Saturday, January 01, 2005


This is from yesterday's (31 Dec 04):

There is a new wrinkle in the Washington gubernatorial election, and it happens to bear directly on the question of how important bloggers are or can be. The Seattle Times reports that Democrat Christine Gregoire was officially certified the winner of the election yesterday. But the Times also reports that a serious problem has arisen in King County, the Democratic bastion that gave Gregoire her margin of "victory":

The latest questions about King County came after the elections office released on Wednesday a list of all registered voters in the county, broken down by those who voted and those who didn't. The Republican Party, among other groups, had requested the information as part of its investigation of voting irregularities.

Conservative blogger Stefan Sharkansky pointed out the discrepancy Wednesday, and by yesterday it was Topic A among Rossi backers and Republican Party officials.

Party Chairman Chris Vance said it could be the "smoking gun" needed to overturn the election.

The number of King County ballots counted in the final tally was 899,199 — 3,539 more than the number of participating voters reported in the county's list.

County officials are trying to reconcile the discrepancy--yes, I'll bet they are!--and an updated voter list will be released late next week.

UPDATE Stefan Sharkansy emailed us [at Powerline] as follows:

Today I did even more extensive analysis based on the precinct vote count that was released by the county late yesterday. Now we can compare ballots counted per precinct with the count of voters who voted in each precinct. There are 600+ precincts with more voters than ballots, a total of about 1,500 ballotless voters. To get to the net discrepancy of about 3,500 more ballots than voters, there must also be about 5,000 voterless ballots...

Noted on my latest post:

Stefan also says: "Some of our comment posters are now calling Sound
Politics the 'Powerline of the Northwest'. I take that as an enormous compliment even if it's a bit of a stretch." Actually, if Stefan's investigations show that Gregoire's victory was fraudulent, his work will dwarf anything that we or, I think, any other blogger has done. Of course, it's much too early to speculate about the ultimate outcome.

FURTHER UPDATE: A Seattle reader writes:

I offer one example of how dorked up King County Elections is - the bluest of the blue counties in the state. I've lived at my current address for the last 4 and a half years. My family purchased this home from the estate of the deceased owner; I assume she passed away about five years ago. This election we received from KC an absentee ballot for the long departed. Not only that, she is still listed on the voter rolls as an "inactive" voter (found that out from Stefan Sharkansky of In other words, I could have voted her ballot if I could have forged her signature, and it would have been counted because she still hasn't been removed form the county's list of eligible voters!!! There are many more examples of the county's incompetence being documented by the Shark, that collectively exceed the margin of victory in the Gov's race. And naturally, the local press has washed their hands of the entire episode. Unbelievable. I am confident that this could happen anywhere in the nation if the election is close enough.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that's right. I think most cities make no serious effort to keep their voter rolls up to date, with the result that many deceased people, and many others who have moved away, "vote" in each election. I'm not sure what it will take to cause the public to get serious about election integrity. The pols won't touch it unless they have to, for fear of being dubbed "racist."

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