Re: Article: Margin Now Just 42 Votes in Washington State Race

From: Fred McLain <mclain_at_zipcon_dot_net>
Date: Thu Nov 25 2004 - 11:04:01 CST

On Thu, 2004-11-25 at 01:30 -0800, Arthur Keller wrote:
> Looks like Fred McLain got his wish.

Almost. I voted for Laura Ruderman (
fa=home.agenda) instead of Sam Reed. Reed doesn't understand electronic
voting and provided provisional certification of the ES&S software
against state regulations - even though he had plenty of time to get our
tally software though federal testing. Ruderman made a paper ballot the
core of her run for SoS. This was another very close race. Well over
70% of Washington's voters are now using absentee ballots - tallied by
ES&S's software.

A really funny thing about this election is that no one had heard of
this Rossi guy before the election. Gregoire is a well known, and well
liked political figure here. How the heck did this election come out so
close?!? Maybe I should watch TV...

Now we'll see how they plan to "hand recount" the DRE systems they use
in my county.


> Best regards,
> Arthur
> The article below from
> Margin Now Just 42 Votes in Washington State Race
> November 25, 2004
> SEATTLE, Nov. 24 - The election was already achingly close,
> but the recount in the race for governor of Washington
> State was almost absurdly close, the results showed
> Wednesday. Former State Senator Dino Rossi, the Republican
> who was declared the winner last week by 261 votes, won the
> recount by a mere 42, of almost three million cast.
> And the bizarre contest is anything but settled. Democrats
> said the vote - 48.8717 percent to 48.8702 percent, as
> recounted by machine - was far too close for their
> candidate, State Attorney General Christine Gregoire, to
> concede. They said they would request a third count, this
> one by hand, possibly featuring the inspection of, yes,
> chads.
> Ms. Gregoire said Wednesday evening that her party was
> challenging specific results in several counties, but she
> declined to say whether the recount, which the party is
> guaranteed under state law, would be held in only some
> counties or in all of the state's 39. The Democrats have a
> week to decide.
> "Well, the race continues," she said at a news conference
> in Seattle. "It's a 42-vote difference. My friends, it is a
> tied race. Some folks have suggested we ought to flip a
> coin or stage a duel with Senator Rossi. My personal
> preference is we ought to recount every single vote."
> Mr. Rossi, a commercial real estate agent, was on vacation
> but issued a statement saying, "This process has lasted a
> lot longer than anyone thought it would, but I'm grateful
> that the people of Washington have placed their trust in
> me."
> The election has been by far the closest in the history of
> this state, which has various types of voting systems,
> including punch cards and optical scanners.
> "I've been in the election business for 33 years, and I'm
> astonished," Secretary of State Sam Reed, an elected
> Republican, said Wednesday afternoon at a news conference
> in Olympia, the state capital. "When they gave me these
> results, I must admit I was stunned. We are talking about
> such a small percentage of difference that it is almost
> unbelievable."
> Bitter feuding between the two parties, which had already
> sparred in court over the vote count here in heavily
> Democratic King County, was renewed only seconds after the
> final results of the five-day recount came in Wednesday
> afternoon. Democrats maintained that the voting machines
> were fallible. Republicans accused the Democrats of
> plotting to cherry-pick, suggesting that they would seek a
> hand recount only in Democratic-leaning counties.
> "The most important thing is that people have confidence
> that their governor was elected and was credibly elected,"
> said Kirstin Brost, a Democratic spokeswoman. "People have
> to have confidence in the process. If we were talking about
> a difference of 5,000 votes it would be a very different
> story, but we are talking about a difference that is less
> than one one-hundredth of 1 percent."
> Several members of Mr. Rossi's transition team held a news
> conference outside his campaign headquarters in Bellevue,
> east of Seattle.
> "The votes have been counted twice," said one team member,
> Kathy Lambert, a King County councilwoman. "We know very
> clearly who won."
> J. Vander Stoep, Mr. Rossi's transition chief of staff,
> said, "A lot of lawyers are either buying plane tickets or
> they are here already, on both sides."
> "That's Christine Gregoire's choice," he added, "whether to
> unleash that and turn this into Florida the Second, or
> whether to say two counts is enough."
> Mr. Rossi's 261-vote victory last week, coming two weeks
> after Election Day and delayed by the counting of hundreds
> of thousands of absentee ballots, automatically brought a
> machine recount under Washington's election laws. Any
> political party can then request a further count, by
> machine or hand, but the party must shoulder the cost. That
> cost would be some $700,000 if the Democrats demanded that
> the new recount take place in all 39 counties.
> If that recount, even if held in only one county, were to
> change the outcome of the election, making Ms. Gregoire the
> winner, then Secretary of State Reed would be required to
> order another, final, statewide count, this one by hand
> since that was what the Democrats demanded Wednesday for
> the second recount. The cost of the final count would be
> paid by the state, Mr. Reed said Wednesday.
> The next count could last weeks, even though Mr. Reed said
> he and the current governor, Gary Locke, a Democrat who
> decided not to run again, would certify Mr. Rossi as the
> governor-elect on Tuesday. The parties have until three
> days after the certification to request a recount.
> The results of both the initial count and the recount were
> stunners, because Ms. Gregoire had been expected to win
> easily. The state's voters here had not sent a Republican
> to the governor's mansion since 1980.
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