Monday, April 04, 2005

Like the Energizer Bunny The WA Race Keeps Going...and Going

Interesting development(s) in Washington State. First, election reform was finally passed in the legislature. Since it wasn't to their liking, several GOP legislators stormed out in protest. Interesting.

The latest on the Governors race is also interesting. Apparently, several counties that went to the Republican candidate, Dino Rossi, by over 60% found errors with their provisional ballots. Of course, the GOP wants those to be counted the same way as the errors in King County (which Gregoire won with 58%), right? Think again:

Republicans, who would like the proportional analysis applied in Gregoire's stronghold of King County, say the problems with provisional ballots in Eastern Washington can't be compared to those in King County. In any event, they say, the missteps underscore Rossi's contention that the entire election was a mess and a new one should be held.

In King County there are some 660 suspect ballots of which 348 are known, and of those 348, 40 were illegal votes and 50 are yet to be determined. Yeah, that's bad, but here are some from Rossi's counties:

Adams County tallied 108 provisional ballots after matching names and other information with registration lists and rejected 36, McBroom said. Rossi defeated Gregoire there, 68 percent to 30 percent.

Other counties that failed to compare signatures as part of their review of provisional ballots included:

Stevens. Its tally included 560 of 744 provisional ballots. The county gave Rossi 62 percent of its votes.

Walla Walla. Election workers validated 342 of 473 provisional ballots. Rossi carried the county, 63 percent to 35 percent.

Whitman. It counted 783 of 1,002 provisional ballots. Rossi got 53 percent there.

Close races are going to be like this. Good election practices are needed for these cases much more than partisan bickering. There is no signs of deliberate voter fraud, just as there is no real signs of fraud in Ohio (though disenfranchisement is another story). Any attempt to say otherwise is an attempt to discredit the winner and is unfair. However, talking about the errors is "in play" as far as I'm concerned. Our elections shouldn't be so controversial.


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