(Seattle Times) ReVote Washington is trying to raise money for an advertising campaign, and in four days got 10,000 people to sign an Internet petition calling on the Legislature to hold a runoff election, said Sharon Gilpin, a Seattle public-relations executive who started the effort.
But former Gov. Dan Evans, who lent his name and support to the group, said he doesn't think the Democratic-controlled Legislature convening next week is likely to give Rossi satisfaction.
Instead, Evans said, if Republicans find credible evidence that puts the election outcome in doubt, Rossi needs to contest the election in court.
And he says it should be done by the end of this week to avoid battling Gregoire after she takes office. The Legislature is set to certify the election results on Monday, the first day of the 2005 session. Two days later at noon, Gregoire is to be sworn in. She came out 129 votes ahead after the second recount.
"The further along you get in the process, it gets harder and harder to come back and challenge her, even if the challenge is a rational one," Evans said. "If you have a sitting governor, the courts would lean over backwards not to disrupt anything."
Rossi and the Republican Party are compiling information about possible voting irregularities. His spokeswoman, Mary Lane, said that effort is moving as quickly as possible.
If King County and at least four other counties can't adequately explain their inability to say who cast ballots, it could be a basis for contesting the election, state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance said yesterday.
"We simply can't have more votes than there are voters," Vance said. "It's common sense. It's the fundamental thing that you do to prevent people from stuffing the ballot box."
At a news conference, Vance said five counties don't know who cast more than 8,000 votes. Vance had claimed a 3,539-vote discrepancy in King County, 1,738 in Snohomish, 1,640 in Pierce, 1,018 in Clark and 484 in Kitsap.
King County elections officials are trying to figure out why their list of Nov. 2 voters fell short of the number of ballots cast. Republican and Democratic observers will be allowed to watch that "reconciliation" process that is scheduled to conclude Friday.
I find it significant that liberal Republicans such as former Gov. Dan Evans are on board with this effort. Evans would normally expect to side with Democrats and that's not the case here. He is correct in saying time is of the essence. Once Gregoire takes office, removing her will be much more difficult than stopping this in its tracks now through legal action.