Wednesday, December 22, 2004

No govenor for Christmas

I probably should have clarified my previous post about the WA govenor's race to say more about state Supreme Court's decision about which I linked. Previously rejected ballots may not be reconsidered, but the 561 735 ballots found in King County were "wrongly rejected because of mistakes by election workers." Why not? I'm not sure (IANAL).

Anyhow, the latest news is that Gregoire has pulled ahead (not yet officially) to a ten vote lead without the 735 disputed ballots. Had the Supreme Court ruled against counting these ballots, it would hard to imagine a Rossi victory. Alas, the court today ruled to count them, giving the Rossi campaign an excuse to jump on the "count every vote" bandwagon and go to court with every alleged uncounted Rossi vote they can scrounge up. Would the Rossi campaign have tried to do this anyway? Probably, but the court's decision makes it much more feasible from a PR standpoint.

Things can only get uglier from this point on. On might like to think of the repeated counts as converging ever closer the true result, but with margins this small, it's more likely that new errors, accidental or otherwise, are introduced at each stage are and drown out the sought-after signal in noise. The more revisions we make to the count, the more people will realize this. If it goes on long enough, a new election may be the only palatible option. However, my guess is that the courts rule against any further changes to the election and that the Democrat-controlled legislature will not support a rerun election. So if my guess is right, Gregoire wins and the Republicans feel cheated.

Update: I'd be remiss not to remind readers to check RealClearPolitics for the latest on this story.

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