Yesterday I asked readers to try to convince me why Gregoire shouldn’t pay for a manual recount. The fact that none of you succeeded isn’t surprising, but I was disappointed by the lack of honesty.
The GOP isn’t asking Gregoire to concede for the good of the state, or out of honor or decency. They’re asking her to concede because they want Rossi to be governor, and they know that with a 42 vote margin out of 2.8 million cast, a manual recount would be a crap shoot.
Which, of course, is why Gregoire should ask for a manual recount. She could actually win, legally, and fair and square.
Not enough of an argument? Try these:
A) Manual counts are more accurate than machine counts. That is why WA, like every other state (I’ve looked at), either mandates a manual recount when the vote falls within a very close margin, or allows the candidates to request one. Machines are used because they are faster and cheaper, not because they are more accurate. Random errors tend to be statistically distributed among the candidates, thus a 1-2% error rate is acceptable in most elections… but not when the margin is less than 0.000015%.
B) This is not a “best out of three” series. It is utter bullshit to argue that Rossi won the first two counts, and that Gregoire winning on a third count would not be legitimate. The accuracy of machine counts fall outside the margin of this election; the only thing the recount proved was that a manual count is necessary to accurately determine the winner.
C) It’s the law. This isn’t a game… this is about who will be the next governor, and it would be irresponsible of Gregoire not to avail herself of any measure the law allows to assure her victory. Rossi’s BIAW backers used the law to their advantage when they pumped hundreds of thousands of workers comp dollars into his partisan campaign, and you can be sure they explore every avenue of the law each time they want to pave a farm or drain a wetland. Gregoire has a responsibility to her supporters to use the law to protect their interests.
The Seattle P-I makes the argument that Gregoire should indeed seek a manual recount, but pay for it statewide, rather than in selected precincts: “Count ‘em again, Sam.”
I don’t buy the P-I’s argument that there is some moral or ethical imperative that the D’s should pay for a statewide recount. But strategically, I say they should ask for a full statewide manual recount regardless. It wouldn’t be bad PR either.
After all, this is the only way we’ll ever know who actually won this election.