January 18, 2005
Election Contest Update
The Rossi campaign has filed additional affidavits with the Chelan County court containing new evidence of voting irregularities.
Among the more interesting of the affidavits are the ones from WSRP political director Mike Sheridan and researcher Christopher Yetter.
New information includes:
From the Yetter affidavit: Current working totals of confirmed illegal votes (the work is still in progress):
9 deceased voters
37 felon voters
10 who voted twice in Washington
20 who appear to have voted in both Washington and another state.
From the Sheridan affidavit:
1) Several dozen voter records in the King County database had the registration dates changed from a date after the legal registration deadline to before the deadline. [I reported this on Saturday. The Rossi campaign team discovered this independently. I have an explanation from King County Elections on this and I'll post it shortly]
2) Stevens County counted 12 provisional ballots from ineligible voters
3) Clark County has an unexplained discrepancy of 325 more ballots than voters
4) Pierce County has an unexplained discrepancy of 135 more ballots than voters, in addition to 77 provisional ballots that were counted but not verified.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at January 18, 2005
05:23 PM | Email This
Does anyone have a total of all of the illegal votes from all of the counties that have been exposed so far?
And I finally got a response from one of my representatives. Notice that she implies that it's up to the courts to decide and that there is nothing in the State Constitution of State Laws that provide for a revote. I replied that the courts do have the autority to "throw out" the election.
Thank you for letting me know that you favor a re-vote in the governor's
race. Our democratic system, as set forth in our federal and state
constitutions, is based on the will of the voters and accountability of
elected officials to voters. I take very seriously my Oath of Office to
uphold the US Constitution and laws and the State Constitution and laws.
Therefore, it is of fundamental importance to protect the right to vote
for all citizens and the accuracy of our election system.
Clearly, in our Governor's race, the votes were close, just as they have
been in a variety of races in Washington and other parts of the country.
Allegations about problems with aspects of the elections process must be
examined, the facts determined, and reforms made.
Fortunately, two major processes are in place. First, they will be
thoroughly reviewed in the judicial system, beginning immediately in
Chelan County Superior Court and probably ending in the Washington State
Supreme Court. Second, the Governor is appointing a special task force
to investigate concerns and develop recommendations for improvements.
Both processes should be very beneficial for all of us. From them, we
should achieve a clear set of facts and a clear understanding of
relevant provisions of our state constitution and laws pertaining to
election procedures, specific problems, and legal requirements. This
will better enable us to be as objective as possible in considering
practical and effective actions.
I should also add that there is nothing in our State Constitution or in
our state laws (which I have taken an Oath to uphold) that allows a
re-vote in the Governor's race---or in any other race for that matter.
If I am wrong in this, I'm confident the plaintiffs' attorneys will
provide the needed correction in the Chelan County court proceedings.
I thank you for contacting me. I can only do my job well by hearing from
State Senator - 22nd District
I attended a town hall last night with our Clark County Auditor last night. He very clearly explained the process undertaken in the election process, including the issue of more ballots than voters given credit for voting. He said that four years ago the numbers were similar at this point in time, and by the end of the process of recording voters, the difference was around 89.
As much as I support the Rossi contest of the election, this issue is too easy for the court to dismiss as a clerical problem of recording who voted. However, this finding would not extend to the provisional ballots counted prior to verification, nor the Logan declaration that people may have voted without signing the log book.
3. So are the Republican's deliberately trying to lose the lawsuit or what? Yetter's numbers are far below the BIAW numbers. Wouldn't any competent litigator get an affidavit from BIAW?
4. So are the Republicans deliberately trying to lose the lawsuit or what? Yetter's numbers are far below the BIAW numbers. Wouldn't any competent litigator get an affidavit from BIAW?
Notice that WSRP only got the database from BIAW. They did their own quick research and arrived at their number of 37.
I understand that the BIAW will be submitting their own affidavit.
Also, the WSRP is trying to get the States felon list. It contains all the info needed to do a detailed match with the voter files.
Don't forget about the neglect already publicly admitted by Dean Logan. This includes 348 provisional ballots fed directly into voting machines, and many of the 1,800 extra votes that he claimed were due to people casting votes without signing in.
This is neglect, plain and simple. The provisionals are neglect because King County was offered a simple cost-effective solution by the state auditor a few years ago (color-code the provisionals). People casting ballots without signing in indicates that poll workers (paid and trained by King County) did not perform their jobs adequately.
I believe Dean Logan's public statements can be used in the court case. Anybody know if I'm right?
7. nail those illegal voters!
129 votes is a clear mandate when the margin of error is 10,000.
Let's just "move on" and "begin the healing process" by "meeting in the middle" and emptying our pocket books into the state's coffers. Now that we have a leader by mandate, free health insurance and daycare for everyone!
Does any responsible official, with the possible exception of Jefferson county, actually follow the election laws in this state????!!!!!!!!!
This so-called election, together with its illegal certification gets stranger by the day.
10. Hi All,
Does anyone know if the hearing will be on TVW? I heard Mike Segel asking "cry baby" Paul if he would be at the trial and he replyed that he might just watch it there. I hope they will televise it so all the facts can be seen and we wouldn't have to rely on our bias media.
"I have an explanation from King County Elections on this and I'll post it shortly]"
I really wish you would watch how you word information you receive from King County...
Your statement above gives the impression, that you have verified their explanation and put the issue to rest!
If this is not the case...you might do better to state it like this:
"King County has offered me and explanation for this discrepanacy and I will post it shortly...."
It states the same information - yet doesn't give the impression that you buy it....
I noticed you worded your recent update on the military ballots much the same way....
It's very discouraging at first glance! It gives the reader the impression that there is nothing further to investigate.....You have checked it out..
Can you clarify this for me?
(I know..I'm nagging...sorry..)
"I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat." - Will Rogers
James Buchal asked:
"So are the Republicans deliberately trying to lose the lawsuit or what? Yetter's numbers are far below the BIAW numbers. Wouldn't any competent litigator get an affidavit from BIAW?"
It's because the BIAW numbers have some problems. BIAW got the ball rolling, but many of the "illegal" votes they reported turned out to be completely legal voters.
08 Jan 05 Tacoma News-Tribune reported:
"Building association officials contended that most if not all of the 42 people on their list are convicted felons who illegally voted. Association officials said they compiled their list by comparing the names of all the Pierce County voters who cast ballots in the general election with another tally prepared by Pierce County Superior Court of people convicted of felonies in the past two years."
This shows a couple of things.
1. No effort was made to find out how many of these people had there voting rights restored (as allowed by state law) upon completion of sentence.
2. No effort was made to eliminate dual names (ie. father/son with same first name.) It turns out that there were a few of these.
There were other problems with the numbers as well. The complete story is at: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/4419176p-4187231c.html
There is little doubt that some felons (who had not had their voting rights restored) voted, and the Rossi team is carefully investigating them to ensure that the numbers they give to the court are correct. If they just use the BIAW numbers, they will end up losing, as those numbers are demonstrably flawed.
So, how come you guys are leaving this fellow's question for the resident Democrat to answer, anyway?
I'm not sure that voting in another state automatically makes one's WA vote illegal. If those 20 voters satisfy WA state residency requirements, they may have problems elsewhere but be perfectly OK here.
Not that it matters. Overall, I count 76 specifically identified illegal votes. My guess is that after scouring the state, the WSRP might get twice or even three times that many -- 250 max. Rossi is going to have a hard time showing how these illegal votes appear to give Gregoire a net 129 vote advantage. [RCW 29A.68.110]
On the other hand, the wide distribution and low rate of these errors makes it difficult to assert that they resulted from misconduct on the part of election officials. Instead, it looks like a predictable outcome arising from the generally accepted procedures that were in place at the time of the election. Maybe these procedures can be tightened up -- but there will be a trade-off in costs and voter accessibility. At any rate, these changes will affect future elections. Any evaluation of misconduct in the last election will need to be made in the context of laws, procedures, and funding that were in place at that time.
Just my opinion, but I don't think rounding up a few more dead or felonious voters is going to lead to anything.
14. I despise all illegal voting, but the ones who voted in two states I despise the most. Who do they think they are?????
The Court will likely look at the CUMULATIVE IMPACT of the all the R's assertions.
This is not JUST about the illegal voters.
Many Dems are already granting us the 384 illegally processed provisional ballots times the margin of difference.
That alone brings the difference down from 129 to 55. You don't think these other illegal acts amount to 55?
And then there are the much larger issues of illegally enhanced ballots AND more ballots than voters.
Don't fall into the Dems trap of repeating and minimizing each of allegations seperately. It's not going to work that way.
It's up to us to show the Court that whatever we found could have changed the outcome. I think we'll get there. But that's only step 1.
Then, if we get a revote, there is step 2...winning it. This is where the Public Relations war is so important.
Don't fall into the Dems trap of accepting the minimization of these issues. It's the COLLECTIVE impact of a series of miscues that is material. Got it?
16. I am the Deputy Prosecutor on the Stevens County Canvassing Board. The 12 ineligible votes which were counted happened at the polls on election day. When each of these people appeared to vote, their names were not in the poll books. So they signed the poll books, an election worker wrote down their names, addresses and other contact information (telephone numbers, sometimes) and they were given a provisional ballot with instructions to place it in the provisional envelope and return to the poll worker. Instead, each of these people dropped their ballot into the ballot box and unfortunately, like King County, and probably most, if not all, of the other counties, the provisional ballots are the same color as the other ballots, so once they are in the box, there is no way to find them. (We will be looking at changing this in the future) Later, the election workers in the Auditor's office checked our registration records and found that two had their registrations cancelled (usually for not voting recently enough) and the others were not registered in our county. But in each of the 12 cases, we have signatures, names, addresses and other information about these folks. Other than these mistakes, Stevens County is 100 percent reconciled (ballots to voters) and that is the norm not the exception as it is in most counties. Having been on the canvassing board for ten plus years, I am extremely impressed with the honesty and integrity of our election workers and have never had reason to doubt them in any way. Mistakes occur and we will continue to seek ways to improve the system.
Cynical is right. It is really simple mathematics, 1+1+1+1=4 and eventually if you have enough ones you get to 129 or more and whoop there it is!
If you look at it like a Dem then each individual 1 is not important and doesn't make a case for throwing out this election, when we all know that it is the sum of all of the errors/illegal votes/imcompetent acts that the court is going to look at.
Notice I didn't use the "f" word, as that isn't critical to this issue. But if it is found it's a slam dunk.
I don't think the provisional ballots are going to do much to help Rossi.
The problem is that you can't just look at King County -- you need to consider the whole state. Stevens County sounds like they had their act together, and yet, they let 12 unverified provisional ballots get mixed into their regular ballots. Stevens only cast 1/40 the ballots of KingCo. Scaling up, we find Stevens' error is comparable to 480 unverified provisionals in KingCo -- so maybe 384 isn't so atypical. If this pattern keeps up (a big if), we might find 1000 unverified provisional ballots statewide. Given the closeness of the statewide race, it's going to be very hard to argue that these ballots provided much of a net benefit to Gregoire. And, given the wide distribution of these errors, it's going to be hard to argue election board misconduct.
Jim: Your arithmetic is good, but I'm not so sure about your legal interpretation. Finding more than 129 illegal votes isn't going to be good enough. Rossi is going to need to show that they appear to give a net benefit to Gregoire that is greater than 129 votes. [RCW 29A.68.110]
Either that, or he is going to have to show election board misconduct.
There's nothing in the law that says you get a revote just because the margin of uncertainty (or error) is greater than the margin of victory.
So I'm wondering, if my county, Whatcom, doesn't ever show up on the list of counties that have been analyzed, how do I find out who is doing the work, if any, and how do I help out? Anyone have any ideas?
20. John Barelli,
I couldn't deal with that fellow's question, because I was busy "elsewhere."
Here's what I came up with, when I went looking for any legal authority to set aside the general election and order a special election to choose the rightful governor.
Neither the Foulkes nor the Gold Bar opinion set a precedent which would apply to the question whether the courts can order a special election to choose the governor, if the apparent outcome of the general election is ruled invalid (even assuming the courts have jurisdiction to rule the election invalid).
I believe that the best Rossi can get from the courts is an order directing the legislature to decide the contested election as a legal matter, not a purely political question.
See my blog for an explanation and let me know what you think:
For those who wonder why Foulkes and Gold Bar don't apply, note that Article XI of the state constitution has always given the legislature authority to enact laws that determine how elections of county commissioners and other county and city officers shall be held -- and how any contested election would be decided.
By contrast, the constitution gives only the legislature the authority to decide contested elections in the cases of officers listed in Article III, section 1 (the governor, among others) -- and requires that the governor be elected in the general election at the same time as members of the legislature are elected. Even in the event of a vacancy in the office of governor, no special election is authorized to fill that vacancy.