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January 4, 2005
Mystery Voters Grow In Washington

The uncertainty surrounding the gubernatorial election in Washington continues to grow, as even the Seattle Post-Intelligencer now reports wide discrepancies between ballot counts and voter rolls:

Thousands of "mystery voters" in the counties of King, Pierce, Snohomish, Clark and Kitsap appear to be Republican Dino Rossi's best prospect for challenging the legitimacy of the closest and most contentious gubernatorial election in the state's history.

The state Republican Party yesterday called on county election officials to explain what the GOP says is a nearly 8,500-vote discrepancy between county vote tallies and the number of people credited with actually voting in the election.

Democrats claim that the GOP used preliminary lists and that the discrepancies will narrow once counties update their voter rolls. However, no one now disputes that the election will have little credibility if the margin does not significantly decrease. The difference gives the appearance that several thousand more ballots got counted than were cast -- and in an election that wound up with a difference of 130 votes, that may be enough to successfully contest the results. The Secretary of State, who just certified Christine Gregoire the winner over Dino Rossi, stated that this issue could undo Gregoire's win.

Former governor Dan Evans wrote that the only solution, given all the problems with the conduct of the election, is a new run-off between the two candidates. It seems likely that Gregoire will not sit easy in the mansion either way.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 4, 2005 8:47 PM

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