January 10, 2005

51-51 CHANCE?:

Don't Count Rossi Out: A stolen election in Washington state? Not if bloggers can help it. (John Fund, January 10, 2005, Opinion Journal)

If Democrat Christine Gregoire, who leads by 129 votes and is scheduled to take the office Wednesday, eventually has to face a new election, it will have been in large part because of the new media's ability to give the story altitude before it reached the courts.

When the idea of a revote was first broached three weeks ago by a moderate Republican former secretary of state, Ms. Gregoire's reaction was swift: "Absolutely ludicrous." With Republican candidate Dino Rossi filing a formal court challenge last Friday alleging a massive breakdown in the vote count, she may still think the idea of a court-ordered revote is laughable, but her legal team is taking it seriously. "There's not even a 50-50 chance a court would rule with Republicans to set aside the election," says Jenny Durkan, a Gregoire confidant who is representing state Democrats. Hardly an expression of supreme confidence.

The feeling that a revote is possible is buoyed by polls showing the public still thinks Mr. Rossi, who won the first two vote counts before falling behind in the third, actually won. His legal team has also compiled a strong body of evidence showing irregularities, certainly one far more detailed than that which North Carolina officials used last week to order a statewide March revote of the race for agriculture commissioner after a computer ate 4,438 ballots in a GOP-leaning county. Without those votes, the GOP candidate was leading by 2,287 votes out of 3.5 million cast.

In Washington state, the errors by election officials have been compared to the antics of Inspector Clouseau, only clumsier.

A revote is a terrible idea. They stole it fair and square.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 10, 2005 2:01 PM

I agree. Let the Dems have this governorship for what (little) it will be worth. We GOPers are running short of grievances to nurse.

Posted by: curt at January 10, 2005 2:19 PM

The best result would be for the GOP to sue for a new election and lose in court due to a clearly partisan Democrat judiciary.

Posted by: Bart at January 10, 2005 2:28 PM

Please get Gregoire out. If the Dems retain the Governorship, they will also have both houses of the legislature and the judiciary. New taxes and liberal policies dealing with ergonomic rules would probaly drive me and my 130 employees out of work. Increases in minumum wage and payroll taxes have increased my payroll $180,000 in the last 3 years. Not counting payroll I now pay $500,000 per year in business taxes and the company makes close to $200,000 in profit. My minimum wage employees average $23 per hour in tips plus a minimum wage of $7.35 per hour. The Dems are killing this state.

Posted by: Pat H at January 10, 2005 3:34 PM

Either way is fine with me. A revote will be a repudiation of the Dems, and might actually lead to some reforms. Leave Xine in place and by this time in '006, that she is Ron Sims sock-puppet will be obvious to everyone, and might lead to the voters lashing out at the Dems in the Legislature.

Then again, it looks like I might be out of here soon, so what do I care if the place goes to hell? I've been here for over a decade, and the only visible sign of civic improvement I can see is that instead of paying for one sports stadium, we are now paying for three.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 10, 2005 3:43 PM

Considering the history of close elections that last 4 years, it behooves both parties to agree to a standard that can be duplicated across all states that decides such close elections without the ad nauseum recounts and calls to revotes.

It is destroying the credibility of the system and legitimizing the extremists on both sides. The sad truth is that this is mainly an issue of competence. Both sides are at fault, and both should make this a priority at the local level to prevent re-occurences.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at January 10, 2005 4:30 PM

Pat H -

Those 130 employees helped to elect all of those Democrats, and are probably happy with the results thus far. Only after they reap what they have sown is there a chance that they will start electing Republicans.

Sucks for you, though.

Posted by: curt at January 10, 2005 4:39 PM

Actually, most don't vote. I brought in voter registration forms, explained issues and tried to get them interested. Most are in their 20s and single - many single or cohabitating with children. Of those that voted, many probably did vote Dem. You are right on both counts; they will reap what they sow and it does suck for me and the partners of the LLC.

Posted by: Pat H at January 10, 2005 7:49 PM

"Both sides are at fault"

How? Whenever we hear about incompetence casting an election into doubt, we seem to find a Democrat run county with Democrat election officials running things. And when the GOP tries to bring up these problems, the Dems defend themselves by throwing around accusations bigotry and "disenfrancisement" are immediately invoked. The Dems aren't going to agree to any tighter standards, because they like things just the way they are.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 10, 2005 8:14 PM

Raoul, I thought King(?) was run by a pubbie?

Or did I read that wrong at Sound Politics?

Posted by: Sandy P at January 10, 2005 8:16 PM