Thursday, December 23, 2004

"Keep counting under we find enough votes!"

Two recounts not being enough for Washington Democrats, they have now completed a hand recount, and have discovered enough votes to put Christine Gregoire ahead by 10 votes. Then yesterday the state Supreme Court ruled that 723 uncounted ballots, some of which were discovered in a warehouse after the election, could be added to the total.

For a first-hand account of the recount, check out this post from Stefan Sharkansky at Sound Politics. (Sound Politics is actually a good place to bookmark if you're interested in this subject.)
When the hand count was complete at the Tukwila facility, it was my understanding from talking to the floor managers, that Rossi was still in the lead. At that point the canvas board still had several hundred ballots to review but now they knew how many votes to come up with to give Gregoire a victory. It seems they did just that by assigning overvotes to Gregoire.

Initially we were tallying clearly marked overvotes as overvotes and putting them back in the box with the rest of the ballots when we had completed counting a precinct. That changed about half-way through the count of absentee ballots when the canvas board ordered that all overvotes, no matter how clearly marked, be sent to the board for review. There have been reports that the board's criteria - or at least the criteria used by two members of the board - also changed in regard to the overvotes at that time and more were divined to be real votes, and mostly for Gregoire.

Overvotes are those ballots where more than one candidate for a race is marked. There's no reason these ballots should be considered legitimate.

It seems to me that with such a close race, and with the growing likelihood of fraud each time more votes are "discovered," the best decision would be to do a statewide revote. If they can do it in the Ukraine, they can do it in Washington State.

Speaking of the Ukraine, election day (take 2) is on Sunday. A good blog to keep bookmarked for that is SCSU Scholars.


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