Last fall, MO made a niftly little Excel spreadsheet (designed by my intellectually superior brother) available for readers to follow the Washington governor’s race.
We might need another one this year if they keep finding more uncounted ballots.
The infamous 2004 governor’s race was finally decided seven weeks after the election, after King County officials found new unsecured ballots on nine separate occasions during two statewide recounts. After the new ballots were counted, Democrat Christine Gregoire won a 129-vote victory out of some three million ballots cast. Even as she was sworn in last January, King County election supervisor Dean Logan admitted it had been “a messy process.”
He wasn’t kidding. During the two recounts, Mr. Logan’s office discovered 566 “erroneously rejected” absentee ballots, plus another 150 uncounted ones that turned up in a warehouse. Evidence surfaced that dead people had “exercised their right to vote”; documentation was presented that 900 felons in King County alone had illegally voted and that military ballots were sent out too late to be counted. A total of 700 provisional ballots had been fed into voting machines before officials had determined their validity. In the four previous November elections, King County workers had never mishandled more than nine provisional ballots in a single election.
Anyone who watched that election unfold over excruciating weeks knows that it was a mess.
All of this means that the May 23 date set for a trial on a GOP lawsuit seeking to declare the election invalid and to hold a new one this November takes on added significance. Mr. Gorton points out that “a court [can] void any election where the number of illegal or mistaken votes exceeds the margin of victory.” In the case of last year’s race for governor the number of uncounted ballots unearthed just this April is fast approaching Ms. Gregoire’s margin of victory.