While at first glance it might seem like a fishing expedition, it's simply part of the evidence gathering needed for the upcoming legal challenge, which is certain to be headed to the state Supreme Court after a stop in Chelan County.
Republicans want a copy of the state's criminal-records database to compare it with the names of the nearly 3 million people who voted in the governor's race, as party attorneys search for felons who cast illegal ballots.
Yesterday, attorneys for Dino Rossi and the Republican Party asked the State Patrol for an electronic copy of that database, the Washington State Identification System. The list contains more than 1.2 million records. Republicans are hoping to do a quicker and less expensive search than what is available to the general public.
The records include names, birth dates, charges and outcomes of the cases, including felonies and some misdemeanors. Republicans are looking for felons because felons are not allowed to vote unless their voting rights have been restored.
The move is part of Rossi's legal challenge to the election of Democrat Christine Gregoire, who was sworn in as governor Wednesday. Rossi, who lost the final recount by 129 votes, filed suit last week in Chelan County Superior Court asking that the election be thrown out and a new one held.