Energizer Election

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What's been happening in the Washington state governor race:

Republican Dino Rossi was declared governor-elect this week by the Secretary of State, after winning the recount by 42 votes.

The state Democratic party vowed to call for an additional recount, as is their right. They can call for recounts only in certain places, or statewide. They must make a payment of $.25 per vote for a hand recount, $.15 for machine. If the recount overturns the result, they get their money back. If it is a *partial* recount that overturns the result, then a full recount (paid for by the state) results.

John Kerry gave them a third of the money they needed, $250,000. Howard Dean made a nationwide appeal for donations that brought in much of the rest.

Everyone knew a partial recount was politically a no-win for the Democrats. If they lose, they just wasted everyone's time. If they win, then they waste everyone's time AND money, especially if the statewide recount flips it back to Rossi. So a full recount is the only good way to go.

After realizing that the money would be there for a full recount, Democrat Christine Gregoire said she would concede unless they had a full recount. (Magnanimous of her, don't you think?)

The Democrats ponied up the dough, and filed a lawsuit with the state supreme court to change the way votes are counted.

The (Republican) Secretary of State announced that no new votes would be included in this recount. It would be a recount: the exact same number of ballots in the last count would be in this count. This is vitally important, because it's the difference between trying to scrounge around for votes, and making sure we counted the votes properly the last time.

I have no problem with a recount, per se. Follow the legal process. And I am glad this will be a real recount, not including additional votes. I am not even necessarily against the Democrat's lawsuit, if they can prove that the current rules violate someone's rights under the state Constitution (I doubt that is provable, but I don't know the state law or Constitution well [note that Bush v Gore can apply, since though this is not an election for national office, the 14th Amendment specifically includes "the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof"]).

But what really bugs me is the idea that a hand recount is necessarily more accurate. Maybe in the case of punchcard ballots it would be, since we know those have many physical problems more easily identifiable by hand. But optical scanners do not have such significant issues, and the possibility of simple miscounting by human handling is likely greater than the possibility of machine error.

Anyway, this whole thing should be over by December 23, said the Secretary of State, barring legal challenges.

Which means it probably won't be over by December 23. slashdot.org

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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