The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

11 April 2005

WA Mess Returns to National Spotlight

Count Every Ballot!
Hypocritical Liberals Silent About Washington State

Where's the John Kerry-supporting "count every ballot" crowd, now that more piles of uncounted votes are showing up in Washington state, primarily from Dino Rossi strongholds?

Take note of their silence, it speaks volumes about how selective they truly are, when it counts.

New revelations that more uncounted ballots have been discovered, in King County and elsewhere, have injected new momentum into the Republican Party's efforts to challenge last year's stolen gubernatorial election in court. The number of new votes is now getting close to Governor Christine Gregoire's margin of "victory".

The more found now, the less the party needs to rely on previously compiled evidence to hold up in court. It changes the course of this effort somewhat and has got to be particularly disturbing to the Gregoire camp.

Given the nasty response by her paid apologists to news that former Senator Slade Gorton had joined the chorus demanding answers, Gregoire has revealed her hand: she's now worried.

More good news comes from today's Wall Street Journal, where John Fund has fresh reasons to revisit the issue:

Washington state has supplanted Florida as the leading example of the need for election reform. The Evergreen State's voting system is so sloppy that you can't tell where incompetence ends and actual fraud might begin. Three Washington counties just discovered 110 uncounted absentee ballots--including 94 from Seattle's King County--in a governor's race that occurred more than five months ago and was decided by only 129 votes. Officials in Seattle's King County admit they may find yet more ballots before a court hearing next month on whether a new election should be called. Last Friday, they reported finding a 111th ballot.

The infamous 2004 governor's race was finally decided seven weeks after the election, after King County officials found new unsecured ballots on nine separate occasions during two statewide recounts. After the new ballots were counted, Democrat Christine Gregoire won a 129-vote victory out of some three million ballots cast. Even as she was sworn in last January, King County election supervisor Dean Logan admitted it had been "a messy process."

Meanwhile, in a true case of the fox guarding the henhouse, Ron Sims has appointed a "blue ribbon" commission to investigate, led by a former Group Health (or Group Death, as an old Seattle joke goes) Cooperative exec, the Seattle Times reports today:

Sims said the panel members, who include state elections director Nick Handy, would be able to take an impartial look at the office.

"To say they can't be independent impugns their integrity," Sims said. "They're going to be independent of me; they have legal expertise, elections expertise and management and communications expertise."

Meanwhile, today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer profiles embattled King County elections honcho Dean Logan, in a piece by Gregory Roberts:

His boss at the time, Secretary of State Sam Reed, warned him about taking the job: It would be like asking for a headache.

His boss-to-be, King County Executive Ron Sims, didn't sugarcoat things, saying nothing less than a complete overhaul of a deeply flawed agency was the task at hand.

Counting ballots

ZoomGrant M. Haller / P-I

In this December photo, Dean Logan, center, goes over the gubernatorial manual recount with, from left clockwise, King County Councilman Dwight Pelz, GOP's Diane Tebelius, Democrats' William Rava and prosecutor office's Dan Satterberg. Seattle Post-Intelligencer Photo by Grant M. Haller.

But in any case, in September 2003, Dean
Logan accepted Sims' offer to head the King
County elections department. And now Logan,
a man described as a technocrat yet with a
geeklike passion for elections administration,
has been turned into a political punching
bag in the aftermath of last year's close
race for governor.


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