i.e. the U.S. Senate race), or they may have only cared about the initiatives; I have several friends who only cared about I-1100 and I-1105. Or they may have just stopped at the first page and decided to go do something else. Either way, the VCR% plays a big role in our analysis.
EBOH: Estimated Ballots on Hand. This refers to the number of ballots that each county is estimating still remains to be counted. EBOH x VCR% would yield the total number of votes that still remain to be allocated between the two candidates. Note that EBOH is not a static number. Each day in which votes are counted should result in a net decreate in the EBOH total, as votes from that category are counted and allocated to the candidates. However, some ballots may be disqualified for any number of reasons; further, disqualified ballots may be later added back to the EBOH pile if they are later verified by affidavit. Furthermore, ballots may still be arriving, which would increase the EBOH total. Although most of these ballots will be disqualified for being postmarked after election day, some may be from overseas military voters or may be correctly postmarked and will be counted.
SAND or WIGG: I sometimes refer to the candidates as SAND or WIGG for short. I intend no disrespect.
KPS: A reference to King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, the three largest counties in Washington in terms of registered voters. There are 3,601,152 registered voters (as of Election Day 2010) in Washington; King has 1,069,791 (29.71%), Pierce has 410,081 (11.39%); and Snohomish has 377,739 (10.49%), for a total of 51.58% of all registered voters in Washington.
KPSS: Same as KPS, but add Spokane county; it has 261, 250 (7.25%). KPSS together has 58.84% of the total registered voters in Washington.
KPSSCTKW, or THE BIG EIGHT: Yes, this probably seems a little ridiculous, but stay with me. Same as KPSS, but now add the counties of Clark (219,616, 6.10%), Thurston (149,024, 4.14%), Kitsap (143,796, 3.99%), and Whatcom (116,576, 3.24%). The Big Eight are the counties with over 100,000 registered voters each, and together, they comprise 76.31% of the total registered voters in Washington. [Ed. Note: Yakima is very close to joining this club at 99,568; sorry Yakimanians, I had to draw the line somewhere. Go sign up 432 more voters, and you're in! (next time)]