January 11, 2005


New error found in vote tally (Keith Ervin, 1/11/05, Seattle Times)

Oops — never mind.

Three days after King County election officials explained most of a controversial discrepancy between the number of ballots cast and voters known to have voted, the gap has grown again.

After whittling the discrepancy from 3,539 votes to 1,217 last week, officials yesterday said they had made a mistake.

The number of votes now unaccounted for is "somewhere around 1,800," county Elections Superintendent Bill Huennekens said yesterday.

It's impossible to come up with a precise number, Huennekens said, because workers are adding and deleting names of registered voters as they update the list in preparation for a Feb. 8 special election.

Huennekens said the numbers released Friday were wrong because the names of 1,003 voters appeared twice on the voter list. Not all of them voted in the November election. Computer experts are trying to figure out why some names were on the list twice.

The state Democratic Party alerted county election officials to the goof shortly after the county gave a "reconciled" list of voters to the political parties and news media Friday, but the county didn't publicly acknowledge the problem until yesterday.

Huennekens said county staffers worked over the weekend to produce an accurate voter list.

The flawed list was an embarrassment the county didn't need at a time when the state Republican Party was already pointing to procedural errors and accounting problems in King County as grounds for holding a new election for governor.

It's an election, not a bris, how accurate do they need to be?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 11, 2005 9:09 AM

Accurate enough for the Democratic candidate to win by one vote or more; beyond that, all is unknowable.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 11, 2005 11:22 AM

Fair or not, it was to be expected that the media would declare "game over" as soon as Gregoire overtook Rossi in the vote count. Rossi is starting to earn a reputation as a sore loser, and there's no worse thing for a Republican than to seem like a crybaby.

The issue of a stolen election might also be helpful in firing up the GOP base for '06, by reminding them that Democratic politicians are scoundrels.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 11, 2005 12:12 PM

Close enough only counts in horsehoes, hand grenades and King County elections.

Rossi is getting a reputation as a "sore loser" and a "crybaby" where?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 11, 2005 12:44 PM

Not one of my liberal friends has called him a sore loser, and most think the election was probably stolen but do not much care.

Posted by: Pat H at January 11, 2005 1:13 PM

A 'sore loser' is someone who is behind at the end of regulation and wants a do-over (see Gore, Al). Rossi was the winner of two counts, but of course the dems kept the count going until they got the result they wanted.

I'm starting to think the entire issue has to be resolved with a three prong approach.

1) Allow only one recount, to be done on all ballots cast in that election (no cherry picking political subdivisions), either automatic or on request.

2) Prohibit hand recounts unless the original count was done by hand.

3) At least try to eliminate judicially-ordered recounts by (re)asserting the primacy of the legislature in determining election law and certifying the results of an election.

Posted by: Chris B at January 11, 2005 1:54 PM

I'm not suggesting Rossi really is a sore loser; he definitely has a beef. But if he's still making his demands when Gregoire is sworn in, the liberal media will paint him as a crybaby. We all know what side they're on.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 12, 2005 12:21 AM