Saturday, December 04, 2004

Washington Democrats Rule!

They pulled it off.

The Washington State Democrats delivered a $730,000 check to Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed's office on Friday as payment for the hand recount, the first in the state's history.
It seems a bit weird that the State requires cash to do its job, but I suppose that they are a bit strapped for cash in this economy these days. Also, I am guessing that there is some logic in forcing the party to pay for it just in case they are being a sore loser. That is not the case when the certified results show a 42 vote difference between the two candidates.

Remember, this 42 vote difference was the result of the machine recount. It came down to 42 votes from 261 votes.

Anyway, it appears that the idea in Washington is a bit like the Replay Rule in the NFL. If you request a review of the call and it goes your way, it costs you nothing. However, if you stall the game and the refs got it right the first time, that’s going to cost you a time out. In this case “According to state election rules, a hand recount must be financed by the party requesting it, although the state will reimburse the money if the recount reverses the tally.”

Some thanks on this one also should go to the Kerry Campaign.

Democrats scrambled to raise the money for the recount, which was supported by a $200,000 contribution from Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's unused campaign funds.
42 votes out of 2.8 million cast in the election. What do the Republicans have to say about this? "The Democrats are trying to steal the election," said Chis Vance, the Washington State Republican party chair.

Republicans wouldn’t know anything about that, now, would they? Sorry, cheap shot.

The argument they should be using is the one from 2000 in Florida. It went something along the lines of, “Well, you can’t just count over and over and over again until you get a result you are happy with. At some point you just have to say it’s enough and just stop and move on.”

However, to quote Dan Rather from the 2000 election, "This race is tight like a too-small bathing suit on a too-long ride home from the beach."

It seems like the most troubling aspect of this whole ordeal, just like the one in Florida, is that the tallies do change with every recount. Is every vote being counted each and every time? Is there an election official out there who is forgetting to carry a one every time? Or, everyone’s biggest fear, “Yes Mr. Rossi, no one will find that bag o’ ballots from Seattle. I got them stashed under my desk in my office… Hey, Paul, get out of my office, will ya’? I got stuff in there you don’t want to see.”

Supposedly, these were the sorts of issues that electronic voting machines was supposed to resolve. Unfortunately, those come with their own, new issues. In Washington, King County took a look at these machines and essentially laughed at them and moved on. Probably a good call.

Now they actually have ballots that they can recount.

It is unknown if this will actually put the Democrat, State Attorney General Christine Gregoire, into office, but it is good to see that the party isn't just rolling over and conceeding another loss in 2004. These battles must be joined. City by county by state by the nation... No more rolling over and conceeding one seat after another to the Republicans.

One final note: I pulled the Dan Rather quote from here. A page full of his election comments. Funny. I am going to miss Dan.
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