December 14, 2004
Daily Briefs

The State Supreme Court has rejected the Democrats' request to review all previously rejected ballots. A welcome relief.

The Seattle Times' David Postman has more

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The Department of Social and Health Services appears to be obstructing State Auditor Brian Sonntag's efforts to figure out how the DSHS is spending its $6.1 billion Medicaid budget. This is the sort of runaway unaccountable government that we need Dino Rossi to get in there and fix.

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20% of the statewide vote have now been twice recounted. Rossi's lead in the recounted counties has narrowed very slightly to 15.5562% from the 15.5573% he held in those counties in the machine recount. With yesterday's surprise discovery of 561 new ballots in King County (why does King have more weird incidents like this than the other counties? What other serious mistakes have they made that we haven't learned about yet?), every single vote really does count. With the opportunity for greater human error in King's manual recount, and with 1 known and 1 likely Democrat for every Republican counter, we really do have to guard against mistakes, subtle bias and overzealous subjective judgments in the counting.

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The Rossi campaign still needs Republican volunteers to observe the King County recount in Tukwila. Call campaign HQ at 425.646.7202 to offer your services. Freedom isn't free, and if you think you can't spare a few hours of your time to defend your vote and your liberty, who do you think will do it for you?

UPDATE: To answer the question that has been raging in the comments: "What does the Supreme Court ruling say about King County's 561 new magical mystery ballots?" The P-I's story has this:

State Elections Director Nick Handy said current law gives King County the discretion to review the 561 ballots in question.

"Matters that have already been decided by county canvassing boards should stand," Handy said.

But counties can review disqualified ballots in cases such as this one involving an obvious inconsistency or irregularity.

"This would be the classic example of an irregularity," Handy said. "People were registered to vote and there was an administrative error. The county can go back and correct that."

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at December 14, 2004 10:02 AM | Email This
Comments
1. How can the court, a left-leaning tool designed to help the democrats steal the election, have failed to do its duty to the lying, cheating, stealing democrats? What went wrong?

Posted by: tom on December 14, 2004 10:05 AM
2. they know they no longer need to roll over. king county elections will just find all the dem votes needed.

Posted by: robert on December 14, 2004 10:07 AM
3. Nice to see your goading skills are in order. With those qualifications, you'd be a fine replacement for Berendt!

Posted by: Dan on December 14, 2004 10:08 AM
4. Shouldn't this ruling keep King County from counting the 'found' ballots since they wern't in the original count?

Posted by: Cliff Smith on December 14, 2004 10:18 AM
5. Isn't this a good thing? Shouldn't we be celebrating this minor victory? The Dem's have to follow at least one rule...I know it'll be tough for them...but at least they can still 'find' ballots. I still celebrate this minor win.

Posted by: megs on December 14, 2004 10:29 AM
6. Tough call. I believe that the ruling was on rejected ballots, not "newly discovered" ballots. But if it's one thing that we can count on is that the King Democrats will wait to announce their results until after all of the other counties have finished, then announce that they have found enough votes to put Gregoire over the top and claim a total victory...

Posted by: KLRMNKY on December 14, 2004 10:33 AM
7. Regarding the list of newly "discovered" ballots. Just curious since we have the zip codes why NONE from my particular district (pro-Rossi) were not found in this group. Wasn't it RANDOM. Wouldn't 1 be found at least. Just Curious what your thoughts are looking at this list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: CP on December 14, 2004 10:43 AM
8. The article in the Seattle Times specifically says:

"The court, echoing the position of Secretary of State Sam Reed and Republicans lawyers, said Washington state law makes clear that a recount should "retabulate" votes already counted and that county canvassing boards cannot be ordered to look again at ballots thrown out during the first two tallies."

Am I off base to think that this includes those "discovered" votes that were not counted in the first two counts? I don't care why they were thrown out...they weren't counted the first two times and so shouldn't be counted now.

Posted by: megs on December 14, 2004 10:56 AM
9. From the Times article:


In one e-mail to Sonntag's office, Heidi Robbins Brown, a Medicaid deputy assistant secretary, said lead auditor Silvana Golda misrepresented information, tricked a staffer and generally took an "accusatory position."

DSHS employees don't know jack about misrepresentation, trickery and accusations (and incompetence) until they've dealt with the Office of Support Enforcement.

Posted by: South County on December 14, 2004 10:57 AM
10. OK, so now we just have the 561 "found" absentees left. Shouldn't these be rejected as well because they were not handled before the results were certified on Nov. 17th? Letters were sent out to voters. How come they did not respond?

Will King County find more ballots?

How long have they been sitting on these extra "just in case" ballots?

Lot's of questions?

Note that in the Rossi counties, everything is going pretty much by the book. Not a lot of drama and mystery as in King County.

Let's hope that even in their efforts to mfg. ballots, that the Dems still come up short. That would be the ultimate "in your face" for all of the people, both Dems and Repubs who supported Rossi and know that this state does indeed need change!

Posted by: Jeff B on December 14, 2004 10:57 AM
11. I believe the key is that the counties "cannot be ordered to" re-examine ballots, but they they may do so at their own discretion. Can anyone with more legal knowledge confirm or dispute this?

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on December 14, 2004 10:58 AM
12. I doubt this would ever have been considered feasible, but I think that for the hand recount the ballots should have been counted by persons OUTSIDE each individual county border: let King county people spread out and count the smaller counties, let other folks from several counties across the state come in to count King, etc. That would make another, albeit very small, layer of objectivity in this heated (and very open to fraud in our [beloved??] Crooked King County) process. With the gaggle of folks from King spread around the state they wouldn't be able to coordinate and collude and the same could be achieved in King because various folks that won’t know each other would then count it.
King County has a long way to go before they ever regain the trust of honest voters.

Could be it's time to resurrect the (secede from King) Cedar County proposals/petitions. Sign me up! I'm pretty damned tired of taxation WITHOUT representation of MY interests. Let Seattle and King County have each other - neither deserves better.

Posted by: Cheryl on December 14, 2004 11:01 AM
13. Also curious is that this "Larry" who started this whole "current" 561 vote brouhaha is a King County bigwig. Now he may be the second coming, but still curious or am I alone in this? Reminds me of the innocent guy that broke Bush' DUI at that last minute. Am I paranoid?

Posted by: CP on December 14, 2004 11:05 AM
14. I'm not sure of the scope, but this is a quote from the ruling.

"Thus, under Washington’s statutory scheme, ballots are to be “retabulated” only if they have been previously counted or tallied, subject to the provisions of RCW 29A.60.210."

The RCW may reveal more.

http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/?fa=newsinfo.order_041214

Posted by: Bill W. on December 14, 2004 11:13 AM
15. I'm not sure of the scope, but this is a quote from the ruling.

"Thus, under Washington’s statutory scheme, ballots are to be “retabulated” only if they have been previously counted or tallied, subject to the provisions of RCW 29A.60.210."

The RCW may reveal more.

http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/?fa=newsinfo.order_041214

Posted by: Bill W. on December 14, 2004 11:13 AM
16. I'll admit to being really ignorant politically but it seems to me that the court had little choice.

Imagine that they had ruled that the previously judged and rejected ballots should be reviewed in order to treat every vote the same and a new set of standards was set that all votes be judged by. Next imagine that Republicans file a suit asking that all previously judged and accepted ballots be reviewed for the same reason, obviously if there are new standards, some votes could have been previously accepted that under the new rules would not qualify. Now the kicker... I understand it is impossible to identify the previously questioned but accepted ballots.

So if the court had mandated equal treatment of all ballots the only way to comply would be a new election which Rossi would win, at least that was what I was hoping for.

Posted by: Vicky on December 14, 2004 11:21 AM
17. I'll admit to being really ignorant politically but it seems to me that the court had little choice.

Imagine that they had ruled that the previously judged and rejected ballots should be reviewed in order to treat every vote the same and a new set of standards was set that all votes be judged by. Next imagine that Republicans file a suit asking that all previously judged and accepted ballots be reviewed for the same reason, obviously if there are new standards, some votes could have been previously accepted that under the new rules would not qualify. Now the kicker... I understand it is impossible to identify the previously questioned but accepted ballots.

So if the court had mandated equal treatment of all ballots the only way to comply would be a new election which Rossi would win, at least that was what I was hoping for.

Posted by: Vicky on December 14, 2004 11:21 AM
18. The Court ruling clearly states that the 561 phantom "ballots" cannot be counted bcause they were not counted in either of the first two recounts. In addition, the Court also ruled they have enough observers, thank you very much.

All of you Democrats can whip up the Kool-Aid right now. (Remember: Jim Jones used grape Kool-Aid.)

Posted by: FedUpWithThis on December 14, 2004 11:22 AM
19. Yes, Bill W., that's exactly what no "retabulation" means.

Posted by: FedUpWithThis on December 14, 2004 11:26 AM
20. The cannot be ordered to seems to be a little ambiguous (sp?)...but the RCW seems fairly clear..."ballots are to be “retabulated” only if they have been previously counted or tallied". Seems pretty clear to me.

Posted by: megs on December 14, 2004 11:28 AM
21. I looked through the Seattle PI's list of rejected absentee voters at

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/voters14ww.html

I did a machine count of this list, and also a machine recount. (No "tabulation error") It appears to contain 1,554 names in total. 668 of these names appear to contain "Seattle" addresses. Some of these might not be in the City of Seattle, but King County Elections appear to have done a good job of listing the municipality for voters living in cities which used to also use "Seattle" as the mailing address -- i.e. Shoreline, Burien, etc.

Perhaps a manual recount of this rejected absentee list would be more accurate. Any diehard Dems out there would would like to manually recount to check my figures?

In Seattle, 320,431 ballots were cast in the original count, while 898,238 were cast countywide in the original count. (Both figures are a bit higher for the machine recount.)

So the rejected absentee ballots are 42.99% from the City of Seattle (or possibly unincorporated areas or newer cities -- but not likely -- still using this mailing address, while 35.67% of the total ballots cast in King County (at least in the initial count) were definitely from the City of Seattle.

Obviously, the 561 absentee ballots rejected due to lazy election workers being derelict in their duties after not finding an optical image of the signature on their computer screens is a subset of the 1,554 total absentee ballots rejected due to (alleged) signature mismatch. So the percentage of this subset from the City of Seattle may be higher or lower.

Posted by: Richard Pope on December 14, 2004 11:29 AM
22. Those 561 should definitely NOT be counted even if my absentee ballot is in the group - and the Republican party should move legally to have the WA Supremes' decision enforced in King County.

Posted by: MC on December 14, 2004 11:40 AM
23. Let's look at common sense first, then the law.

Common sense: How can anyone question the validity of these 561 ballots? They were rejected because of 2 very specific errors by the elections office: 1) The voters' signature cards were for some reason not properly scanned into the computer system, and then 2) The county, upon finding no signature in the computer system, rejected those ballots rather than digging out the original signature card to compare with the signature on the ballot.

These 561 voters did nothing wrong. They cast and signed their ballots properly (as far as we know -- probably when signatures are compared, a few will be found defective). The mistake was entirely with the elections office.

The law: The Supreme Court refused to order previously rejected ballots to be included in the recount. It didn't specifically say that they couldn't be reviewed, although it arguably implied that. The county has cited a provision allowing it to amend results, although I'm not sure on what statutory basis. So the law, at least to me, is unclear on this. But even if the law does not allow the 561 ballots to be counted, the Supreme Court could find that citizens' constitutional right to vote outweighs the statutes.

There is a difference between votes rejected by generally reasonable (albeit imperfect) procedures, and a large block of votes rejected due to a clear error. How can anyone argue with that?

Posted by: Bruce Burger on December 14, 2004 11:44 AM
24. The Times interpretation of the ruling does say specifically that the recount should retabulate previously counted ballots. I'm no lawyer, nor do I have the actual text of the ruling in front of me, but if this is what it actually says, this sounds like a directive to only count ballots already in the pool.

Posted by: Jeff on December 14, 2004 11:48 AM
25. Cherryl, the way _I_'d want a recount to proceed is thus:

Have the MACHINES do the sorting into piles that the 'three man teams' are doing now.
1) Rossi
2) Gregoire
3) L/Other
4) Not a machine-readable vote

So since the machine's already sorted the pile, your three man teams are just trying to verify/reconcile "This is a pile of 100 Rossi votes". Every hundred gets a set of bands, every 1000 gets a sealed box. 10,000 to a larger box.

No 'original' ballots should ever be enhanced. Instead it get's stamped 'Replaced by proxy ballot #1234' where proxies are noticeably different (green framed as opposed to the absentee's red frame for instance). Any later decisions about 'that's just a stray mark' or whatever can at least see the unadulterated original then.

If a recount focuses on getting the 'easy' counts done right, every subsequent recount is going to have a decent chance of 100% accuracy on the _easy_ votes. So much more time and scrutiny can be applied to the votes that aren't machine readable for one reason or another.

Posted by: Al on December 14, 2004 11:48 AM
26. Bruce:
I can argue with it. I feel bad for those who's votes were determined invalid because it was the absolute fault of procedural error. However, since they were not included in the original count or first recount. Therefore they are not to be included or we end up performing a NEW count, not a recount. To me, this is logical.

And it follows the law as stated in an above posting.
"Thus, under Washington’s statutory scheme, ballots are to be “retabulated” only if they have been previously counted or tallied, subject to the provisions of RCW 29A.60.210."

Posted by: megs on December 14, 2004 11:48 AM
27. For better or worse, the statutory authority supporting the count of the 561 ballots (and the 7 in Whatcom County, and the few here and there popping up) is RCW 29A.60.210 which states:

Recanvass -- Generally.
Whenever the canvassing board finds that there is an apparent discrepancy or an inconsistency in the returns of a primary or election, the board may recanvass the ballots or voting devices in any precincts of the county. The canvassing board shall conduct any necessary recanvass activity on or before the last day to certify the primary or election and correct any error and document the correction of any error that it finds.

The application of this statute which would allow discretion to recanvass the "found" ballots is that final certification has not occurred until the certification of the recount currently underway.

This "recanvass" of "discrepancies" and "inconsistencies" should be viewed as different from a recanvass of already rejected ballots, unless I suppose a particularly identified error is presented to the canvassing board. There, the Court's brief order suggests the counties will not be ordered to recanvass, but are not necessarily prevented from correcting particularly identified errors.

For what it's worth -- Kris

Posted by: Kris Tefft on December 14, 2004 11:53 AM
28. The Supremes actually specifically addressed the King Count issue in their ruling. All we need to do is ask "Is it past November 16th?"

Please see my post.

Posted by: MC on December 14, 2004 11:55 AM
29. The Court has ruled, in effect, that the 561 so-called "votes" are not to be counted. They are not votes. They are void. Here is the decisive paragraph in the Court's decision:

". . .It follows that this court cannot order the Secretary to establish standards for the recanvassing of ballots previously rejected in this election. And petitioners’ call for uniform signature-checking standards (seemingly beyond the statutory requirement that the signature on an absentee ballot be the same as the signature in voter registration files) is beyond the relief that can be afforded in this action.

No recanvassing means the 561 phantom "votes" will remain void and that they are (as lawyers like to say) a nullity.

So, to sum up, the only votes that can be hand-recounted are the ones that were counted the first two times. Any other alleged "votes" are
void.

Posted by: FedUpWithThis on December 14, 2004 11:57 AM
30. This may be jumping the gun, but if Gregoire wins due to the 561 ballots, does she have to pay for the recount?

The recount statue says she doesn't have to pay "if the recount changes the result of the nomination or election". In this case, the recount will probably not change the result -- Rossi would probably win if there were simply a recount. So she shouldn't get her money back.

On the other hand, if the county had counted the ballots properly the first time, Gregoire would have won and wouldn't have asked for a recount. And conversely, given that they rejected those ballots, if she hadn't asked for a recount, they might never have found the error, or they might have found it anyway, probably resulting in a huge court battle over when it's too late to correct errors. Under any of these scenarios, it doesn't seem fair to charge her.

I'm sure this is the least of anyone's concerns now, but it's an interesting question...

Posted by: Bruce Burger on December 14, 2004 11:59 AM
31. MC...You are so correct. The decision should stand and those votes should not count. People were given plenty of time to check on their votes before the deadline.

I think the phrase "we find no support for this notion" speaks for itself.

Posted by: megs on December 14, 2004 12:00 PM
32. King County is a laughing-stock. What credibility can they possibly have? If the workers are this incompetent they need to be fired and the process revamped. It's absurd beyond belief.

I pray that Rossi is victorious and that voting can be cleaned up. I'd hate for WA to become another NJ.

Posted by: megs on December 14, 2004 12:03 PM
33. Great post MC. There does have to be a DEADLINE or this could go on forever or until Gregoire "discovers" enough votes to win. The Court was clear on that.

Posted by: CP on December 14, 2004 12:04 PM
34. Great post MC. There does have to be a DEADLINE or this could go on forever or until Gregoire "discovers" enough votes to win. The Court was clear on that.

Posted by: CP on December 14, 2004 12:04 PM
35. To Bruce Burger:

Sorry if you're just waking up, but those 561 alleged "votes" are VOID. They will not be counted. They are not votes. To recount them would be "recanvassing" which the Court just ruled out. Duh!

Posted by: FedUpWithThis on December 14, 2004 12:05 PM
36. We should all note that the media organizations are opining that the Supreme's decision does NOT affect the 561 votes. It's time for us all to make phone calls to everyone who has anything to do with stopping this. Void or not - Dean Logan is proceeding.

Posted by: MC on December 14, 2004 12:11 PM
37. My concern is that what if my ballot was thrown out because it was not postmarked in time, even though I dropped it off at the post office on election day. I would feel pretty disenfranchised if someone who didn't follow directions filling out the ballot got their vote counted, and mine didn't.

Posted by: Tina on December 14, 2004 12:14 PM
38. Of course Logan is preceding. Dory Monson is talking about this on KVI right now and he and nobody else is stating that the DEADLINE has passed. I'm sure that there are "mistakes" made all the time in a voting bloc this wise that's why there has to be a DEADLINE. They can keep finding "legitimate" votes and "mistakes" forever. Call KIRO.

Posted by: CP on December 14, 2004 12:19 PM
39. Whoops sorry, I met KIRO not KVI.

Posted by: CP on December 14, 2004 12:20 PM
40. The Supreme Court decision may not apply to the 561 ballots for 2 reasons:

1) The decision cited several examples of how the existing rules give adequate protection to the right to vote and have your ballot fairly counted. Finding 561 ballots that were rejected for the same, clearly erroneous, reason is new evidence that completely changes that.

2) The decision does not preclude counties from amending their original counts separately from the recount process. Nor does it allow them to -- it doesn't address this issue, only recounts. Nor does it even preclude their amending their counts as part of the recount process, though it arguably implies that.

Posted by: Bruce Burger on December 14, 2004 12:22 PM
41. I think Megs has this right.

The 561 newly discovered absentee ballots that were rejected due to procedural error, may in fact be legitimate votes.

But, they were not counted in either of the first two counts, and they are now long after the certification of the initial canvassing process.

The Supremes were clear on this. There is definitely a reason why we have the words canvas and recount. At this point, the determination phase has ended and all we are doing is re-counting.

And it would not be equitable for King County to count these 561 rejected ballots without also going back and checking possibly erroneously rejected ballots in all other counties as well.

Posted by: Jeff B. on December 14, 2004 12:22 PM
42. Shark - On the update, doesn't it matter that people are going to be contacted to validate their signature (I know they thought I was dead, but hey, look, here's my signature!) and it is well past the deadline to do so?

Posted by: MC on December 14, 2004 12:27 PM
43. To Bruce Burger again: Sorry, you're completely wrong, or perhaps delusional. Read the Court decision, or have someone read it to you.
Slowly.

To Everyone Else:

A Republican needs to take the Supreme Court decision and get a court order stopping the King County thieves from
counting "recanvassed" (non)ballots.

Of course, the Seattle media are reporting otherwise and getting it wrong. They're not competent to understand the issues, so they rely on their buddies in the Democrat party to explain it, as usual.


Posted by: FedUpWithThis on December 14, 2004 12:48 PM
44. Chris Vance? Are you reading this too? If so, hi - and since Dean Logan has decided that he can count votes that were previously rejected - than can we go ahead and count all the military votes that were conveniently delayed? It was, after all, not those voters fault - but the fault of the elections office - that their votes were not counted.

Posted by: Julie on December 14, 2004 01:15 PM
45. The pivotal line of the Supreme Court's decision is not, as previously noted, that "this court cannot order the Secretary to establish standards for the recanvassing of ballots previously rejected in this election." That refers specifically to the relief the Ds sought in their suit. Moreover, it speaks to the recanvass of *previously rejected ballots* which were already canvassed. Ballots not already adjudged illegal and rejected are not covered in that language.

The actual important sentence from the Court's order is: "Thus, under Washington’s statutory scheme, ballots are to be “retabulated” only if they have been previously counted or tallied, subject to the provisions of RCW 29A.60.210." Section 210 is the section I quoted in a previous post which arguably allows recanvassing of ballots not already canvassed and rejected, in discrepancies or errors are identified to the canvassing board.

Don't misunderstand the point because my knee isn't jerking in line with my political beliefs. The 561 ballots are a joke. But without further development of the Court's position in a further proceeding, the current practice may well be that section .210 allows their canvassing and tabulation.

Posted by: K. Tefft on December 14, 2004 01:24 PM
46. The pivotal line of the Supreme Court's decision is not, as previously noted, that "this court cannot order the Secretary to establish standards for the recanvassing of ballots previously rejected in this election." That refers specifically to the relief the Ds sought in their suit. Moreover, it speaks to the recanvass of *previously rejected ballots* which were already canvassed. Ballots not already adjudged illegal and rejected are not covered in that language.

The actual important sentence from the Court's order is: "Thus, under Washington’s statutory scheme, ballots are to be “retabulated” only if they have been previously counted or tallied, subject to the provisions of RCW 29A.60.210." Section 210 is the section I quoted in a previous post which arguably allows recanvassing of ballots not already canvassed and rejected, in discrepancies or errors are identified to the canvassing board.

Don't misunderstand the point because my knee isn't jerking in line with my political beliefs. The 561 ballots are a joke. But without further development of the Court's position in a further proceeding, the current practice may well be that section .210 allows their canvassing and tabulation.

Posted by: K. Tefft on December 14, 2004 01:24 PM
47. Tefft

It's my understanding that these votes WERE already canvassed and rejected and therefore cannot be included. These weren't just 'found' ballots sitting in a corner that had never been looked at before. They were rejected for one reason or another and folks were given the chance to check their votes by Nov. 16.

Posted by: megs on December 14, 2004 01:30 PM
48. The dispute over the 561 “found” votes is a perfect example of why this recount madness was a horribly destructive thing for Gregoire to do. The most important outcome of all this isn’t who is Governor for the next four years, but whether we have an election system we can trust. One of the checks of election fraud is the more votes anyone tries to steal, the greater the likelihood of being caught. Imagine some political hack on a local canvassing board trying to steal the election for her side. If she “accidentally” counts a half dozen Rossi votes as Gregoire votes, well, maybe no one will notice. And if they do, hey, we all make mistakes, chalk it up to a long day. But we’d better go back and double check her previous counts, just to make sure. And if it turns out she’s been systematically shoveling Rossi votes into the Gregoire pile, well, we have ourselves a felon. Every additional vote stolen makes it more likely she’ll not only be caught but punished too. And while the other totals are unknown, out little vote thief has no idea how important any of those stolen votes are going to be. She might be risking jail time just so Gregoire loses by 5,152 votes instead of 5,210. Or wins by 10,252 instead of 10,141. But let her know that 42 votes is the margin between victory and defeat, and maybe she can scare up the courage to see if she can slip a few by the Republican observers…

So those 561 new ballots, are they legit? Don’t know, but it’s far more likely they’re part of a vote fraud scheme now that any potential election stealers know their target – and it’s awfully convenient that 561 ballots in a county that went 58-40 for Gregoire works out to a 100 vote gain for Gregoire.

But anyway, let’s look a the likely results of these ballots being counted and not being counted. Let’s assume that counting them makes Gregoire the winner and not counting them keeps Rossi as the winner.

If they’re counted, then there’s a high likelihood voters across the state will distrust the result, since the center of Democratic power in the state will have kept scrounging and scrounging until it found enough votes to make their candidate the winner. Coupled with the tendency of the State Supreme Court to overturn voter initiatives that won by wide margins, the average Washington voter could be excused for thinking we live in a banana republic where elections are just elaborate hoaxes staged for our amusement. Four years from now, we will have another election, but unless the Republican wins, few voters will really trust the result. Republican wins are rare in Washington, and Democrat wins will now carry the stench of fraud.

If the 561 ballots are not counted, then there’s a high likelihood Democrats across the state will be outraged that the incompetent buffoons in King County can’t count and cost them the election. Since the Democratic party runs the county, perhaps the buffoons will be sacked. There will be a lingering feeling among Dems that Rossi shouldn’t be governor, and he will encounter immense hostility from the Dems in the state legislature, but in four years, we can go back to the polls and hopefully get an unambiguous result, regardless of who wins.

And all of this would have been avoided if Gregoire had made a concession speech after the first recount, admonished Governor Rossi to reach across the aisle, blah blah blah. But no – gotta keep pushing, power means more than anything. Better to demolish the foundations of democracy than let a Republican sit in the Governor’s Mansion.

Posted by: (the other) John Hawkins on December 14, 2004 01:41 PM
49. I'm still concerned about those provisional ballots that the Ds went to court to shake loose back in count #1. I still think those are a no-go, even though they ended up in the count. Dino should have fought that one at the beginning. Because even with these newly 'discovered' ballots, they still couldn't overcome likely the number represented by the additional provisional ballots. That's where this will be lost, if it is.

Posted by: Michele on December 14, 2004 01:54 PM
50. You can see the King County Elections press release about the 561 votes here:

http://www.metrokc.gov/elections/news/2004_12_13.htm

It states that "state law specifically authorizes the canvass board to amend the certification of an election when a discrepancy or inconsistency is identified in the original canvas". (I don't know where the law states that; I'm just quoting Dean Logan.) The canvass board will be asked to do that tomorrow.

Posted by: Bruce Burger on December 14, 2004 01:56 PM
51. (John Hawkins wrote:)
"So those 561 new ballots, are they legit? Don’t know, but it’s far more likely they’re part of a vote fraud scheme now that any potential election stealers know their target "

If I understand you correctly, you are calling the Logan explanation of the 561 ballots a complete lie. Maybe I'm too trusting (I don't know a thing about Dean Logan), but the official explanation seems totally plausible (albeit outrageous) to me.

"all of this would have been avoided if Gregoire had made a concession speech after the first recount"

Are you saying we should revoke the statute that specifically provides for a manual recount? After all, if we have the law, when should it be invoked if not in an election for the most powerful position in the state that is decided by .002% ?

I can see arguing the the Dems shouldn't have sued to recanvass the rejected provisional ballots, because they were using the courts to go beyond the statute. (Similarly, both parties went to court in Florida in 2000.) But you are saying they shouldn't have availed themselves of the statute which very specifically offers a manual recount.

Posted by: Bruce Burger on December 14, 2004 02:09 PM
52. Bruce:

As I understand it, it doesn't matter WHY those 561 ballots were set aside. They were NOT included in the original count or the first recount and therefore, regardless of why they were rejected, cannot be included in this recount.

I don't have a problem with the Dems calling for a manual recount, however ill conceived it may be. I do have a major problem with their attempt to include ballots not originally included. By law, as I read it, these ballots are NOT allowed in this recount.

Posted by: megs on December 14, 2004 02:14 PM
53. King County is pouring over previously rejected ballots, undervotes, overvotes, you name it. I think we'd all be surprised if we knew how much time people have put in scouring databases for potential new votes or anomalies. The entire King County election board and staff were unable to find these 561 votes, so they needed their councilman to find this problem for them. I suggest that someone isn't doing their job of eversite very well. Which leads me to the question, "Do you really have confidence in the King County Election office at this point?"

Posted by: Mike on December 14, 2004 02:33 PM
54. Did I read the decision by the Supreme court right when it stated that the votes to be counted were the votes that had already been counted. Doesen't that exclude the 5oo or more votes from King county being added to the vote

Posted by: C Perry on December 14, 2004 05:29 PM
55. The '561' votes "found" were already on the list of 1500 votes 'rejected and discarded previously by the canvassing board'.

--> They weren't _FOUND_ today, they were found early enough for them to be part of the Supreme Court case!

Posted by: Al on December 14, 2004 06:19 PM
56. I still want to know just how it happened that a Democrat politician just happened to find his name on some list of voters...

aren't our votes secret?...how can anyone get a list of voters, especially a Democrat politician?

if such lists occur elsewhere, we need to find them , especially in Eastern Washington and Central Washington...

also....does everybody now see how Cantwell and her Democrats stole the election from Gorton?.....we should have fought then and this crap going on today wouldn't be happening..

I am so sick of Democrat rule in this state....

no matter what, Gregoire will be there governor, not mine..

and its not like anybody every gave Eastern Washington a thing, buy I at least thought Rossi would help our economy...

Posted by: lee on December 14, 2004 06:38 PM
57. I think that Silvana Golda did the right thing. DSHS is F*****g things up and all she did was find the stuff. Everyone should be helping her, not criticizing her.

Posted by: cat on May 17, 2005 10:44 AM
58. I knew this election would end this way, but have even more respect for Mr. Rossi and how he handled this. Thank you all for fighting the election results and not just rolling over for the Democrats once again. If this results stands then Miami won their basketball series as they did win 3 games out of 7. When will we ever get a government that actually uses our tax dollars to do the job promised with little or no waste and shows respect for all legal tax payers in the state?

Posted by: Vaydrahh on June 9, 2005 09:13 AM
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