Thursday, January 13, 2005

 

And the winner is . . . more or less

Sound Politics is the best source for news and commentary on the Washington gubernatorial election fiasco.

A new election clearly appears warranted, as the results of the first one are not trustworthy. The fact that 348 provisional ballots were permitted to be counted as votes at polling places in King County without the eligibility of the voter being first determined is itself ground to find that there is an unacceptably low confidence level in the election result. Add in the highly questionable decisions by canvassing boards (with the poster child being a ballot with a writein for Christine Rossi that was counted as a Christine Gregoire vote), and the shenanigans from the appearing and disappearing ballots in King County (plus the approximately 1800 more ballots counted that voters known in that county), and it should be a simple decision for a court.

A new election is also warranted in the North Carolina race for State Agriculture Commissioner where 4438 votes were lost in Carteret County (because no paper record was kept and the machine stopped recording data input due to its memory being full) and the margin was approximately half that many votes. A court has thrown out the state election board's plan, but that plan made little sense - it would have established a revote for the people whose ballots were lost AND for the residents of that county who didn't vote the first time. A new statewide election is the proper remedy. Carteret County happens to be a GOP stronghold, and the GOP nominee was unseating the incumbent Democrat without those votes, but the expectation that people would have voted a certain way, based upon the votes of others, is inimical to a democratic system.


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