Thursday, December 23, 2004

We'll wait to get it right

After the counting of the 732 remaining ballots, Democrat Christine Gregoire has bested Republican Dino Rossi in the Washington State Gubernatorial Race by a margin of 130 votes. The Republicans, as usual, are crying foul, but the results are final and will be certified on 12/30. Per state law, there are no provisions for another recount or recanvassing for votes once the results for a particular precinct has been certified.

I understand that the Republican propaganda machine has called out the dogs of war, claiming that the courts changed the rules and if the rules have changed, they want to revisit the counting of votes. What they do not tell their rank and file is that hundreds of ballots had already been added in Republican precincts that were not in the original count. This was not news because the Democrats never contested these additional ballots as the Republicans contested the heavily Democratic King County ballots, which they knew would favor Gregoire.

They also do not tell their minions that the 732 ballots were not originally counted simply because the signatures were not scanned into the computer properly and did not match the ballots. Once checked against the signatures on file, only the matching signatures were allowed. Furthermore, they fail to mention that Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, agrees with the ruling of the Washington Supreme Court saying it is consistent with state law. Reed further stated that the hundreds of ballots that were added in the Republican precincts would need to be backed out of the totals if the court ruled the 732 ballots inadmissible. So either way Rossi loses: either by 10 votes (minus the backed out votes) or by 130 votes, that will be certified next Thursday.

The Republicans are forever playing the victim card, even as they control the executive branch, the senate, the congress, and the courts. They believe, as witnessed in both the 2000 Presidential and 2004 Washington State Gubernatorial elections, that claiming victory and acting like the victor is tantamount to winning. “Listen to the words, not the facts,” is their mantra. They got away with it in 2000, but they were not able to bully their way into office this time around. Washington State has proven that the citizenry is willing to wait for several weeks for the outcome of an election in order to get it right.

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