Washington State

The better part of me has been of the opinion that Dino Rossi should move on and run for the US Senate in 2006. But, after reading John Fund today, I’m not so sure.

In Washington state, the errors by election officials have been compared to the antics of Inspector Clouseau, only clumsier. At least 1,200 more votes were counted in Seattle’s King County than the number of individual voters who can be accounted for. Other counties saw similar, albeit smaller, excess vote totals. More than 300 military personnel who were sent their absentee ballots too late to return them have signed affidavits saying they intended to vote for Mr. Rossi. Some 1 out of 20 ballots in King County that officials felt were marked unclearly were “enhanced” with Wite-Out or pens so that some had their original markings obliterated.

Most disturbing is the revelation last week by King County officials that at least 348 unverified provisional ballots were fed directly into vote-counting machines. “Did it happen? Yes. Unfortunately, that’s part of the process in King County,” elections superintendent Bill Huennekens told the Seattle Times. “It’s a very human process, and in some cases that did happen.”

The Democrat “won” by only 129 votes. In Georgia, as in most states, a math formula is used to determine if a new election is held.

If the number of voting irregularities exceeds the number of votes cast in a race plus the number of votes cast not in the race, then a new vote should be held. It is my understanding that most people did vote for governor. It is most likely that there are enough irregularities to hold a revote.

Given that the majority of Washington State voters believe Rossi really won and Rossi did win the election count and two recounts, a revote might be just what the doctor ordered.

Slade Gorton, a Republican former state attorney general and U.S. senator who is advising Mr. Rossi, says a court should order a revote rather than declare valid one of the two earlier vote counts that Mr. Rossi won. “No one can govern effectively under the cloud this race has created,” Mr. Gorton says. He notes that state law doesn’t require any showing of fraud to contest an election. “That is irrelevant to whether the election should be done over,” he says. “The law is quite clear in giving a court the right to void any election where the number of illegal or mistaken votes exceeds the margin of victory, and it has done so in the past.”

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Erick Erickson

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