January 23, 2005
"Scores of felons voted illegally"
Today's Seattle Times reports that "Scores of felons voted illegally"
Scores of convicted felons voted illegally in the state's 2004 general election, and officials never noticed because of serious flaws in the system for tracking them, The Seattle Times has found.
The Times, reviewing felony convictions as far back as 1997, identified 129 felons in King and Pierce counties who were recorded as having voted in the Nov. 2 election. Another 23 likely voted. Several methods were used to confirm the findings.
Either the counties failed to flag or purge felons on the voter rolls as required by state law, or they allowed them to register without checking their status. Some were even mailed absentee ballots and returned them unchallenged.
Among the various interesting tidbits in the article:
Election officials in King and Pierce counties say voter-registration procedures are designed to make it easy for people to vote. Instead of employing a rigorous screening process, they rely on people to be honest when registering or voting.
No kidding. One can only wonder how many, say, non-citizens voted and who will never be detected because, unlike with felons, there is no accessible database for checking citizenship.
* Pierce County officials said they check new registrants against their voter rolls for those who've been previously flagged as felons. King County does not check registrants.
* Secretary of State Sam Reed said he didn't fault the counties but acknowledged gaps in the system.
* Pierce County said it was unable to double-check felon names in the voter list "because it routinely seals all of its voting records after an election". [I could be wrong, but I'm not aware of any provision in state law that permits a county to exempt such records from the Public Disclosure Act]
* The Times mentions that it found felons by matching "full names and birth dates" against voter registration lists. It didn't mention the flap about how it obtained exclusive access to those birth dates.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at January 23, 2005
09:42 AM | Email This
"Dean Logan, director of elections in King County, said, 'I don't think it's the responsibility of the election administrators to essentially do background checks on registered voters.'"
Thank you, Sam Reed:
"Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed has appointed the following members to the [Election Reform] Advisory Board...:
"Dean Logan – King County Director of Records, Elections and Licensing"
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
The pathetically poor management of the KingCo voter registration database is the issue.
Poor internal controls.
Failure to follow adopted policies.
Go along to get along.
Circle the wagons when exposed.
It doesn't take much common sense to realize where there is smoke there is FIRE.
If the database was managed this poorly...why would anyone presume the actual ballot-counting process was any better????
The Dems have worn out the word "disenfranchised" worrying to death that every vote is counted (including the illegal ones).
We have ALL been disenfranchised by the counting of illegal votes like these.
The idea advanced by the Democrats that the election contest has to show that the illegal felon voted for Gregoire before the vote can be taken out of her column is absurd. You basically could never have a successful election challenge under that idea because the Washington Constittuion guarantees an absolute right of voter secrecy.
We all know, notwithstanding the Times finding a felon Rossi voter (they must've looked hard for him), that felons if they could vote (or did), probably vote about 3 to 1 Democratic. I seem to recall a survey in Florida found that illegally registered felons were about 79% registered Democratic--30% or more ahead of statewide Democratic registration. So let's only take away about 2/3rds of the identified felon voters from Gregoires totals. That should be plenty.
4. Any wagers that this "new" information will cause the press and their Dem allies to re-think their position on a re-vote?
5. Is the Times getting a clue? It is interesting that they publish this report when they hit the magic numbler of 129. Then they bring up the Dem's falacious contention that we have to verify that illegal votes were cast for Gregoire to toss the election out. Rest assured that if there were any major ammount of illeagal votes cast for Rossi that the PI would run a banner headline.
Personally I'd be ashamed that a newspaper showed me up by doing the work I was supposed to do as head of KC elections.
Question: If Pierce County seals their records how did the Times happen to find the felons on their list?
6. I'll wager four hundred quatloos that it has no effect at all.
7. Do you people not get it. The chance that any criminal is going to vote for the AG=0. Therefore, they were all ROssi voters.
I'm not buying it, but, as a non-Washingtonian, I don't have to :)
Your premise is faulty. It is said that "politics makes strange bedfellows," and this is such an instance. Besides, most criminals aren't personally prosecuted by the Attorney General, who in fact might have absolutely nothing to do with their case. So, why would they care if Gregoire was the AG?
Well, this is the lefty, evil, nasty, Seattle Times?
Many postings on this website suggested you can't trust anything that rag writes.
Why trust this?
And why would a communist, pinko rag even write this story?
What's the status of the Chelan County election contest suit?
How are people feeling about the prospects of a revote actually taking place?
It seems that the momentum around this issue is falling off (please correct if I'm wront). This despite almost daily new evidence of election irregularities that would seem to me increasingly put the election outcome into question.
Seems like the vast majority of dead and felon voters are Rossi supporters.
How does that help justify a new election? Seems that the dead and illegal felon voters helped keep the Gregoire majority artificially small.
Smart play by Rossi though...he had nowhwere near the ability to win the vote outright so relying on the dead and felons to vote illegally almost pulled it out for him.
Just think the rantings we'd have if illegal-voting felons and dead folk were responsible for putting Rossi in office! Oh my...
Any wagers that this "new" information will cause the press and their Dem allies to re-think their position on a re-vote?
My guess: If a revote becomes likely due to court action, the papers and other Dems will shift away from opposing a revote, but not explicitly favor having one. At the same time, they will increasingly be yammering about how important it is for us all to retain "Governor Gregoire" in office, so she can continue the important work she has started and bring it to fruition. As the vote is upon us, I think we'll be told that a voting again was unfortunately necessary, but that we shouldn't disrupt (derail, delay, ruin -- select your scare word) the important work of state by turning an effective governor out into the street.
There. Don't you feel guilty already?
Frank & David:
Where do you get the idea that felons are Rossi voters? Without question, they are overwhelmingly Democratic. I'm sure that a person who robs a convenience store would punch Rossi...(sarcasm).
Frank: Actually, judging from the tone of most posters here (but speaking only for myself), I think everyone would be upset about this information regardless of who "won." It's about the process, not the candidates.
Fix the process, then do a revote CORRECTLY. Let the chips fall where they may, but ensure that the result is honest and beyond reproach.
I can't find any mention in the article of sealed records in Pierce County. (I even used the software's "find" function, just in case I was again looking at something without seeing it, so don't just blame me if I'm wrong -- blame Gates Jr.)
I was thrilled to see that the Times actually conducted an investigation, however they fell short in that they failed to include a legitimate analysis on how their findings could affect the election contest. However, they've shown me that there is a light an the end of the tunnel - and it's not a train.
Am I going senile, or do I detect a 'who cares/dumb it down' attitude amongst some of the officials comments? There's a reason felons aren't allowed to vote. It lies in the core value held by the population of the state that if your relationship with the citizens is in bad standing, you do not have the right decide on the laws and government by which they live. This is a simple approach to our culture and is critical to the maintenance of a safe and responsible environment in which to live our lives and raise our children.
Then comes Sam Reed's statement that, "the simplest way to fix confusion over tracking felons would be to automatically restore voting rights when people are released from prison, regardless of whether they've paid all their court debts." THAT MAKES A TON OF SENSE SAM!!! That's the liberal, "They're going to do it anyway" approach. Why don't we all just move to Amsterdam?
Sam Reed has lost touch with the citizens for whom he serves. You do not change the rules because they're hard to enforce. You do not adjust a basic tenet of criminal justice because someone hasn't figured out a way to manage the pertinent issues. How ludicrous can you be? Mr. Reed, you were hired to make this happen. If you can't handle the job, maybe we should find someone who can. Your way of thinking would have us stop arresting drunk driver's because the simpler approach would be to have the police officer's have less paperwork. We should legalize drug use because a simpler approach would be to have less populated jails. Oh, and this reminds me of my ultimate pet peeve - cable television in jails. I once spoke with a corrections officer who, surprisingly, used the same words as Mr. Reed. He told me that they have television in the prison because its a simpler way to keep the inmates under control. I say this is absurd.
The other comment that deserves disecting is the one by Julya Hampton from the ACLU (wow - no hyphenated last name - how unusual). She says "I don't think it makes any sense to continue to punish someone who's been convicted of a crime by banishing them from voting for the rest of their life." Well Julya, in your world people aren't required to take responsibility for their actions. In your world we are required to understand the needs and wants of the felon so as to be tolerant and forgiving.
What Julya is forgetting is the nature of a felony. These aren't basic shoplifters or car prowlers here. These are people who have....
Stolen more than $1,500 from someone
Raped a child
Raped an adult
Assaulted someone to a point of serious injury
Burglarized a home
Assaulted someone with a vehicle
Embezzled from their employer
Defrauded the elderly
It's unfortunate that I have to remind Julya about the common denominator in all of these crimes...and that is that the victims had been badly violated. Their sense of safety had been forever tarnished. Many people sell their homes and move after they've suffered a simple property crime because they feel so violated and abused. How much more does the victim of a felon feel? Where's the understanding of them, Julya? Don't tell us that this "doesn't make any sense!" Of course this makes sense. You cannot provide a safe society if the victims are forced to live by rules and government that the criminal attackers were allowed to put in place by the power of their vote. That is why their fines must be repaid. It is only then that their repayment to the victim has been fulfilled and only then that they have shown a level of remorse and contrition that goes beyond whatever words of apology they extended at their sentencing. Talk is cheap, Julya, and actions speak louder than words. It's called restoration. You should be more worried about the civil liberties of the victims and their right to live in a society that has been determined by law abiding participants.
Sam Reed should go to work for the ACLU. Sounds like they might have a future together.
In the meantime. hats off to The Seattle Times. I may actually start reading their paper. It's called investigative journalism. How exciting. Could you imagine....?
17. Hey, the Republicans finally found something with some promise. Congratulations!
RCW 29A.68.110 says:
"No election may be set aside on account of illegal votes, unless it appears that an amount of illegal votes has been given to the person whose right is being contested, that, if taken from that person, would reduce the number of the person's legal votes below the number of votes given to some other person for the same office, after deducting therefrom the illegal votes that may be shown to have been given to the other person."
This is not just common sense, folks -- it's the law. So even if it appears that Gregoire got 2/3 of the illegal votes -- and this is statewide, not just in cherry-picked Democratic counties -- the court would then ask whether the DIFFERENCE (2/3 Gregoire - 1/3 Rossi = 1/3) is greater than the margin of victory.
There is also the question of whether these votes were supposed to have been contested before or during the election rather than after. The law (RCW 29A.68.020) seems contradictory to me on this question. And there is the question of how much better we could do in a re-vote. Could all counties purge everyone convicted of felonies in all states during the past, say, 30 years? How long would that take?
Re my post above... Note that both parties have misinterpreted this law. Some Democrats claim that the Republicans must PROVE that the illegal votes tipped the election. They don't have to prove it, just show that it "appears" to be the case. I'm not sure what the standard of "appearance" is -- maybe statistical analysis like this site is known for?
On the other hands, some Republicans claim that they must show only that the number of illegal votes exceeded the margin of victory, to demonstrate the POSSIBILITY that they tipped the election. That's not true either, unless they can show that it "appears" that every illegal vote went to Gregoire.
"Seems like the vast majority of dead and felon voters are Rossi supporters."
Do you have some facts to back this up? Or just select quotes from "news" organizations?
It doesn't matter WHO they voted for. The simple fact that felons voted illegally (that is, without having their voting rights officially reinstated) should give us cause to be sceptical that the elections process is being managed properly. Just add this to the list of all the other VERIFIED instances of incompetance. Then stand by for more.
Some posters here have stated many times to "show the evidence". Well, here is but one example. Now, the mantra is changing to "but, but, but they MUST have voted for Rossi!"
What will be the next excuse to legitimize this joke called KC elections?
Speaking of looking at something without seeing it -- this was Posted by Frank
at January 23, 2005 10:50 AM:
Seems like the vast majority of dead and felon voters are Rossi supporters.
The Seattle Times found 129 felons who voted even though their voting rights had not been restored and another 23 "likely" cases of felons voting.
There's no mention of dead voters, so apparently Frank is relying on his recollection -- and not sharing his sources with us.
But look at the article in The Seattle Times and count the felons who purportedly voted for either Rossi or Gregoire the Pretender:
Jesse Shay Jr. -- said he voted for Gregoire the Pretender.
Perry Madsen -- didn't say for whom he voted.
Rosemary Heinen -- declined to comment.
William L. Nause -- he was eligible for a certificate of discharge to restore his voting rights, having met all his obligations, but hasn't received one so is not yet eligible to vote; he said he voted for Rossi.
Shahn Divorne -- said he voted for Rossi.
Let's see: 129 voting felons minus 5 leaves 124 not yet heard from; of those who identified the candidate for whom they voted, 2 said it was Rossi, and 1 said it was Gregoire the Pretender; and 2 didn't say for whom they voted.
2 of 129 said they voted for Rossi, and 1 of 129 said he voted for Gregoire the Pretender.
From that "exit poll" Frank perceives that the vast majority of felons voted for Rossi.
Such arbitrary decision making seems to run in the party -- the Demwits in the legislature decided to certify Gregoire the Pretender as the winner without getting the facts first. Frank decided that the vast majority of felons voted for Rossi after seeing what 3 of 129 felons told the reporter.
The Demwits are consistent.
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have to agree with David Crocker is his post above about the Same Reed statement. "In Washington, Secretary of State Reed said, the simplest way to fix confusion over tracking felons would be to automatically restore voting rights when people are released from prison, regardless of whether they've paid all their court debts." The simplest way. Not the fairest way.
I remember watching an old movie, and one of the main characters (a older police officer) stated sarcastically the same thing. If you have a problem with enforcing a crime, just change the laws so that it was no longer a crime. Problem solved. However, it there really such a thing as a victimless crime? Legal Washingtonian voters are the victims here, and the state is helping to vitimize or disenfranchise us.
Reed's logic is the same logic that was recently used in regards to a highway in Idaho (I 95?).
It's a dangerous highway, but the speed is posted at 60 because almost everyone drives 60. The smart and safe thing to do would be lower the speed limit, but it is difficult to enforce. Why not just remove all speed limits, and let everyone drive as they want? That would be the simplest way. No, money will have to be spent to improve the road so everyone can safely drive the posted speed limit.
Why not just let everyone vote? Why do you have to be 18? Why have any election rules if they are unenforceable?
The simplest way is to use the "honor system." Those that shouldn't vote, won't vote, at least if they know they are not suppose to vote. Wait, that's what we have now.
So much for honor.
Nice analysis, Micajah.
"Vast majority of voters" must be the same use of "vast" as in "vast right wing conspiracy", ala Billory.
The dead and felon voters do make for sensational headlines and really make the average person angry because his/her vote has been "watered down" by these illegal votes. No doubt..
But I still believe the much more offensive act is KingCo having 3700 more votes than voters. Now that the Times & P-I are starting to look at the public documents and document specific incompetent acts...this will begin to steamroll on the Dems. Thousands of extra physical ballots were mailed out that didn't need to be. They are unaccounted for and unaccountable--
We need to focus on the reconciliations being done County-by-County and Precindt-by-Precindt and INSIST that the # of ballots counted reconcile with a list of voters. PERIOD!
THOUSANDS OF EXTRA UNACCOUNTED PHYSICAL BALLOTS plus
THOUSANDS MORE VOTES COUNTED THAN VOTERS=======
Let's get back to the basics folks--
Should it be too much to expect out County Election Officials and Auditors to provide a list of Voters credited with voting that matches the total number of ballots counted?????
Are our expectations too high???
129 felons in King and Pierce counties...
I'm not surprised. In an earlier post, I had guessed that by the time this was over, Rossi's team might be able to identify up to 250 illegal voters statewide (not including improperly counted provisional ballots). If this trend continues, it may turn out that my estimate was low -- maybe the total will get as high as 500 felons, dead voters, double voters, and out of state voters.
Throw in the provisional ballots, and you could easily have a "margin of error" that could be a couple thousand votes. Whether or not that is sufficient to overturn the election is a matter of law for the courts to decide. There are good arguments on either side.
Most of the discussion so far centers on King county, but that could be because that is where most of the investigation has occured. It seems that whenever attention is directed to other counties, we find similar rates of error. For example, the rate of improper provisional ballots is about the same in Stevens and King counties (it's actually slightly higher in Stevens). The rate of felon voters seems to be about the same in Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties. That's not conclusive, but it's the data we have so far -- and there is no data showing that King county's errors are unusually high.
If this trend holds up, it would seem that the error rate not the result of coordinated fraud or misfeasance -- but rather the outcome of widely accepted election adminstratration practices -- and maybe a desire to conduct elections on the cheap. I'm not arguing that this is acceptable, and, as I've said earlier, it will be up to the courts to decide if these errors are sufficient cause to overturn the election. It may be that those practices need to be changed and election laws updated. We'll see in the coming months as we examine the facts of what happened last time and balance a desire for greater certainty against other interests such as cost and the need to make elections accessible to all eligible voters.
However, I do question the rhetoric and accusations that seem to be a common thread on this site. In particular:
1. If the pattern is indeed statewide and more or less proportional to the size of each county, how does that justify repeated claims that this is a King County issue? Is it just a need to identify a political villian?
2. More important, how does this pattern justify claims that the Democrats (and Gregoire in particular) attempted to "steal" the election? There's no reason to believe that even a few thousand improper votes scattered throughout the state would be biased in Rossi's or Gregoire's direction. Setting aside the question of whether uncertainty is a sufficient reason to overturn the election, it just seems that there is no evidence to date of a coordinated effort to illegally alter the outcome of the election. Without that evidence, how do you justify repeated claims to the contrary?
1) KingCo has made this a KingCo issue by repeatedly publicly minimizing and marginalizing deficiencies. It is not the R's responsibility to review the entire State, is it????
2) More ballots counted than voters credited with voting. A lot of this is clearly failure of their Election Dept to follow existing policies and procedures in re-issuing THOUSANDS of ballots.
scottd--I understand what you are saying here. Why aren't the Dems trying to look for deficiencies in other County's if they feel that will somehow "balance" this out??? It's not up to the R's...is it?? If you believe these things happened in other County's scottd, you better get off yer ass and prove it!
scottd--you also say
"there is no evidence to date of a CO-ORDINATED EFFORT to illegally alter the outcome of the election".
You are clearly implying that a a CONSPIRACY must be proven in order for the Court to set aside this election. Where did you get that standard???
Clearly, it is not about proving a CONSPIRACY or FRAUD as much as the Dems would love to see that be the standard.
In response to Canadian Conservative and to Bruce and others, and based on reading the news articles and limited number of pleadings posted on the Secretary of State's website as carefully as I can, I understand the status of the Chelan County election contest to be:
The R's are continuing to obtain evidence from the various counties through a regularly paced discovery process (i.e. the process was not stayed until jurisdictional arguments could be heard on Feb 4 as the D's asked for, and it was not expedited as the R's ask for). That discovery process should be largely complete within a few weeks.
On February 4 the Dems will be arguing that the case should be dismissed for one of the following four reasons:
1. because only the legislature has the right to decide an election contest, not the courts, and/or
2. the case should have been filed in and heard directly by the state Supreme Court, and/or
3. the allegations by the R's of election irregularaties are not within the scope of matters to be considered in an election contest (and for this item, the Judge told the attorneys to pay special attention to what is an "illegal vote"), such that the premise of the R's case fails, and/or
4. assuming the R's could prove their case, state law doesn't allow for the Judge to call for a new election, which is the only remedy sought.
This judge is known for ruling quickly. We'll know more Feb 4, or shortly thereafter. So far as I can see, the R's have good authority to beat back each of those 4 claims.
In general, it's not possible to show for whom illegal ballots were cast, thus whom they benefitted. There is no reason, however, to believe that they follow the same pattern as legitimate ballots.
The only place where there's explicit evidence of illegally ballots and whom they benefitted in in the areas where King County did ballot enhancement. There, we know there were ballots that weren't enhanced by legitimate procedures, and we know that the number of ballots altered by such enhancement exceeded Gregoire's margin of victory.
It seems to me preposterous to take the word of a felon as to whom he cast his vote for. It also seems to me that it doesn't make a lick of difference who they cast their vote for. Their vote was fradulent and each vote cast that was fradulent had the possability of negating my vote. That potential is reason enough to call for a re-vote.
Sam Reed's proposal to automaticall reinstate the rights of felons upon release from prison is outrageous!!
Mr Cynical said:
You are clearly implying that a a CONSPIRACY must be proven in order for the Court to set aside this election. Where did you get that standard???
Actually, I took great pains to avoid asserting that standard. In my post, I repeatedly said that it would be up to courts to decide whether the "margin of error" argument is sufficient. I made no claim that Rossi would need to prove conspiracy -- because I don't believe that is the only way he can obtain what he seeks.
My comment was directed at the rhetoric of those who assert that Democrats are "stealing" the election -- despite a lack of any evidence to that effect. Merely asserting the presence of broadly distributed errors -- while it may turn out to be enough for the court to order a new election -- doesn't come close to supporting claims of stealing.
And no, I don't think it's the job of Republicans to investigate the entire state. However, I think any attempt to cherry-pick data from King County is going to backfire because it will surely be countered with data from other counties gathered by Democrats. I was just appealing to the common sense of more distant observers -- such as ourselves -- in asking whether they think that the totality of data presented so far points to exceptional incompetence on the part of King County, or whether it is just part of a more widespread pattern of what has been acceptable practice.
I'll defer discussion on missing voters (or ballots) to another thread. I'm sure Stefan will be providing us with plenty of opportunity to discuss that aspect.
Thanks for responding. We obviously disagree but I respect your willingness to discuss.
Do you really think the Dems have thoroughly investigated other County's actions?
If so, they are might quiet about what they have found. Why are they so silent? Is it because they have nothing....or is it because they are more interested in winning this contest and don't know whether or not whatever they reveal with help them or hurt them??
The Dems are in the position Rossi was in after the 1st 2 counts where he was ahead. Why would you contest an election you have won???
It must be uncomfortable if the Dems KNOW of statewide deficiencies but don't know how the COurt will react to whatever they have found.
It certainly doesn't seem like the Dems are in any way about "Counting every Legal Vote" or "Account for Every Ballot".
"Election officials in King and Pierce counties say voter-registration procedures are designed to make it easy for people to vote. Instead of employing a rigorous screening process, they rely on people to be honest when registering or voting."
Dang, why doesn't my bank operate that way? I could take some Hershey bar wrappers, sign on the back, inform the ATM that they are really paychecks, and immediately withdraw $1000 of my new "deposit"! Dean Logan has a future in the financial services industry!
Actually, the republicans were just fine and dandy with dead and felon votes when Rossi was ahead once and then twice. They only became concerened when the final count had Gregoire ahead. And yes, even the "analysis" above shows Rossi with a 2-1 lead in known dead and felon voting!
The election lawsuit isn't about fair elections...it's about getting Rossi in the governor's seat any way possible, even if the votes aren't there. There's democracy for you.
35. Actually, the republicans were just fine and dandy with dead and felon votes when Rossi was ahead once and then twice. They only became concerened when the final count had Gregoire ahead.
Then tell us, "Frank" (who, coincidentally, posts from the same IP address as the troll who calls itself "Jim" above) -- why weren't Gregoire and the Democrats demanding an investigation into dead voters and felon voters and all of the unexplained magical mystery ballots when Rossi was ahead? Why was their only mantra "count every vote"?
Frank nothing could be further from the truth. Until all the shenanigans that took place during the hand recount, I am many others, Republican and Democrat alike, assumed our elections were being run properly. However considering the fact that I continued to receive an absentee ballot for my daughter who has been out of the County for 15 years and voted elsewhere, including another State I began to wonder, so I did some investigating of my own. I found that our elections officials are not doing their job afterall and I discovered that it is very likely that my vote was negated by someone else who voted illegally. Further investigation has brought to light a number of discrepencies that need to be investigated and I personally don't care whose ox is gored by the outcome.
I want a fair election. I will live with the result, but I want it to be fair and above board, as I originally expected it to be.
Frank: I have no doubt that if the Democrats had sought a revote based on election errors when Rossi was ahead, it would have been greeted with accusations of "changing the rules" in the middle of the election.
However, your attempt to "prove" a 2-1 preference of felons and dead voters for Rossi is just silly -- and there's already enough of that around here.
38. Frank: I have no doubt that if the Democrats had sought a revote based on election errors when Rossi was ahead, it would have been greeted with accusations of "changing the rules" in the middle of the election.
If the Democrats had claimed that King County's failure to account for 1800+ ballots should negate Rossi's 140-vote win, Republicans would probably have argued against it on the principle of unjust enrichment. In short, the Democrats should not be able to argue that they should benefit from their own mistakes.
Unless someone wants to argue that the King County officials who didn't do their jobs were hoping for a Rossi win, the corrolary argument would not be applicable in the current case.
First, there are two people who share a computer (hence the IP address "coincidence" noted above).
Second, The Dems did not go on the manhunt for illegal votes probably because there were tons more legitimate votes out there that weren't counted (and the republicans busy tried to sue to prevent legitimate votes from counting). Only after losing the suit (thankfully, legal votes were allowed to be counted) the republicans changed from "Only people who followed the directions should have their voted counted" to "Count all the disenfranchised voters." That's the 180-degree turnaround.
Hanna: How I wish fair elections were what this is about! Instead, when Rossi was ahead, the republicans (Vance, Rossi) and many bloggers here repeated, ad infinitum, that any recount Gregoire would have would naturally be the result of lying, cheating, etc. Stefan refererred to our governor as "Fraudaire" (sp?) and it was assumed that any vote not resulting in Rossi ahead would be the result of nefarious activity.
Is the election system messed up? YOU BET! But you can't change the rules (wait, that's Rossi's old and tired line that he's abandoned as he's trying to change the rule in the biggest way possible with a new election) after the fact! You can't say a crime has a new punishment and retroactively apply it! The system is and has been messed up.
This leads to two other things: 1) All elections, since ever, were messed up...not just close ones. 2) The entire slate of elected candidates took office under similar pretenses. Forget closeness, either an election is valid or not. If not, throw the whole thing out...and previous ones since they are equally invalid. See the problem? Fix the future, don't change the rules on the past!
Scottd: You are correct, I was trying to be funny and failed. The 2-1 crack was a joke. I should have put ;-) after it.
40. If the Democrats had claimed that King County's failure to account for 1800+ ballots should negate Rossi's 140-vote win, Republicans would probably have argued against it on the principle of unjust enrichment.
Of course, Democrats probably wouldn't have used that argument. They would have pointed to unaccounted for ballots, felons, dead voters, etc. in counties that leaned in Rossi's direction.
Or, they may have tried the GOP's argument that the election should be set aside simply merely because the "margin of error" was greater than the margin of victory.
In that case, I suspect the GOP would be singing a different tune.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. I expect both sides to vigorously defend their interests using whatever legal argument is available. Just don't try to convince me that the Republicans have been somehow more pure in this sorry spectacle.
41. Republicans have been more clean and pure in this process simply because they had less to do with counting the votes and certifying the results in the most populous counties (i.e. King County). Now, it could be said that the Republicans were less clean and pure in Republican dominanted counties that had voter irregularties, however the magnitude would dwarf the number of votes that in say..King and Snohomish Counties that were affected by the so-called Democrat machine. In the words of another liberal Democrat - Josef Stalin; "It's not who votes that counts, It's who counts the votes" :-)
Washington State Michael J. Murphy, State Treasurer, would succeed Sam Reed
ARTICLE III of the Washington State Constitution, “THE EXECUTIVE,” Section 1, establishes the following order of succession: (1) governor, (2) lieutenant governor, (3) secretary of state, (4) treasurer, (5) auditor, (6) attorney general, (7) superintendent of public instruction, and (8) a commissioner of public lands.
Therefore, in the event the Washington State Secretary of State Sam Reed is successfully recalled by the people of Washington State, his replacement, as established in the Washington State Constitution, will be the Washington State Treasurer, Michael J. Murphy.
In the event the State Treasurer cannot serve as Secretary of State, the Secretary of State’s Office would be filled by the State Auditor (Brian Sonntag), State Attorney General (Rob McKenna), Superintendent of Public Instruction (Terry Bergeson), or the Commissioner of Public Lands (Mike Cooper).
Sorry Stefan, I failed completely!