The race for Governor in the state of Washington, and the race for mayor in the eighth largest city in America, San Diego.
In Washington, Democrat Christine Gregoire was certified as the winner of the election by 129 votes over Republican Dino Rossi. Gregorire’s a margin was provide provided by the “true blue” county that is home to Seattle and 700 “undiscovered” ballots in being counted in the a state-wide hand recount, but not the previous machine recount. Sound Politics‘ Stefan Sharkansky has analyzed the King County voting records and has found major problems that call the hand recount into serious question. From Total Meltdown in King County Voter List:
It was last reported that there were 3,539 more ballots counted in King County than voters who cast them. The discrepancy is actually much larger.
The 3,539 is only the net. This comes from having roughly 1,500 more voters than counted ballots in some precincts, and about 5,000 more ballots than known voters in other precincts.
…Conclusion: in certain precincts there are about 1,500 more known voters who cast ballots that were accepted than there are ballots that were counted in the manual recount.What King County’s number show it that they lost 1,500 valid votes and added about 5,000 more votes than the records indicated voted. It’s probably a safe prediction that there will be a lawsuit challenging the results at some point.
In San Diego, incumbent Mayor Dick Murphy was declared the winner when 5,547 ballots cast for write-in candidate Donna Frye were declared invalid by the courts. The ballots had Frye’s name written in, but did not have the associated bubble (indicating a write-in vote) filled in. Had those ballots been counted, Frye would have defeated Murphy by 3,439 votes.
Two lawsuits have been filled attempting to overturn the election, and the newly elected City Attorney is set to issue a non-binding advisory opinion on whether those votes should be counted. Whether you believe they should or should not be counted, I’d venture to guess that anyone who remembers the whole “intent of the voter” standard practiced in the Florida 2000 recounts would know how the Palm Beach Board of Elections would deal with those ballots. The intent is crystal clear, it’s the mechanics of the process that are at issue.