Saturday, December 18, 2004

It Came Upon A Courtroom Clear

Did you know Washington still doesn't have a winner yet?

What they do have, however, is one busy court docket as Dem attorneys and King County ready their appeals from a superior court judge's blocking a count of newly discovered ballots in the governor's race. In this 50 vote or so squeaker, more wrongly rejected ballots have been discovered in King's County (home to Seattle). But why count them at all?

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend said it was simply too late for counties to reconsider ballots from the November election, even if such ballots were erroneously rejected by election workers.

"It is clear to me that it is not appropriate to go back and revisit decisions on whether ballots should or should not be counted," Arend said.
It is clear to you? I don't think there are another 5 words in the language that make me angrier than those.

Of course, Reep candidate and current winner, Dino Rossi's view is "sucks for King County:"

"If King County were allowed to keep adding more ballots, elections would never end," Lane said.

As for those whose ballots aren't counted, [a spokeswoman] said: "That is King County's fault. We cannot be held responsible for the fact that King County made a mistake."
Who, exactly, is holding you responsible? No one would blame you for losing. You should be held responsible for making ego-centric comments about other people's votes, however. Or perhaps you meant don't hold you responsible for your TRO that you filed.

So what did prompt this search for new ballots?

Officials discovered the mistake Sunday, when County Councilman Larry Phillips found his name on a list of rejected ballots and complained.

On Monday and Tuesday, county workers searched and found 573 mistakenly rejected ballots. Officials later noticed that none of those ballot envelopes contained names beginning with the letters A or B, and only two started with C. That prompted
Friday's search.

The trays containing ballots from voters with last names beginning with A, B and C were apparently overlooked because they were under other trays, Huennekens said.
It's true that at a certain point, it becomes inpracticable to recount anymore. This doesn't seem like the point, however. There's an identified problem limited to a certain, known universe of ballots . This is still a problem for their elections department or Secretary of State. It's not the court's say yet.

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