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December 22, 2004
Gregoire By Eight: Dems

Democrats in the state of Washington claimed victory late last night, telling reporters that the recount totals from King County had given Christine Gregoire an eight-vote margin over Dino Rossi:

The stunning turnaround was reported late Tuesday by the head of the state Democratic Party, who said party officials' analysis of hand-counted returns from King County the last county to finish the grueling process showed that Gregoire had eclipsed the dwindling margin that Republican Dino Rossi has held since Election Day.

"We're confident Christine Gregoire has been elected the governor of the state of Washington," Democratic Chairman Paul Berendt said. "I believe Dino Rossi should concede."

Neither King County nor the state Republican Party could confirm the recount results that led to the Democrats' analysis. GOP officials have said they were likely to take the matter to court in the event of a Gregoire win.

This sounds rather suspicious to me. First of all, how did the Democrats arrive at their "analysis," and since when does the Secretary of State allow the Democrats access to the vote totals before announcing them officially? What kind of operation does Washington run, anyway?

The AP reports that election officials have completed all hand recounts but still have not reconciled ballot totals against reported precinct totals. That sounds as though the hand recounts either overcounted or undercounted ballots in several areas. Overcounts or undercounts would either mean that some votes got missed, some got counted twice, or previously rejected ballots were included in the counts -- which the state Supreme Court disallowed. In other words, it would invalidate the hand recount in those precincts -- which means the entire exercise would be meaningless.

The only sure fact this morning is that Washington's electoral process is a mess.

Rossi, for his part, plans on going back to court to demand that the hand recounts get tossed out. He won the first two recounts, after all, and if the hand recount cannot be reconciled properly with precinct totals (remembering that Washington recounts only apply to valid, accepted ballots), then Rossi has a legitimate gripe. I suspect that the entire quagmire will get thrown out and a new election ordered, although nothing I've seen thus far leads me to believe Washington can do any better on a do-over.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 22, 2004 5:11 AM

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» Power Obsession from Of The Mind
Democrats believe in counting every vote until they get the results they want. [Read More]

Tracked on December 22, 2004 7:51 AM

» Rossi v. Gregoire: Berendt claims victory from The Flag of the World
Dem head Paul Berendt is claiming Gregoire has won by all of 8 votes. Apparently some people are taking him seriously. They ought not, for various reasons. First, these numbers are coming from the Democratic Party, not from King County itself. They... [Read More]

Tracked on December 22, 2004 10:49 AM



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