June 4, 2005

SEEKING PERFECTION FROMN A HUMAN INSTITUTION:

GOP, Democrats Rest Their Cases in Washington Governor Dispute: A judge will decide whether to uphold the election of Christine Gregoire, challenged by the Republicans, or order a new vote. (Sam Howe Verhovek, June 4, 2005, LA Times)

Christine Gregoire was elected governor in November. Or Dino Rossi was. It depends on what the definition of "elected" is.

Nobody knows who really won — so do it over.

Those were among the arguments thrown around in the last two weeks before state Judge John E. Bridges, who listened Friday to closing arguments in a challenge by state Republicans to the official certification of Democrat Gregoire's 129-vote margin out of 2.9 million ballots cast.

Bridges, who said he would issue his verdict Monday, has presided over a trial that has had moments of hard-core legal combat by some of the state's top litigators, but also moments of such sheer wackiness that both sides have been left laughing.

"Has election day ended in this case?" a lawyer for the Democrats' Jenny Durkan asked Friday of the state deputy election director, John Pearson, whose retirement is being delayed by the trial.

"No, it has not," said Pearson, sounding a bit weary.

"Is it fair to say the election community are humans?" Pearson asked, pressing the Democrats' argument that no election of such scale could be perfectly counted.

"I believe they all are," said Pearson, as the courtroom erupted in laughter. "Yes!"


Stability and finality are more important than precision.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 4, 2005 8:53 AM
Comments

Sound Politics has been doing a magnificent job covering this.

Posted by: Sandy P. at June 4, 2005 10:29 AM

The best outcome would be for the judge to rule that the Democrats ran a fraudulent election, but that there was nothing he could do about it.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 4, 2005 11:24 AM

Stability and finality are more important than precision.

I think honesty (non-fraudulousness, to coin an awkward word) is an important term you've missed, OJ. After all, Cuba's elections have stability and finality.

By the way, got my book. Thanks again.

Posted by: PapayaSF at June 4, 2005 2:33 PM

honest elections? why?

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2005 3:36 PM

At least the county is prosecuting persons that voted more than once and there is enough flung poop sticking to those who turned a blind eye, that we can expect something better in the future. Unfortunately, with the democrats controlling the House, Senate and Gonernorship for the forseeable future the state is going to suffer. Washington has just been named the state most unfriendly to small business for the second year in a row, and it is going to get worse before it gets better under this administration.

http://www.nfib.com/object/sbcwa0605?_templateId=315

Posted by: Patrick H at June 4, 2005 3:48 PM

Why honest elections?

So that the Government which was instituted among the citizens of Washington state might secure their rights by deriving its just powers from the Consent of the Governed.

Posted by: Noel at June 4, 2005 5:43 PM

The election was 50%-50%. They consented to either.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2005 5:47 PM

If the coin lands on its edge you flip it again--not give it to the cheat who kicks it over when no one is looking.

Posted by: Noel at June 4, 2005 5:54 PM

At the point where you're just flipping coins you've abandoned any pretense that the winner mattered much to the voters.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2005 7:00 PM

Maybe you consent to such things as indeterminate results in the Eastern Time Zone, but around here, we only consented to a clean, properly conducted election. It is humanly possible to conduct an election in which the outcome is determined exactly, but only if those running things follow the rules and show diligence in performing those duties.

The trial shows we didn't get that. So we need to establish that just because you are the last party holding the stolen goods (in this case, the governorship), you don't get to keep them, but those goods are returned to the rightful owners, "we the people", in the form of a new election.

That people here do care was shown by comparing Governor Pro Tem Gregoire's results to those gained by Kerry and Murray. If she is worthy of election, let her win it honestly.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 4, 2005 9:42 PM

Raoul:

No, it isn't. It's possible to win by enough that the rather routine irregularities don't matter much. American elections depend largely on volunteers, mainly party activists and elderly women, and antiquated machinery. The system's bendable when there's a wide margin but breaks when narrow.

Posted by: oj at June 4, 2005 10:24 PM

Though I agree with OJ on most issues, this is one where I part company.

It isn't about counting votes, it's about the Left getting to keep counting until they win.

The evidence of fraud here is overwhelming. Running a 2nd election would send the proverbial "message". Given the massive tax hikes & spending, the Republicans would also win handily. (though that isn't the reason to have it)

Absent agreement with me, Rob Schwartz has the next best answer.

What gives OJ, are you throwing them a bone so they don't fight harder?

Posted by: BB at June 6, 2005 12:53 AM

If Rossi'd won by a decent margin it wouldn't be an issue. Or if the GOP controlled the levers of power, they could take the election, as W did in 2000.

Posted by: oj at June 6, 2005 12:59 AM
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