March 09, 2005
The Larry Phillips Ballots Revisited

One of the biggest controversies of the election last year were the 720+ absentee ballots in King County that were ruled to have been improperly rejected by election officials because the voters' signatures were not in the computer database.

As it turns out, King County election officials knew there was a problem as early as Nov. 3, nearly six weeks before they claimed that they "became aware" of the issue.

The Seattle Times reported on December 14

It wasn't just any citizen whose voting problem led to King County's discovery yesterday that 561 voters had been disenfranchised by apparent data-entry goofs.

Larry Phillips, chairman of the Metropolitan King County Council, was at a Democratic Party campaign office in Fremont Sunday [December 12] preparing to visit people whose absentee votes had been rejected because of signature problems.

USSR Communist Party
General Secretary
Konstantin Chernenko
King County
Politburo Chairman
Larry Phillips
The Rossi campaign obtained King County elections office e-mails through a public records request. On Feb. 15 Rossi issued a press release containing this Nov. 3 email from an elections worker to Bill Huennekens. It proves the county knew as early as Nov. 3 that the county did not have signatures on file for some number of the voters who returned absentee ballots.

The Rossi folks only had a hard copy print out of the email, not the attached data file which contained the list of the voters in question. I was curious to see whether the voters alluded to in the Nov. 3 email were the same set of voters that were publicized in the Larry Phillips case, so I made a public records request for the file (on Feb. 15), and received the file this week. It's a public record, but it contains raw addresses, so I'm reluctant to publish it. I will confirm that it lists about 1,100 voters, about 350 of whom were on the final list of "No signature on file (NSOF)" voters whose ballots were considered by the canvassing board at the end of the manual recount. Larry Phillips' name is not on the Nov. 3 list, presumably because his ballot arrived and was processed a few days later.

I find the following facts troubling: (1) King County officials knew about this problem weeks before it was reported; (2) when it was reported in mid-December, King County claimed that it was a brand new discovery; (3) The problem was only addressed once King County Politburo Chief Larry Phillips complained.

This only makes me wonder what other problems King County is getting away with covering-up as long as the top Democrats aren't complaining about them.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at March 09, 2005 10:03 AM | Email This
Comments
1. You, sir, are getting annoying. Why don't you just let up and let me put my head back in the sand?

Of course, that means keep at it. It is better to get this resolved than to let these problems continue.

Posted by: swatter on March 9, 2005 10:36 AM
2. It's obvious from this post that the failure to count the 720+ absentee ballots was a simple mistake. The problem existed before the election, apparently wasn't fixed by the time that the ballots were counted the first time (we don't know why), and then was addressed after Phillips noticed that his ballot hadn't been counted.

So, we had hundreds of perfectly valid ballots that hadn't been counted because of an administrative mistake.

Yet the Rossi campaign fought TOOTH and NAIL against having those ballots counted. They never claimed that that the ballots were cast by people who weren't entitled to vote or otherwise illegal. They just said that valid ballots should be IGNORED because the mistake hadn't been fixed before the recount.

So much for protecting democracy and a rightful path to obtaining the governor's office.

Posted by: Mike on March 9, 2005 10:46 AM
3. Lest you forget, Mike... Democracy also means sticking to the rules set out by the PEOPLE and not changing them after a process has been set in motion to cover-up irresponsibility.

Posted by: bmvaughn on March 9, 2005 10:52 AM
4. Well, I meant to get up on election day, but I just couldn't do it, so I went back to bed. Is it too late to make my vote counted. It would be for Rossi if that makes any difference. No?

Okay, then what about Gregoire? Yes, you say. I'll be right down.

Posted by: swatter on March 9, 2005 11:10 AM
5. "Yet the Rossi campaign fought TOOTH and NAIL against having those ballots counted. They never claimed that that the ballots were cast by people who weren't entitled to vote or otherwise illegal. They just said that valid ballots should be IGNORED because the mistake hadn't been fixed before the recount." - Mike

Are you selectively forgetting the fact that other counties (Rossi friendly) had the same problem and were barred from fixing their mistake in signature problems because, "oh too bad we changed the rules after you certified."

so touche! "So much for protecting democracy and a rightful path to obtaining the governor's office."

Posted by: Adriel on March 9, 2005 11:10 AM
6. wow! the resemblance of Phillips to the aged Chernenko is striking! Guess we know what Phillips will look like in 10-20 yrs!

Posted by: Michele on March 9, 2005 11:11 AM
7. The resemblance is there in many ways....Philips smile seems to be saying..'Guess what I got away with'.

Posted by: Susu on March 9, 2005 11:14 AM
8. The county knew of these ballots for some time, and had tried to contact these people 3-4 times.

Only when King County Elections Commission knew that they were not 'finding' enough votes for Gregoire in the recounts did these ballots resurface. Then KC used them to help put Gregoire over the top.

There was no 'simple mistake'. KC had tried to contact these people multiple times, and had given up.

Posted by: Larry on March 9, 2005 11:17 AM
9. There are always alterior motives with democrats, if they tell you they are working for anything selfless, I tell you to watch their shifty eyes. Anyone that feeds the homeless with one hand and in the other hand hands them a voters regisration card is not a party to be trusted, if CG gets her way they'll be handing out propiganda and voter registration cards in the pen... or better yet maybe they'll be handing CG a voters registration in the pen.

Posted by: Adriel on March 9, 2005 11:36 AM
10. What is continuously ignored about this topic and whose irony I just love, is that Mr. Phillips in his role as Council Chief was also on the County Elections Canvasing Board.............that is until he turned his seat over to another fellow pitbull Democrat.

To me that means that whatever rules were followed that caused King County not to follow-up on signatures were likely approved by Phillips at some earlier point.

Actually one of the dirty little facts I have always wanted to know, but never found out about was "when" did Mr. Phillips relinquish his seat on the Canvasing Board and if it was in any way related to a possible conflict of interest over making decisions about his ballot.

Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks for all the research you have done. I suspect that you are correct that there are all kinds of things that have and will continue to be swept under the rug and away from public view.

If Sims really wanted to improve things he would give someone like Raph Monroe a blankcheck to reorganize and report on what happened with King County Elections.

Posted by: Bob on March 9, 2005 12:15 PM
11. Stefan!

When I use the first link "became aware" at the bottom of the page is a XL spreadsheet that Lawrence Phillips is on and that those ballots would be presented to the canvassing board for amending the certified results on Dec 15.

Yet, you say that his name is not on the Nov 3 list that you just received? I wonder how many ballots Mr Larry Phillips submitted by absentee????

In the link above I noticed this Quote from Dean Logan in the third paragraph...... "From the very first ballot counted, I have maintained that every ballot of every valid voter should be counted."

They have admitted to sending many duplicate ballots, some triple ballots and even some quadruple ballots to voters.......

What an easy way to pad a few hundred votes in the numbers, what was it 561?

Posted by: sgmmac on March 9, 2005 12:18 PM
12. Response to - Posted by: Mike on March 9, 2005 10:46 AM

Mike,

The Rossi side wasn't saying don't count those ballots/votes. They were saying, certify based upon the established "Universe of Ballots" that was created by the first count. Their point was a recount is just that, a retabulation of those ballots/votes originally counted. These Larry Phillips ballots should have been adressed in a Democrat challenge to the Rossi victory, so if they were valid they would eventually be counted. The rules of a "recount" were broken, according to the Rossi position, by allowing them to be added in at that point. So they were not trying to prevent them from being counted, they were trying to get them reviewed and added, if appropriate during the Democrat contest. Getting your facts straight might help with your credibility.

Posted by: Chris on March 9, 2005 02:23 PM
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