Under pressure from King County Councilman Larry Phillips, a Democrat whose own ballot was rejected, county election officials suddenly reversed their earlier policy and will add the ballots to the count. From the Seattle Times:
The state Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing today in the Democratic Party's lawsuit seeking to compel counties to reconsider thousands of ballots rejected in the first two gubernatorial counts because of problems such as signatures that did not match those on file with election offices. Before a statewide hand recount began last week, Republican Dino Rossi led Democrat Christine Gregoire by just 42 votes.
Kirstin Brost, state Democratic Party spokeswoman, called the rejection of Phillips' ballot "a prime example" of why ballots must be reviewed.
"The Democrats are going to the state Supreme Court tomorrow to ask that in the hand count we review ballots that may have mistakenly been thrown out," Brost said last night.
State Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance responded: "The Democrats are asking for far more than counting a few ballots that were missed the first time. They want them to look at every ballot that was rejected the first time. It would destroy our election process."