The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

06 January 2005

WA Republicans on a Roll

Washington State Republicans are doing an excellent job turning the corner on what just days ago looked like an uphill battle to restore the legitimacy of Washington State's Office of the Governor after the November election was illegally stolen by Democrat Christine Gregoire.

Bloggers such as those at Soundpolitics did an amazing job with research, the state GOP then ran with the data helping to prove fraud and added their own findings.

Today's Seattle Times headline does wonders for the GOP's cause of honesty and ethics in elections:

GOP: Hundreds of ballots suspect

By Keith Ervin
Seattle Times staff reporter

Two King County election workers, both Republicans, yesterday said they believe hundreds of provisional ballots were illegally fed through vote-counting machines on Election Day.

The special ballots are given to voters who show up at the wrong precinct on Election Day or whose registration is in question, and they are supposed to be set aside until the voter's status can be determined.

Election officials acknowledge that once provisional ballots were put through voting machines, it became impossible to separate legitimate from illegitimate ballots.

Joe O'Donnell, who worked on King County's 26-member canvassing crew after the Nov. 2 vote, said he learned of 150 to 300 instances in which provisional ballots went through counting machines at polling places.

O'Donnell said at a GOP news conference in Bellevue that he learned about most of those instances by calling polling-place inspectors to ask about discrepancies between poll books and the number of ballots counted.

"The most common response when I specifically, personally called these inspectors was, 'Oh, those ballots did go through the Accu-Vote by accident.' To me it seemed like an innocent mistake, but in a close election it makes all the difference," O'Donnell said.

The other Republican, Jim Clingan, who inspected a three-precinct polling place in the lobby of a downtown Seattle apartment building, said it appeared at the end of Election Day that 30 provisional ballots had gone through the counting machine there.

Clingan said he and four election judges had trouble keeping track of voters in The Josephinum on Second Avenue because many nonvoters walked through the lobby on their way to their rooms or an adjacent restaurant.

As I have maintained, this is a PR battle as much as anything else. As soon as Christine Gregoire appears to look like the Governor, and next Wednesday at her inauguration would be such a time, the battle for public sympathy could be lost. At some point the Democrats simply wear the public down and seize power.

Therefore, every minute between now and then is unbelievably important. RevoteWA is working as hard as it can to rally public support.

In the meantime, Gregoire is trying to look like she will be the next governor by announcing appointments:

OLYMPIA — Gov.-elect Christine Gregoire yesterday said she will reappoint Maj. Gen. Timothy Lowenberg to head the Washington National Guard.

It is her first announced appointment, and she said yesterday that it would be the only Cabinet post filled before she is sworn in Wednesday.

"I think of him as one of the best and brightest," Gregoire said of Lowenberg. "I want no downtime."

Gregoire is playing a game here, trying to look legitimate in the eyes of the public, but people aren't stupid and see right through it.


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