King County should fix it for Gregoire

With only one county left to report, from 39, the Democrat position in the Washington State Governor election seems unassailable. King County, which polls 3 to 2 for the Democrats against the Republicans is expected to find an extra 500 votes or more. In the previous re-count, 593 extra votes for the Democrat candidate Christine Gregoire were counted, compared with 348 for Dino Rossi, her Republican opponent. Because the result currently stands at at Rossi lead of 42, plus eight net votes added from the other 38 counties of Washington State, it would now be extraordinary if the King County manual recount does not produce a Democrat win, despite Gregoire being behind in both statewide tallies so far.

The conspiracy theorists don't have far to look for evidence that something odd happened between November 2 and December 23 2004. Consider the discrepencies between the standards of different counties. Not one county managed to achieve the same score in the original count, the machine recount and the hand recount. Cowlitz county managed to reduce the scores of both major parties in both recounts, whilst finding one extra Libertarian vote. Given that provisional ballots were being checked for possible inclusion this pattern is completely at odds with the rest of Washington state. Wahkiakum county produced the only figure that makes sense. There the machine recount added one vote to Rossi and the hand recount found one less, suggesting that the original count was good. It is obvious that the standards are either inconsistent from one county to another, or fraud is taking place under the noses of election officials. Reports of several hundred votes "forgotten" in King County suggest either a degree of open fraud that beggars belief, or a degree of incompetence that is simply awesome. Get FedEx in to run the polling stations and handle the delivery of ballot boxes!

For Rossi, defeat in these circumstances seems likely to propel him into a Senatorial campaign in two years time, a campaign he might well win.

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