Bad for Rossi, Good for Gregoire

The hand recount in Washington State for the gubernatorial election of November 2, is underway, and is showing anomalies between the machine recount and the present check. As expected, the Libertarian candidate has been losing votes. Although the Republican Dino Rossi has (on paper) increased his lead to 43 over Democrat candidate Christine Gregoire, the signs are the King County will find sufficent extra votes to overturn the result. Some Republican activists have actually called on Rossi to concede in protest.

With 10 counties reporting, the discrepancies stand at: Democrat +28 votes, Republican +29 votes, Libertarian -2 votes. King County, which includes the city of Seattle, accounted for over 875,000 votes or over 30% of all votes cast. On current trends a discrepancy of over 800 would be consistent with 500 going to the Democrat candidate, sufficent to win the race for Governor. In the machine recount, King County found 971 extra votes of which 593 went to Gregoire.

Recounts in the US have a habit of boosting the Democrat score, whether in Washington, Ohio or Florida. Depending on one's political allegiance this is either cheating by Republicans who prevent good votes from counting, which is rectified in the recount, or cheating by Democrats who stuff the ballot boxes after the polls have closed. Either way, a bad taste is left by these lapses.

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