BREAKING NEWS: Governor Locke states the obvious!

The Seattle Times reports today that outgoing Gov. Gary Locke has said there should be a full, statewide recount in the race to succeed him.

And once that count is done, he said, all sides should agree the race is over.

Um, Gary… once that count is done, state law (Chapter 29A.64 RCW) says that the race is over.

In other news, Secretary of State Sam Reed has apparently certified the results of the election, declaring Diana Dino Rossi the governor-elect. Whether or not he actually becomes governor will inevitably depend on the outcome of the hand recount.

With a statistically meaningless 42 vote margin out of 2.8 million votes cast, the governor’s race is still a crap shoot.


  1. 1

    Chuck spews:

    Uh, the race is not a “crap shoot”, Rossi has won the election twice by the most reliable way of counting votes. Now when you post such things you should post the truth in that some democrats want an unreliable handcount in the hopes that corruption as well as human mistakes will put sweet Chrissy in office.

  2. 2

    Brent spews:

    The optical scanning machines have an error rate of 1% – 2% (source: the neo-con 24-hour cable “news” network Northwest Cable News). This means that the previous two counts were off by anywhere from .5% – 2% (I say .5% because only a little over half of the counties in Washington state use optical scanning machines). The way in which a manual recount would be performed is that two teams of vote-counters will count each batch of votes and then compare the results. If the results are not exact, both teams re-count the votes until they both come up with the same result. This is far, far more accurate than having the votes counted by machines which have a margin of error of between 1% – 2%. An error rate of even 1% is completely unacceptable when the race comes down to 42 votes. I’m completely sick and tired of hearing the partisan argument that a manual recount is less accurate than a machine recount. A manual recount is far more accurate, which is why it has been agreed upon by both parties that a manual recount is the last and best way to count votes. Now that the Republican candidate for governor has apparently won by 42 votes, the Republicans have gone into partisan-spin-mode and claim that the way everyone has already agreed is the most accurate way to count votes is actually the least accurate way to count votes. You people severely need to grow up and learn how to deal with reality. If the situation were reversed and Gregoire had won the recount by 42 votes, I guarantee the Republicans would be whining and complaining about how the result of the machine recount was not accurate and as a result a manual recount should take place. And in that case, the only Democrats who would complain are the ones who are completely married to their party. And while there may be an awful lot of Democrats who fall into that category, I still have not heard a single Republican make an objective and intellectually honest statement regarding the prospect of a manual recount. If you think a manual recount is less accurate than a machine recount, why did you wait until now to raise your objections? Why didn’t you protest in the strongest possible terms when state law Chapter 29A.64 RCW was passed? The answer to this question is blatantly obvious. Your complaints are so partisan that if the situation were reversed you would be saying the direct opposite of what you are saying right now. That’s disgusting and has no place in a democracy. Not when we’re talking about a governor’s race that comes down to 42 votes. But then you people don’t want this to be a democracy anymore, you want it to be a theocracy. Take that fascist attitude and move to the bible belt, because we don’t tolerate it around here.

  3. 3

    DamnageD spews:


    Let me get this right…”Your complaints are so partisan that if the situation were reversed you would be saying the direct opposite of what you are saying right now. That’s disgusting and has no place in a democracy.”

    So you being the spewer of facts (as it seems from you constant rant), thats a rather amazing comment. One would assume a educated conclusion, however. Whats Truly disgusting is that an opinion , weather liked or not, is so easily dismissed or labled anti-american (or what have you). Maybe between the fact checking party, you missed the point. WE ARE ALLOWED THE RIGHT TO VOICE OUR OPINION…and we didn’t ask for your apporval.

    And maybe, just maybe,if you’d really ready the postings, you’d get the picture. Rest assured if the tide were turned, the same conclusion and arguments would be presented.

  4. 4

    Brent spews:

    The arguments are obviously partisan because Republicans have not complained at all about the concept of manual recounts until a manual recount could change the outcome of an election which they appear to have won. If you people had your way, we would ignore the fact that the 42-vote margin is WELL within the margin of error and we would inaugurate a candidate for governor when we have absolutely no idea whether or not he actually won. State law allows for a manual recount, which is obviously more accurate than a machine recount. Yet you people want to ignore the letter of the law, deny your opposition their legal right to a manual recount, and instead simply inaugurate your candidate because he appears to have won by such a small margin of votes that it is obviously well within the 1% – 2% margin of error which occurs as a result of using machines to count ballots. All of a sudden, Republicans want to completely ignore the fact that machines make mistakes without realizing it, but humans are capable of realizing that they made a mistake when the two vote count teams return different results. Your position is clear. You don’t want to find out who actually won this election because your candidate has apparently won by a laughable 42 vote margin. This attitude has no place in a democracy. In a democracy, every legitimate vote should be properly counted, and when the results come down to a margin of 42 votes, each individual vote should be examined with a find-toothed comb. Your arguments against these very basic democratic principles are disgusting and have no place in a democracy. Stop the partisan spin and begin being intellectually honest.

  5. 5

    Brent spews:

    Also, with the widespread world-wide rise of elections fraud, each and every election on Earth should be closely scrutinized and each individual vote should be examined and, if legitimate, counted. You know voter fraud has been committed on a massive scale inside and outside this country, yet you want to ignore it and inaugurate your candidate before it is clear that he won. This view of what you want democracy to be is completely antithetical to the definition of democracy. When there are 2.8 million ballots cast for governor and it comes down to 42 votes, there should be a manual recount. This is obvious to everyone who is not married to the Republican party. Stop whining and complaining that your apparent win should not be analyzed to make absolutely sure it really was a win on your part and let the manual recount continue. The fact that you don’t want to find out who won shows that you are so partisan that you cannot deal with the fact that your candidate might not have won. But you don’t care about that. You want Rossi to be inaugurated even though you know that it is not clear that he won. Explain how this is not partisan and how it is not an affront to democracy.

  6. 6

    Jill spews:

    Guys, guys. Just calm down. Geez, after this putrid election season I’m surprised that you still have the energy to argue. Try pretending that this is the last few minutes of a game (visualize your favorite sport). Go get a beer, maybe some chips and just go relax in your barcaloungers and see what happens — something like this doesn’t happen very often.

  7. 7

    Brent spews:

    That’s right. This doesn’t happen very often, and since it has happened it needs to be examined. I woke up the other morning to Republicans demanding that voter fraud be investigated and that the results of the election were inaccurate and the entire election should be scrutinized and a re-vote may even be necessary. I thought I’d woken up in Bizarro World until I realized that they were talking about the election in Ukraine. I am posting comments to this blog in response to the blatant hypocrisy of the Republican party and their attitude of “We need to investigate voter fraud unless the result of the election went our way!” If the neo-cons would stop their partisan spin, or even kick it down a few notches, I wouldn’t be as pissed off, and I wouldn’t have to speak up to defend basic democratic principles if the neo-cons would stop attempting to destroy democracy at every opportunity. Again, I’m not a Democrat. I simply abhor neo-cons and am unwilling to sit by and “get a beer” while they steal every election they have a chance to steal.

  8. 8

    Peter A. spews:

    Go Brent. I am amazed as you that some folks will just assume the facts rather than seek the facts, when partisian politics come into play. The reason these recount remedies exist in election law are becuse close elections are a fact. And, law makers and vote counters and candidates have had to deal with close elections over and over.

    Now that we face a really close election, the simple need to review every vote with all the human talent possible, and really determine if Rossi won by 42 vote of some other number OR if in the maze of possibities Gregoire has been denied an accurate count, oh well, give shit about democracy and the processes we avow when it is convient.

    Hope the count goe forward, and as I have stated here on other posts, after this most intense and close effort, I will support the person as governor.

    Still too bad Sam Reed did not madate a hand recount. Of couse maybe even Sam thought the machine count would adjust to some bigger margin, then everyone would accept a lot of slop. Tired of slop, count every vote, every county, in the full light of oberservers, sherrifs and cameras rolling. This is needed, it is called American democracy.

  9. 9

    Goldy spews:

    Chuck, back up your claim that machine counts are more reliable than manual counts. I keep checking other states, and have yet to find one that doesn’t provide for hand counts in extremely close elections.

    Normally, machine counts are reliable enough, for even a 5% error rate should randomly distribute errors across the candidates, and thus not impact the final result… even in races well within the margin of error. But in extremely close races (and you can’t get much closer than 42 out of 2.8 million) these statistics fall apart.

    Remember, if the first count had resulted in a 42 vote margin, we would have had an automatic hand recount. That is the law.

  10. 10

    Chuck spews:

    BUT, the second count included a group of votes where the people couldnt follow simple instructions WITH an example on the ballot. Also whith the voters “intention” being determined when the “vote was unclear”. I am sorry but if you cannot follow simple instructions or make things clear it should be handled the same way my 4th grade teacher, Ms. Casadoro handled unclear assignments…she didnt call a commitee to determine your “intention”.

  11. 11

    Jim King spews:

    Forget the neo-cons and all the blathering idiots- I’ll take the word of the DEMOCRAT county auditors and election administrators who have ALL been saying that a hand recount will be less accurate…

  12. 12

    Jim King spews:

    And Brent- there was a lot of talk about the problems of hand recounts some years back, when we had a legislative race bounce back and forth- three HAND recounts, couldn’t come up with the same number twice. Best of three- first and third counts- was declared the winner, and recounts were then limited by law to two- the automatic, and the requested, with the second trumping the first- because HAND RECOUNTS ARE JUST TOO EMBARRASSING!!!!! Reality trumps theory…

  13. 13

    Brent spews:

    Chuck, way to site your 4th grade teacher to try to back up your position. I’m sure we’re all familiar with her and how she handled assignments, even though you didn’t even bother to explain it. Comparing the results of a gubernatorial election to 4th grade assignments does not help further your convoluted case. The simple fact of the matter is that elections should not be handled like class assignments are handled. In a classroom environment, there is no democracy. Whatever the teacher says goes, like it or not. Teachers have the sole responsibility to decide whether or not to grade “unclear assignments” (you didn’t bother to explain what you meant by that so you have left us all to speculate), however, our government is not set up the same way. We do not entrust the entire election to one person. That would be incredibly stupid. Also, it doesn’t matter if a 9-year-old gets an F because they didn’t do an assignment properly, but it does matter if a vote which is clear to the human eye is not counted simply because a machine is incapable of counting it. Those ballots were cast by registered voters who have the right to have their votes counted. Some of the ballots which were added to the recount total had been damaged so they could not be fed through a machine. On Northwest Cable “News” they even held up one ballot which was badly damaged on the left side, which made it impossible to feed it through a vote counting machine. Every vote on the ballot was perfectly clear. Should that vote not have counted simply because it was impossible to feed it through a machine? Should they not have filled out a separate ballot and fed that ballot through the machine so that the vote would be properly counted? Also, each vote in question was overseen by the state Republican party, the state Democratic party and elections observers. If either party took issue with the counting of an individual vote, they had the right to protest. Each individual vote has been verified by Democrats and Republicans and the elections officials. The manual recount will be conducted simply to RE-COUNT the votes, not to address complaints by partisan hacks that legitimate votes in their opposition’s territory should not be counted. On top of this, Rossi’s lawyers have called the issue which you have raised a “moot point”. So why are you still talking about it?

  14. 14

    Chuck spews:

    Ah Brent how cute to bring the “observers” up, the ones that were required to stand 20 feet away so as to not intimidate the elections employee? Is that the observers you were referring to?

  15. 15

    Jim King spews:

    Brent- if a manual count in a legislative district cannot come up with the same winner- much less the same number- twice in a row, why should anyone believe that a manual count of substantially greater numbers will be accurate? The only reason we won’t have the embarrasment of manual counts contradicting each other is because we changed the law to avoid having to face that embarassment ever again.

    And what makes you believe that BOTH parties will NOT be using their lawyers to challenge votes? With all that was done in King County, the ONLY way Gregoire will find more votes is to use the lawyers and challenge the previous decisions of the canvassing boards- because in King County ESPECIALLY, the votes have ALL been counted, ALREADY!

  16. 16

    Brent spews:

    That’s right. Reality trumps theory. The reality of the situation is that state law allows for a manual recount, and since the race came down to 42 votes out of 2.8 million cast, a manual recount is obviously necessary. The reality of the matter is that there does not appear to be even one state which does not allow for a manual recount. The reality of the matter is that 42 votes out of 2.8 million cast is such a narrow margin of victory for Rossi that the majority of the voters of the state of Washington will refuse to acknowledge or support him as governor if he is inaugurated without allowing the legal process of a manual recount to take place. I’ve already explained why manual recounts are more accurate than machine recounts, and no one has addressed any of the individual issues I have raised or provided any evidence to disprove them, nor has anyone provided any evidence to support the position that manual recounts are less accurate than machine recounts. You didn’t even bother to site what election you were talking about. You simply expect me to believe what you say without verification. What Democrats have been saying that a hand recount would be less accurate? Who are they, when did they say it and where and when was it reported and by whom? You need to come out of your neo-con propaganda bubble and join the rest of us in the real world who don’t believe people who write only one or two inarticulate sentences and never bother to site their sources.

    It’s so sad that you neo-cons instinctively accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being a “conspiracy theorist” yet you ramble on about how non-partisan elections officials are Democrats who are trying to steal the election. If that isn’t a conspiracy theory, what is? The hypocrisy of the neo-cons on this message board has me holding my nose in disgust.

  17. 17

    Brent spews:

    What the hell are you talking about? I never said that either candidate wouldn’t use their full force of lawyers. I never even alluded to this. Now you are just making up random comments and putting them in my mouth. Grow up.

  18. 18

    Brent spews:

    Chuck, the observers were the media. The media have video cameras. With technology these days, they don’t have to invade the personal space of the vote counters or elections officials to be able to properly observe the recount. All they have to do is videotape it. They can zoom in with cameras, you know. They can also analyze video frame-by-frame. So who cares that they were forced to stand 20 feet away? They needed to be that far back so that they would not get in the way of the vote counters and elections officials, who needed to direct all of their attention on the recount. I’m sure you’re aware of how intrusive and irritating the media can be.

  19. 19

    Chuck spews:

    Brent, you forgot the fact that they werent allowed to “keep the reels running” they were limited to what they could actually record, such as the lone damaged form that had to be re writen.

  20. 20

    Brent spews:

    All of you neo-cons who have a problem with the fact that state law clearly states that a manual recount is the legal right of both candidates need to stop accusing Democrats of using this law to attempt to steal the election and start attempting to change the law. The law is the law and everyone should respect it until it is changed. If you want it changed, push for a change in the law. But stop the partisan rhetoric of complaining that the law is not being ignored by the Gregoire campaign.

  21. 21

    Brent spews:

    Chuck, please articulate your statement. You state that they were not allowed to keep the reels running, yet you also state that they were allowed to record whatever they were able to record. Were they allowed to record the recount or were they not allowed to record it? Are you saying that they were allowed to record the recount for a short time before they were stopped? I hate to speculate, but your message is so inarticulate that you have left me no choice. Please make your statements clearer, and please site the source of the information.

  22. 22

    Brent spews:

    Also, I don’t hear Democrats whining about how the media wasn’t able to “keep the reels running” in Republican counties, even though their candidate lost the initial vote count and the recount. You only have a problem with how things are run in King County because it is a heavily Democratic county. I don’t hear you complaining about how voter intent is ascertained in either of the two Republican counties who conduct machine recounts in the same exact way as King county. If your problems with how things are run in King county are actually legitimate concerns of yours, why are you completely unconcerned with the fact that things are run the same exact way in two Republican counties? It sounds like partisan rhetoric to those of us who are not married to a party.

  23. 23

    Chuck spews:

    According to Whiney Paul, the reason that the (on NWCN) the reason that the press werent allowed to record much of the actual counting of the ballots and had to stand back was so the election officials didnt feel intimidated. I wasnt there dont know personally, but it really bothers me the way Paul acted like it was an acceptable move.

  24. 24

    Brent spews:

    It may really bother you that he acted like it was an acceptable move, but are you aware of whether or not the same exact thing happened in any other county? I’m not aware of whether or not the same thing happened in any other county, but then I”m not the one complaining about how the issue was addressed in King county. And who is Whiney Paul? What is his last name at least?

  25. 25

    Chuck spews:

    Im not certain what his last name is but he is the guy with a strawberry birthmark on the left side of his head that was crying after the first count saying that he just wanted to make sure that every vote counted…yes crying. As far as other counties I dont know or care, it would have been just as wrong.

  26. 26

    Brent spews:

    If you’re going to complain about how business was conducted in King county, you should at least know and care if what happened in King county was the standard way of doing things or if it was an exception. There are 39 counties in Washington state and I don’t hear Democrats whining about how the counting or recounting of votes was conducted in any of them. Except for the issue of Republicans turning the issue of a paper trail for electronic voting machines into a partisan issue and blocking the effort so that it is impossible to perform any type of recount in the two Washington state counties which use electronic voting machines. Apparently neo-cons believe that it is perfectly acceptable to simply accept the number of votes which were counted by computers as accurate even though there is absolutely no way to verify that the results were accurate. And since this debacle is a direct result of neo-cons’ efforts, I’m not surprised that they don’t care that an accurate recount cannot take place, especially since their candidate appears to have won by a measly 42 votes and if a proper recount were conducted, it is impossible to speculate as to who would win.

  27. 27

    Chuck spews:

    Hold for a moment there Brent, you assume that my problem with “voter intent” is only with King County or the democrats or liberals. Not true at all, I dont care what county, jurisdiction, party convciction or affiliation, if the voter cannot properly fill the ballot out it means NOTHING. Ballots come in whatever language you speak with directions even a child can handle WITH an example. Whoever cannot handle this simple senario…sorry, study up for next election and you may do better!

  28. 28

    Jim King spews:

    Brent- from one of your posts- “The manual recount will be conducted simply to RE-COUNT the votes, not to address complaints by partisan hacks that legitimate votes in their opposition’s territory should not be counted.” If that doesn’t imply that you think both sides will keep their lawyers leashed, what does it mean?

    And address reality- if handcounts cannot come up with the same result twice, what makes anyone trust their accuracy? You’ve got all your theories- I’ve given you the concrete, real world example from this state- 1990, 24th Legislative District, Evan Jones vs Anne Goos.

  29. 29

    Brent spews:

    Jim King, the same result will never happen twice. Did the machine recount produce the same result as the initial count? No. In fact, over 15,000 votes changed. So when the machines count the same votes twice and return a result of 15,000 changed votes, why would you harp on the issue that two manual recounts would not produce the same result? I didn’t say two manual recounts would produce the same exact result. I said that one manual recount would be more accurate than either of the two machine recounts which were already conducted, and both history and the law agree with me. Your proof that two manual recounts would produce different results proves nothing. Two machine recounts just returned results with a difference of 15,000 votes being changed. And don’t give me that partisan BS about the 700 – 800 ballots being added from King county. About 800 votes being added does not have anything to do with the fact that 14,200 different votes changed during the recount process. The question is not “which method of recounting will always produce the same results?” because no method of recounting will always produce the same results. The question is “which method of recounting is the most accurate?”

    Chuck, if your problem is truly with the tactics used, why did you decide to only address the issue that said tactics were used in King county while conveniently ignoring the fact that the same tactics were used in two Republican counties? If they had been used in King county and not the two Republican counties, Christine Gregoire might be our current governor-elect.

    Jim King, the manual recount IS to be conducted simply to RE-COUNT the votes, not to address complaints by partisan hacks that legitimate votes in their opposition’s territory should not be counted. The manual recount is not to be conducted to address issues which should be addressed by lawyers in a court of law. That is separate from the manual recount process. Welcome to reality.

  30. 30

    Jim King spews:


    You fail, as usual, on several points. To begin with comparing counts- the first count, and the mandatory recount, did NOT count the same ballots twice, thus there is NO comparison. In the Evans-Goos race, the exact same ballots were counted three times, with differing results- not just as to the numbers, but as to the “winner”. The error rate introduced by hand counting is significant and has been measured in the real world.

    That is the major reason that the actual administrators of elections- REGARDLESS of party- hold to the position that machine counts are more reliable, and that we have had the most accurate count we will get. Additional counting at this point is only going to introduce error, and Gregoire hopes it will introduce error sufficient to reverse the result.

    AND it provides opportunity to challenge ballots and previous decisions regarding those ballots. NOTHING prevents this from heading into court, except Gregoire’s concession. Without the manual count, there is no entry to the courts.

    Brent, your OPINIONS are neither cogent nor expert, and I will, as always, stand by the expertise of those out there actually administering the count.

  31. 31

    Brent spews:

    There was a difference of more than 15,000 votes when 15,000 votes were not added or deleted. King county added less than 800 votes while another 224 votes were added in another county. That equals roughly 1000 votes which were added, yet 14,000 OTHER votes changed during the recount. The same ballots were recounted except for those approx. 1000 votes, which does not come anywhere near the total of 15,000 votes which changed. If machine recounts are so inaccurate that they change 14,000 votes which were not added nor deleted, that means that machine recounts are not perfectly accurate and therefore your point about manual recounts not being perfectly accurate is moot. Machines and computers do whatever people tell them to, and people make mistakes. There is quite obviously a large margin of error when recounting ballots using machines, and there is quite obviously a margin of error when recounting ballots manually. You defend an inaccurate way of counting votes while claiming that we should not use another way of counting votes because it is not a perfectly accurate way of counting votes.

    I stated that the reason why the manual recount should happen is to count all the votes again in a more accurate manner. During that process, legal issues will undoubtedly be raised, but my point is that the legal issues are not THE REASON why the manual recount should take place. You read what I wrote, but apparently the words looked to you like “both campaigns will keep their lawyers leashed” when I did not even address the issue of lawyers.

    If machine recounts are more accurate than manual recounts, why is it that a manual, not a machine recount is automatically issued by law in every extremely close race in every state? If manual recounts are completely inaccurate, as you profess, why does every state allow for manual recounts, and why are machine recounts automatically issued when the margin of votes is small but not extremely small, while manual recounts are automatically issued when the margin of votes IS extremely small? It is for two very clear and obvious reasons: a manual recount is more expensive and more accurate. The counting of votes doesn’t have to be perfectly accurate when there are many votes separating the candidates, but when the counting of votes returns the result of a difference of 42 votes, the ensuing recount needs to be as accurate as possible. If manual recounts are completely inaccurate, as you say, then why do the laws of each and every state call for a mandatory manual recount when there is an extremely small number of votes separating the two candidates? This is not a new issue, nor is it strictly a local issue. Like I pointed out, the law is the same in every state. It’s too bad you can’t see through your own partisan rhetoric well enough to realize that your arguments have absolutely no basis in reality, history or law. I suppose you expect me to believe that you know more about how accurate manual recounts are than the lawmakers who passed the laws regarding the issue in every single state. That position is laughable.

  32. 32

    Chuck spews:

    Brent, the reason that a manual recount is called out by the law is mans basic distrust of a machine, and has NOTHING to do with accuracy. A machine doesnt have fights with its wife, it doesnt have a drug or alcohol problem, it doesnt come to work with the flu or a hangover, and it is hard to find one that is just plain worthless, or crooked. You show me a handfull of election workers ready to do a hand count and Ill show you at least ONE of those problems…that means inaccuracy. Further more King county was not the only county I was referring to the ENTIRE state when they were trying to determine INTENT was wrong! Next time you take a state test or fill out a form, be creative and fill it out however you want…see if they determine your intent….

  33. 33

    Goldy spews:

    if the voter cannot properly fill the ballot out it means NOTHING.

    Chuck, my problem with this argument is that you are confusing the technology with it’s objective. The purpose of an election is not to have voters correctly feed counting machines, the purpose of the machines is to count votes. If you use a red pen, or don’t completely fill in the circle, or put an x through it instead, the machine can’t read the ballot, even though you have clearly indicated your vote. That is a failing of the machine.

    We use machines because they are cheaper and faster than counting by hand. (There is disagreement here as to whether they are more accurate.)

    In a typical election, the fact that many ballots aren’t counted due to voter or machine error is not a problem, because these errors are randomly distributed and thus do not change the results of the election. But this election is so close that each nonmachine readable ballot had to be checked by hand.

    Anyway, all the arguments over replicating ballots are now moot, as every ballot will be counted by hand.

  34. 34

    Brent spews:

    That’s precisely why two separate teams of vote counters count the same votes and make sure they return the same exact result. If the results are not exact, both teams recount the votes. I have pointed this out before, but it appears that you are not interested in listening to me. You are only interested in ignoring the vast majority of my points and evidence and are only interested in putting words in my mouth. Machines do what humans tell them to do, and we will never be able to avoid people having a bad day. The issue you have raised regarding people having a bad day or being corrupt have already been addressed by both the lawmakers who created this law, and by myself. So let’s say Joe is either having a bad day and isn’t paying close enough attention to his work or he’s corrupt and is trying to steal the election. That’s why TWO teams count the same batch of votes and compare results, and if they don’t add up, they recount the votes again until they come up with the same results. During a machine recount, two teams of machines don’t count the same batch of ballots and compare results to make sure they add up. The machines simply count what they count, and if what they counted is inaccurate we’ll never know about it because we didn’t bother to check on them. Also, two counties in this state use electronic voting machines, which are computers. Computers are not the same as the machines we use to count votes. Computers do exactly what they are programmed to do. After the machine is certified, the electronic voting machine company can say they need to apply a patch to work out some bugs, and then we have ourselves uncertified computers. It is actually quite easy to write a small amount of hidden code which completely skews the results of the counting of votes and then deletes itself after the polls close. This issue cannot be investigated because the code can delete itself and there is no paper trail to verify whom voted for whom. You’re using a computer right now. Haven’t you ever seen bugs in operating systems and programs? And haven’t you ever seen a virus, trojan, adware or spyware? A manual recount is quite obviously the most accurate way to count votes because you have humans counting the votes instead of having machines and computers which were created and programmed by humans counting the votes. It only takes one corrupt or incompetent person to screw up the creation of a machine or the coding of a computer, but it takes way more corrupt and/or incompetent people who must be organized in order to pull off voter fraud during a manual recount. Everyone would have to be corrupt or incompetent, since each team has another team counting the same votes, and if the results don’t add up they both have to count them again.

  35. 35

    Chuck spews:

    You still evade saying what POSITIVE element interjecting the emotional human element into this election? And yes filling out the ballot correctly has EVERYTHING to do with the election. It isnt rocket science, it is clearly explained IN the language of the voter AND an example of the correct method id shown…easy money. Going bu your standards, I know of several people that may have thrown their ballots in the trash in the mistaken belief that their vote would count, can we now figure out their “intent” and make out a ballot on their behalf…it isnt their fault they dropped their ballot off in the wrong place, and their vote should count the same as the guy that used the wrong color pen, circled instead of filled in the solid line or circle or ect.

  36. 36

    RDC spews:

    I am a newcomer to looking at local blogs, specifically this one and Sound Politics. My perhaps not objective opinion is the only writer who consistently makes sense is Goldy.
    That aside, the Nader requested hnad recount of ballots in 11 precincts in New Hampshire was completed today. The recount involved close to 51,000 ballots, which had originally been counted on two types of optical scanners. The recount added about 160 votes to the total. My math is rusty, but that means an “error” rate of about 3 or 4 tenths of a percent. No mention was made in the news report about any difficulty getting an accurate count via the human reader method.

  37. 37

    Brent spews:

    Not only did I address that issue, I addressed it at length. Are you even bothering to read what I’ve written? The human element in the election is unavoidable. It’s going to be there whether or not we like it. You seem to be completely missing the point that it only takes one incompetent or corrupt person to improperly create a machine, or to improperly create a machine which creates the machine which counts our votes, or to improperly code a computer. Computer programming is hard. Have you ever seen a program or operating system created by anyone which was perfect and never needed to be patched? Of course not. On the other hand, if someone on a team of vote counters is incompetent or corrupt, they won’t be able to simply steal the election because the other team that’s counting the same votes will catch the error. When one or two people have the opportunity to skew an election by incorrectly creating a machine or operating system or program, it will likely go unnoticed, but when one or two people attempt to do the same during the manual recount process, it will not go unnoticed unless everyone on every team is corrupt. I would much rather put the vote counting process in the care of a large group of people who cross-check each other than put it in the hands of one or two programmers or mechanics who could easily commit voter fraud without anyone noticing.

  38. 38

    Chuck spews:

    RDC— What makes you think that the hand count was the correct count? Machines have been known to be more accurate for some time

  39. 39

    Chuck spews:

    Well, I am glad you are for inviting corruption Brent, you know when a store has an employee count up the till, it is done with as few people as possible touching the actual cash…why, Brent? Dont they want to increase the accuracy of the count with more people counting out the till? That is what you are saying to me…

  40. 40

    Brent spews:

    Chuck, you’re missing the point that we will never be able to figure out what the correct count is. There will always be a margin of error. Obviously you have absolutely no knowledge of computers or how they are coded, programmed and operated, or you would know how buggy they are and you would also know that it only takes ONE corrupt programmer to hide code which would completely skew the vote count and then delete itself, but it takes MANY corrupt vote counters to lie about the results of the recount. Also, computers have been known to be extremely buggy and extremely vulnerable to hacking for some time, and we’ve always known that machines make mistakes. If we just sit by and assume that what the machines counted is accurate and don’t bother to verify it ourselves, we will never catch the errors which were made, however if one team of vote counters counts one thing and the other team counts something different, we know right then that someone made a mistake and that both teams need to recount the batch of votes.

  41. 42

    Brent spews:

    I have repeatedly made the point that corruption has already taken place. Republicans turned the issue of a paper trail for electronic voting machines into a partisan issue and blocked the effort. This was an extremely corrupt act on their part. The vote count we have now is so incredibly corrupt that every single vote needs to be examined with a fine-toothed comb, but due to the deliberate efforts of the Republicans, this is impossible. We all know how buggy and vulnerable computers are and without a paper trail it is impossible to perform a recount in the two counties which use electronic voting machines, which also conveniently happen to be Republican counties. You comment that I’m inviting corruption when I have made it clear numerous times that I’m inviting the examination of an already corrupt counting of votes. Pull your head out of your ass and listen for once instead of putting words in my mouth.

  42. 43

    Mr. Cynical-dy spews:

    Pleading poverty by Berendt is a weak attempt to allow him to “escape” his prior cry for “making sure every vote counts’ and so he can cherry-pick precindts that will only potentially benefit Gregoire. Leftists are good at pleading poverty to cover hipocrisy!
    Unfortunately for Paul, he has basically checkmated himself on this one…and I think he knows it. Anything short of paying for a full statewide recount opens the door for the opponents to do whatever it takes and the R’s will win in the court of public opinion too!! It’s already happening. I can’t wait until Friday (Doomsday for Paul) and we can openly discuss the strategy. I know Goldy will work hard to put a negative spin on it!!! Stay tuned!
    Oh, and don’t take your eyes off the 400+ provisional ballot affadavits snifflin’ Paul hand-delivered (thus attesting to the validity of each one…what a boob!). If the Dems were able to contact each one of these, so should someone else. And if even one of those affadavits is phoneyed up…Paul will have some new lovers.

  43. 44

    Peter A. spews:

    To those of you who are still harping about those idiots who can’t fill out their ballots, get a mature and thoughtful life.

    There are so many reason one might have a problem, including eyesight, disease of the nerves, and on down the list. All too fucking human for the perfect beings who keep up this absurd finger pointing about other citizens. Yes, citizens, your equal in every way in the democratic process.

    Citizens are the wonderful mix of people, young old, every race every class. This is not India with a caste system. This is not striated England. America stands for that wonder mix of citizenship. The most basic and most important base for citizenship is enfranchisement, the 100 per cent right to vote, fully enabled free, full citizenship.

    All the trends in law and court cases for decades have been to give more people more access and to encourage more voters in every election.

    One of the silliest and least democratic tirades posted here have been against those who “can’t follow directions.” As if it was that simple. Thank God democracy is not the fourth grade. Nor is citizenship dependent on some silly, snotty small town view of anyone who makes a mistake. And of course, to hear it, those folks all live in King County and vote Democrat. No hillbilly R’s in E. Washington or R grannies just too shaky anymore to get the circle just right.

    I am so glad my concept of democracy does not match the elitist blather I have heard here about people whose ballots required a moment of scrutiny before it could be machine counted. Remember it was the R’s who sued without a plausible case and lost on this issue and in the second suit as well.

    Count every vote, from every voter/citizen with all the measures of the law to break on the side of the voter.

  44. 45

    Brent spews:

    First of all, people create those bugs. Second of all, it only takes one “buggy person” to skew the elections results when computers are involved, but it takes many deliberately “buggy” people to skew the results of a recount because another team is counting the same votes and the results of both teams are cross-checked before the vote count is final. Your comment about people being buggier and more vulnerable than computers is ignorant at best. How many critical updates has Microsoft released for its Windows XP operating system? How many people get loads of virii and spyware and adware because they don’t know any better than to run an adware scanner, spyware scanner, virus scanner and firewall? Again, it only takes one corrupt or incompetent computer programmer to totally skew the results of an election, but almost everyone involved in the recount process would have to be corrupt to skew the results of a recount.

  45. 46

    ray spews:

    With elections this close, any statistician will tell you that no result is defensible. This is why our systems stinks. We need absolute runoffs whenver the margin is within “recount” range. No recounts. Statistically, it can be within margin of error to make either person a winner.

  46. 47

    Jim King spews:

    All of you so sure of the “liberal” position should go take a look at tomorrow’s editorial page of the P-I- the editorial board calls bullshit on the Dems poverty claims, and Thomas Shapley gets on the case of voters who can’t take the responsibility to vote correctly.

    And Brent- look at Gregoire’s statement about “thousands of ballots in dispute”, remember that this process begins de novo, and think about the fun and games in determining the intent of each of 2.8 million voters- because that determining of intent is the first step in a hand recount…

    Yes, we take a pile of votes, and break it into smaller piles of Rossi, Gregoire, Bennett, and “other”- no recorded vote, someone else, etc. And we get to fight over every ballot where the intent is not crystal clear… the wonderful human factor at full roar…

    And this is supposed to increase the electorate’s confidence in the system? There are too many people on both sides prepared to play Samson and bring the temple down on all of us.

    Again, Henry VI, Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2- and THEN start the counting.

  47. 48

    Brent spews:

    From your statements, it appears that you would rather inaugurate the wrong candidate than annoy people who would rather hear an incorrect judgment of who won than to actually figure out who won. The recount is not about annoying people or not annoying them, it is about recounting the votes in the most accurate way possible so that we can have the best idea possible of who won. The fact that you don’t care who got more votes and just want to assume it was your candidate is completely antithetical to the basic principles of democracy. We need to find out who more people want to be governor instead of assuming. Also, the boat has already been rocked and the only way to steady it is to do the best job we can in recounting the votes. If there is no manual recount, no one who falls left of center will accept that Rossi won. Not by 42 votes. We need to determine who won so that both sides can agree and move forward. Unfortunately, however, Republicans are so immature that even if it were somehow proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that Gregoire won (this is a hypothetical – I’m not saying it could ever be done), they would still find a way to complain that she didn’t really win. I’ve got news for you, there are far more progressives, liberals and Democrats in this state than there are neo-cons, and since they’re already pissed off from Bush having stolen TWO elections now, they’re certainly not going to put up with Rossi stealing the election.

  48. 49

    Chuck spews:

    There are so many reason one might have a problem, including eyesight, disease of the nerves, and on down the list.>>>>>>>>>>>>

    An elections officer can help if you are handycapped.

  49. 50

    Goldy spews:

    I am a newcomer to looking at local blogs, specifically this one and Sound Politics. My perhaps not objective opinion is the only writer who consistently makes sense is Goldy.

    RDC… I’ve taken an instant liking to you.

  50. 51

    Goldy spews:

    What makes you think that the hand count was the correct count? Machines have been known to be more accurate for some time

    Chuck, I’m really tolerant in moderating this blog. I allow insults, and name calling, and obscenity and rants and raves of all kinds and all political viewpoints. I believe political debate should be no holds barred… kind of like the conversation at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner.

    But one thing I won’t tolerate is unsupported, uncited, so-called statements of fact. If you are going to continue to claim that machine counts are more accurate than hand counts, then CITE YOUR GODDAMN SOURCE!

    You are free to get as angry and abusive as you want here, but please keep it honest. If you can’t back up your claim, then either state it as opinion, or shut up.

  51. 52

    Chuck spews:

    Microsoft released for its Windows XP operating system?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Less times than the average aduld human has been admonished during thier lives.

  52. 53

    Chuck spews:

    If you see me as abusive, it isnt intended, but while we are on the subject of hand counts cite me a reputable source that proves that a hand count is more reliable, not that it is legal, but more reliable. I dont need sweet Chrissy or whiney Paul as the example either.

  53. 54

    Jim King spews:

    Brent- anyone reading my postings here and at unSound Politics knows I have the utmost confidence in the ability and credibility of this state’s election administrators, of both parties. If the count had ended with Gregoire 42 up, I’d have hitched up my britches and gotten to work on the next phase of life. I’ve been on the winning and losing sides often enough that I know life goes on…

    I also know that there is no way to determine who “really” won this election. There is no perfect count. We are at the subatomic level of politics- the very act of observing affects- and changes- that which is observed. No one is asking for a manual count to get to the truth- the only reason a manual count will be requested is to change the outcome. And once we are in that battle, all hell breaks loose.

    Christine Gregoire is an honorable person. She stands at the brink, looking into the abyss. This could be the end of her political career- if she loses this one, she will never run for high office again. I will not blame her if she has had her people do their best analysis possible, and decides that the votes are there to be found to win, and she goes for it- on a straight count. That she pays for.

    But if she proves to be less than honorable, and unleashes the lawyers, I sincerely hope she roasts in political hell for the remainder of her days…

  54. 55

    Chuck spews:

    Let me tell you of four possible futures for the state of Washington. One future involves sweet Chrissy either admiting defeat and living to fight another fight, the second will be if she insists on a hand count and Rossi wins and she is finished in politics, the third id if the hand count puts her in charge and she serves her term without the peoples support and she is finished with politics, the fourth and a very real possibiliyt is she gets in office, a huge recall campaign is called for and she is thrown out on her ear by disgruntled voters…and is finished with politics.

  55. 56

    Jim King spews:

    Chuck- recall can’t happen as you envision, not in this state- you cannot recall an elected official without having grounds you can get past the State Supreme Court- and the grounds have to relate to action or inaction in the office from which it is proposed the person be recalled. NOTHING anyone does before taking the oath of office can provide grounds for recall…

  56. 58

    Peter A. spews:

    Just read the P I editorial – Shapley is getting sour in his old age.
    As he gets the shakes and after his first stroke, hope he remembers in the crush of all the things swirling around in his life, to journey to the courthouse and change his signature card, less his future absentee ballots not be counted.

    Of course that shaky signature is good enough on his checks, and on the deed he signed on selling the rental.

    Since youth can’t be his excuse, he must just like to grouse.

    I love all old voters, shakes and all. My sainted Granny was the most spirited political person I Ihave even known, she lived for politics and gardening and pampering her grandson and tales of walking miles to vote as a young woman in rural Arkansas. Let the recount begin. Here and in the Ukraine.

  57. 59

    Jim King spews:

    Peter- Here you and I agree, a bit- I like Sam Reed’s idea, that the counties should have an obligation to go out and contact both absentee and provisional voters when there is a question. I am even willing to allow partisans to do the job, IF they are registrars and under oath- after all, we trust them with original registrations.

    I argue for “substantial compliance” when it comes to small business and regulations- that seems to me to be a reasonable standard in voting. I actually do not have a big problem with the person who circled the party of each candidate, or puts a check mark next to each name- that is awfully clear intent. That is why I had no problem with ALL the counties who manually examined ballots that could not be machine read during the first recount. And I have yet to hear either party step forward with a canvassing board decision that they believed to be incorrect..

    But having said that, I still wonder where Gregoire thinks she’s really going to find more votes- unless it is, as the spokesgal for the Dems is quoted in the P-I as saying, a big gamble. And if it is just a big gamble, that is her right- but NOT on my dime…

  58. 60

    Josef spews:

    Jim, I totally agree. I think Gregoire should concede, for as you said, “Additional counting at this point is only going to introduce error, and Gregoire hopes it will introduce error sufficient to reverse the result. AND it provides opportunity to challenge ballots and previous decisions regarding those ballots. NOTHING prevents this from heading into court, except Gregoire’s concession. Without the manual count, there is no entry to the courts.” This is absolute hell awaiting the state of Washington.

    The Good Ole Police will flood the state with lawyers… the state will find another reason to rue the day they elected Christine O’Grady Gregoire to anything… Mt. St. Vance will erupt… the state will find another reason to rue the day they didn’t foresee the need for a runoff election when a candidate in a general election doesn’t have 50-percent plus one of the vote… Dino Rossi will rock on… The state will find another reason to rue the day Chris Vance took charge of the state GOP… I could go on.

    The more I hear Dean Logan, Sam Reed, about the Yakima auditor and Dan Evans: The more I regret THINKING about blessing a hand recount. This IS Pandora’s Box that awaits…

    At the very least, if Gov’r Locke were smart, he and Lt. Gov’r Brad Owen and the 2 candidates would come up with a contingency agreement if this goes into January…

    Maybe the best option is a top-2 runoff (Full Disclosure: I voted against I-872 for the rationale of the subversion of the role of political parties). What do you think? Why not? Let’s have a 50 percent plus one and then call it good?

    In the meantime, Lt. Gov’r Owen can preside over things… and pick the best of BOTH transition teams until the runoff.

  59. 61

    jim p spews:

    I like your comment Chuck! “the third id if the hand count puts her in charge and she serves her term without the peoples support”. Which ’42’ people will decide to recall her? I imagine you need more than a 42 vote majority to recall any elected office holder. rotflmao

  60. 62

    Peter A. spews:

    Josef- Pandora would be angry at such a rationale solution, want to know th accurate total of a pile of ballots, even a big pile, carefully amd deliberately count them.

    All this negativeism, what happened to the we can do. Wait, it is partisan politics and not much else. But lets be upfront.

    Actually Rossi was quite cool in an interview, something to the effect , if Gregoire thinks she wants to do a recount that is up to her. He is fully aware that if the tables were turned he would be in the same spot.

  61. 63

    Peter A. spews:

    If the tables were turned-Quote from Rossi in Times story this am……”Rossi skirted questions about whether he would have demanded a recount had he trailed Gregoire by 42 votes rather than leading.”

  62. 64

    David spews:

    Chuck continues to blather falsehoods, which is denting his credibility.

    He says: “if the voter cannot properly fill the ballot out it means NOTHING.

    Sorry, Chuck, that’s not how it works. See, e.g., RCW 29A.60.040 (Washington election law): votes will be counted if they are “marked with sufficient definiteness to determine the voter’s choice or intention.” By law, technicalities will not negate the will of the voters of Washington.

    The rest of the country generally does the same thing: “If the voter’s intention can be ascertained with reasonable certainty, ordinarily the ballot should be given effect and counted in accordance with that intention, provided the voter has substantially complied with statutory requirements and no essential mandate of the law is thereby violated.” — Corpus Juris Secundum Volume 29, Elections, Page 496.

    And “Ballots will not be treated as void merely because of technical or minor errors or because of irregular or unauthorized markings which appear to have been innocently made as the result of accident, awkwardness, nervousness, inattention, mistake, ignorance, or physical infirmity, if the lawful intent of the voter can be ascertained.” Id.

  63. 65

    David spews:

    Chuck also insists that “Machines have been known to be more accurate for some time.

    Well, this too is bunk, at least as far as recounts are concerned (machines can produce an initial tally that’s more accurate than a quick hand count). I found a few handy cites to help settle this. First there’s a study from the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project that plainly states, “The central finding of this investigation is that manually counted paper ballots have the lowest average incidence of spoiled, uncounted, and unmarked ballots, followed closely by lever machines and optically scanned ballots.” — Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, Residual Votes Attributable to Technology

    Then there’s a New York Press article including an interview with Bob Swartz, founder of Pennsylvania-based Cardamation, one of the nation’s largest makers and sellers of computer punch cards and card-reading machines. The article says that Swartz has been in the punch-card business for 40 years, but isn’t in the election business anymore.

    [L]ooking at computer cards with your own eyes is standard procedure. “We didn’t call it a ‘hand count.’ We just called it ‘looking at the cards,’” he says. “We read the cards through the machine twice, and if there are differences we look at the cards. If our goal is to get 100 percent accuracy, there’s no question that’s the way to achieve it.”

    The article continues, “Swartz fully expects card-reading machines to make mistakes. It’s when they do not make mistakes that he gets suspicious. ‘If you recount 400,000 votes and there’s no difference,’ he says, ‘someone fudged the figures.'” — Jonathan Vankin, “The Real Scandal Is the Voting Machines Themselves,” New York Press, December 14, 2000, available at

    In a way, the answer to this assertion follows from the correction of Chuck’s first assertion. After all, we have to start with the premise that a vote is valid when it demonstrates the voter’s intent in an ascertainable manner, whether read by the machine or not. If stray marks confuse the machine, a well-run, well-monitored and well-safeguarded visual count will have superior accuracy. See generally Counting Mark-Sense Ballots (detailed analysis of expected errors from use of optical-scan voting machines); Voting Technologies in the United States (Congressional Research Service report noting [at p.11] observed error rates in machine counts “as high as 1 in 100″ and residual vote rates of up to 4-6%)

    Finally, I found another Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project study, Using Recounts to Measure the Accuracy of Vote Tabulations (comparing counts of both traditional paper ballots and optically scanned ballots to recounts of each through 60 years of New Hampshire elections.) The report validates optical scan counts as more accurate than preliminary counting of paper ballots, while it also confirms the ultimate accuracy of careful hand recounts in which “greater effort is taken to arrive at the most accurate accounting of votes cast.” The authors found that the amount of pure tabulation error in NH elections from 1988 to 2000 was 0.56% for optical scanning machines; they conclude that “any race decided by less than .5 percent of the vote will have a non-trivial probability of being reversed in a recount.” See also New Scientist vol 184 issue 2469 – 16 October 2004, page 6: “When votes are recounted [by hand], the error rate falls, often to as low as a few hundredths of a per cent.”

    Ironically for Republicans who want to cast doubt on manual recounts, in 1997 Governor G.W. Bush himself signed a law in Texas stating that “a manual recount shall be conducted in preference to an electronic recount”. Tex. Elec. Code Section 212.005(d).

  64. 66

    David spews:

    Brent: Relax, man, you’ve made your point already. 21 posts! You don’t have to reply to Chuck any more.

    Peter A.: Thanks for that wonderful (and rightly indignant) message reminding us not to be spiteful toward those who have more troubles than we do. It reminds me of the story of the wooden bowl.

  65. 68

    Chuck spews:

    Jim, as for Which ‘42′ people will decide to recall her?, I have several freinds that voted for her and now they are saying that if they would have known she was going to do this they never would have voted for her. They are also saying it is time to concede, pull up her pants and go home…the party is OVER.

  66. 69

    jim p spews:

    You can bet your bottom dollar that anyone in any party finishing in a statistical tie would do all that they could to get a recount done by hand and done properly.

  67. 72

    ray spews:

    Any party does what ever possible to get their candidate elected. The sad part is Ds claiming Rs would do anything differently that they would do in the reversed circumstance.

    It’s not about who got the most votes. It’s how do we get our guy (gal) in.

    Always was. Always will be.

    Ds and Rs are exactly the same in this regard. Strong Ds and Strong Rs will admit this.

  68. 73

    Rae spews:

    I think it entirely possible that there could be numerous recounts, by machine or by hand, with no two yielding identical results. Why? Because no one knows how many ballots we started with in the beginning. If that were a requirement, the breakdown after a recount would be comprised of votes for Rossi, votes for Gregoire, votes for write-in candidates, votes that were invalid for being too late, for being improperly marked, for not representing a legal registered voter, and so on. Then and only then, could there be a final and true vote count result. As it is now, with two counts giving an edge to Rossi, if the next one goes to Gregoire, what makes that any more accurate than the first two. Nothing, in my mind. I’m still worried about the ballots that were surgically enhanced in the first recount to reflect what the vote intended. How the heck do they know without talking to the voter? And certainly if there were any questions now, it will be impossible to determine voter intent since the ballots have not been marked by someone else to reflect what they thought was the voter’s intent. And then there’s the Count Every Vote mantra. It should be Count Every Legal Vote and that would by definition have to include the entire state, not just a few select precincts.

    Pretty crafty of the the Dems to plan a cherry picking trip of a few places with the possibility of throwing the whole thing into a state hand recount for which the citizens will have to pay.

  69. 74

    Chuck spews:

    As I said if we are going to go by the voter “intent” then we should make special arrangements for the people that threw their absentee ballots in the garbage if they intended to vote, after all it isnt their fault they put in in the wrong box and after all every vote SHOULD count…….

  70. 75

    Goldy spews:

    David… DAMN YOU!

    I was up half the night going over the CalTech/MIT reports, preparing an analysis for posting, and you scooped me!

    Thanks for the all the work pointing out scientific literature that vouches for the accuracy of hand counts. The onus is now on Chuck to back up his assertions to the contrary, and once again CITE HIS SOURCES!

  71. 76

    Goldy spews:

    I’m still worried about the ballots that were surgically enhanced in the first recount to reflect what the vote intended.

    The aluminum hat folks at Sound Politics have made a big stink about “surgically enhanced” and “replicated” ballots. Here’s how ballot replication works. Let’s say a ballot won’t scan because it was mangled in the equipment (we’ve all had paper jams… it happens.) Because the initial recount was NOT a hand count, the ballot had to be replicated so that it could be fed through the machine. So somebody would copy the mangled ballot to a clean one, “replicating” it.

    If the initial count had fallen within a 150 vote margin, a hand recount would have been mandated, and there would have been NO replication, because a human being could clearly read the ballots in question.

    I hear lots of complaints from Sound Politics about the process, but I have seen no complaints from the GOP observers who were actually at the polls.

  72. 78

    Chuck spews:

    *It is possible that some countries will count their ballot papers by hand at first, but then use computerised systems to aggregate the results. Particularly in proportional or alternative systems, computers can be used to produce faster and more accurate distributions of preferences or strikings of quota.

  73. 80

    David spews:

    Chuck, your last 2 po[s]ts made it, they just got held for a while because they contained links. See the tiny notice below the “Say it!” button at the bottom of the page.

    Nice of you to offer cites, but an introductory classroom overview of “bias” and how to avoid it (without any analysis, statistics, or error rate comparisons) isn’t much support for your position, and neither is a lone conclusory statement (although computers can certainly produce faster results, *especially* in proportional or alternative voting systems, neither of which we are talking about at the moment). Others are free to evaluate the credibility of your assertions and your sources independently….

  74. 81

    Chuck spews:

    Professor Elhauge argues that using manual recounts to “check the accuracy of a machine count is rather like trying to recheck a machine’s measurement of electron width using the human eye and a yardstick.” More emphatically, he states that “[a] human recount that is 4 percent inaccurate cannot improve upon a machine count that is 1 percent inaccurate.” For these reasons, Professor Elhauge argues, manual recounts should be limited to those situations where machines “malfunction.”

  75. 82

    David spews:

    True enough, if a manual recount is “4 percent inaccurate” it won’t improve on a “1 percent inaccurate” machine count. But if a manual recount actually has an error rate of only “a few hundredths of a percent,” as the election analysts conclude (see cite above), it’s an improvement of a couple orders of magnitude! Prof. Elhauge — a very bright antitrust prof at Harvard Law School who also represented the Florida House of Representatives during the 2000 Bush v. Gore litigation — was discussing the Florida 2000 mess in the paper you cited (see p.18). Note as he does that in that recount [unlike in Washington] there were no pre-established standards (among other problems). And even then his 4% “inaccuracy” rate includes every ballot that either side raised an objection to during the recount, nevermind that such challenges were then resolved (until the recounts were halted, anyway). And, if you didn’t notice, Professor Elhauge doesn’t include any citations or sources for his “statistics” either. For a simple reason: it’s a policy article discussing ways to address legal uncertainties and other potential problems he observed; it’s not a scientific analysis of machine-recount vs. manual-recount accuracy.

  76. 83

    Mark spews:

    Who cares what Gary Locke says anyway. He’s a little biases to be commenting on this issue to begin with. I hope the door hits him in the ass on his way out. Good riddance.

  77. 84

    Chuck spews:

    For the record John Carlson is reporting that theaccuracy of the voting machines exeeds the federal requirement of one mistake in one MILLION votes, not the 1-2% that is being reported on this blog.