Wash Gov recount case
Just for variety, I'm going to live-blog the Wash Gov election recount case, now being shown on state public-access cable TV. The Repub party is asking for a new election. This will be shorthand-ish.
Opening statement by Repub lawyer:
Each recount increased Gregoire share in King dramaticaly
Orig: Greg 59.
1st recount: Greg 59 -> 63
2nd rec: Greg 63 -> 66
"This is not sloppy, this is a case of election fraud by the upper management of
King county elections."
[Objection by Dem: overruled]
Even before the election, Nicole Way[sp?}, official in charge of mail ballots wrote an email to her supervisor, saying that the computer system (nicely named DIMS) was not working in any
respect. None of its reports agreed with reality.
King County counted 875 more absentee ballots than absentee voters. That is enough by itself to overturn.
After the election, Way and her boss agreed knowingly to send a false report. "We discussed how to fill out this report because we didn't have an accurate count of ballots returned." So they added in a fake number.
Good phrase: "This election was stolen by a bizarre combination of illegal voters and bungling bureaucrats"
Hundreds of provisional ballots went unchecked: they were supposed to be placed in a separate box where officials could later verify them, but instead the voters just stuck them directly in the regular box, where they were counted normally.
Showed specifics of several dead voters, and several who voted both here and in Calif.
King cty has admitted that it allowed 785 provisional votes to be directly cast. About 400 more are known but not officially admitted. Total 1155. We will prove all of these are illegal, but not that all were just shoved into machine.
Law requires county auditors to keep paper trail on absentee ballots: Number received must equal number counted + number rejected. King submitted a report which didn't do this.
Failing to track absentee is not just illegal, it opens the door for ballots to be removed or added before counting.
We will show that these removals and additions are not random.
The stats will show that in the precincts with highest Greg, more votes were counted than were cast; in the precincts with highest Rossi, fewer votes were counted than were cast.
Long discussion of why it's neither necessary nor possible to connect each vote to one voter; ballots are secret, which means that the law does not and cannot require such precise links to overturn an election.
Showing detailed court record of one felon, which concludes with "this defendant is not entitled to restoration of rights." He voted in King. "We have hundreds of records like this."
King has started (after the election!) to purge such records, and has already sent out 504 such letters of revocation, which shows that the invalid vote is not just by our say-so.
People must have faith in the election itself, must also have faith that the system, when informed of massive fraud, can adjust itself.
End opening statement by Repub lawyer.
My comment: This guy is a good speaker and good explainer.
Opening statement by Dem:
Your evidence about felon voting concentrates on King; felons also voted in other counties. We will show that even under petitioner's unsound statistical inference model, Greg won.
"Election contests should not follow close elections".
[My comment: Tell that to Al Gore, please.]
Law requires contest to show that errors *did* change result, not that *could* change result.
Why didn't R actually count those irregular absentee ballots? They're still sitting in a warehouse.
R can give no evidence of how each individual vote was voted.
R relying on sweeping allegations, not specific proof.
We will bring in actual voters to testify; R didn't depose any voters, observers, precinct workers, etc.
R didn't make discovery: didn't deliver list of illegal voters to D, which is required by law before introducing them into court.
We will disprove the method of statistical inference, and show that even if the method were good, if applied to all counties it would show no change in vote results.
Cites one specific felon who was interviewed: though he lived in a precinct that would have been presumed Dem, he showed us his Republican party membership card, and records of his campaign contributions to Rossi. Though we can't see his ballot, this seems like a better method of inference than just location.
We will show illegal voting in all counties, not just King; the illegalities in R counties more than balance the King irregularities.
Lists a set of irregularities that occur in every election. [My comment: True, but irrelevant; vast majority of elections aren't close. Good argument for cleaning things up in general, which we might have been able to start doing if this distraction hadn't been forced.]
Just a numerical discrepancy in accounting for abs ballots is not sufficient evidence of fraud.
"At the end of the day, R has little more than the fact that King was struggling to implement a new computer system at the same time that it was managing the largest turnout in history."
End D opening statement.
I've said before
that the state R party shouldn't have played this game. Now I'm more convinced than ever. The case will most likely fail. If it fails, R party has been wasting its energy and publicity on this useless effort for many months, instead of pointing out Gregoire's bad agenda. She has been able to raise spending and taxes easily because the opposing party has been totally distracted. If the contest succeeds, the state will be thrown into doubt and turmoil. R should be the party of merit, free markets and laws by legislation. Let the Dems OWN gimmickry and rule-by-courts. Don't try to grab it from them!!!!!