Something's rotten in the state of Denmark

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


There hasn't been talk about irregularities in Washington State. That's because there haven't been big reports of them.

It's just a state where, when you have a close race -- and with a 261 vote margin in this year's gubernatorial race, it qualifies as a veryclose race -- there's an automatic recount mechanism. Still, it's interesting to read about their recount and how it works, as in this nice recap in DailyKos.

60% of Washington's counties have done their recount, and the result is that Republican Rossi's lead has been extended to 286 votes. However, those 60 counties only represent less than 25% of the 2.88 million votes originally recorded.

That said, the State GOP head is kind of - what's the technical jargon -- a prick.

GOP head Chris Vance has been making a larger-than-usual ass of himself by bringing suit in federal court to interfere with the King County recount as it proceeds.  He wants the elections officials to stop the practice of examining ballots that fail to register votes, in order to enhance the voter's clear intent.  In many cases, the voter may have outlined an oval, or used a checkmark or an "X", or circled a candidate's name, or written in a name that already exists on the ballot, or any of a hundred other ways to not follow clear instructions.  In such cases, election officials -- both a Democrat and a Republican -- will often agree on what is unequivocally the voter's intent, and mark a ballot such that it will be accurately recorded.  If they don't agree, the disputed ballot goes to a county canvassing board (again, with bipartisan membership) for adjudication.

Here's the problem with the GOP's lawsuit: it's, big surprise, only objecting to the process in King County -- that's Seattle -- which is a) the biggest county in the state and b) by far the most likely source of a significant increase in the number of votes for Democrat Christine Gregoire.

I'd like to point out that the Ohio recount efforts that I support are for all counties -- Republican and Democrat, urban and rural. Recount them all with the exact same standards.