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December 17, 2004
Controversial Ruling Stops King County Ballot Mining

A Washington state judge has stopped King County from counting any of the 723 ballots it discovered during the hand recount, ruling that state law prevents previously rejected ballots from reconsideration regardless of the circumstances of the rejection:

A judge Friday granted a state Republican Party request to block the counting of hundreds of recently discovered King County ballots in the governor's race, which the GOP's candidate is winning by just a few dozen votes.

Even if the election workers wrongly rejected the ballots 150 of which were discovered Friday it is too late for King County to reconsider them now, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend said.

The ruling matches an earlier state Supreme Court decision that prevented reconsideration of other rejected ballots in the hand recount. It seems likely that the Supreme Court will get another chance to revisit its earlier decision next week, as the mysterious ballots that King County keeps finding represent Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire's best hope for pulling ahead of Republican Dino Rossi.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 17, 2004 10:44 PM

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