I just downloaded Dean Logan’s 476-page deposition. Actually, the “redacted” version the Republicans provided to the Seattle Times is only 436 pages. That’s still a helluva lot of pages, but you can’t blame me for being curious about the GOP’s “40-page-gap.”
Needless to say, I haven’t had time yet to read the deposition for myself, so I’m not ready to comment on it directly, but please feel free to read it for yourself and use this thread to start debating the highlights (or lowlights, depending on your point of view.)
David Postman and Keith Ervin do a bit of preliminary reporting in today’s Seattle Times. Amongst the somewhat newish tidbits revealed, the number of mishandled provisional ballots in King County was closer to 785 (122 of which were unverifiable), three additional absentee ballots were found in the base of voting machines, some valid ballots were mistakenly rejected due to errors in the voter-registration database, and 208 ballots were set aside because they needed further research (some of which were later determined to have been valid, post-certification, after um… further research.)
When Logan was asked about his failure to implement recommendations issued last May in an Elections Oversight Committee report, Logan said that he simply didn’t have the time:
“We had to consider what changes in polling processes were the most easily achieved in time for a brand-new election in September in a manner that could contemplate the literally thousands of election-board workers being able to absorb and comprehend those changes in time to administer the fall elections,”
This is completely consistent with what was previously explained to me in my conversations with Logan and his staff. Prior to release of the report, they had already started implementing a new voter registration system — including all new software — and their primary focus was completing this transition as smoothly as possible before the September primary and November election. They knew about problems with provisional ballots, and they knew about inefficiencies in the voter credit process… but they had to complete the implementation of the new voter registration system before they could move on to other priorities.
As Adams County Auditor Nancy McBroom (a Republican) told me, “it’s hard to wave your wand or twitch your nose and fix everything at one time.” Given unlimited resources, perhaps Logan and his staff could have addressed more issues at once… but then, he wasn’t given unlimited resources, was he?
Yes, mistakes were made. But it in evaluating this election it should be remembered that while evidence of additional errors and mishandled ballots have been trickling out for months, giving the appearance of an election department in a constant state of disarray, the majority of these errors actually occurred all at once, in an intense and compressed period time, on election day and in the first few days that followed. Whether mishandled provisional ballots were discovered and revealed on one, two, three or more occasions is immaterial, for they were all mishandled on election day. And while handfuls of misplaced ballots have been discovered on several occasions, they were all misplaced at the same time.
And in a final irony, many of the errors by King County Elections workers — which Rossi and his surrogates have attempted to spin into a tale of Democratic corruption — actually disadvantaged Christine Gregoire! Remember, if that infamous batch of “no signature on file” ballots had been properly processed, Gregoire would have won the machine recount, and Rossi would have been widely perceived as a poor loser for paying for a hand recount that would have expanded Gregoire’s lead.
I’ll slog through the deposition and come back with my observations later. But I think Democratic attorney David McDonald’s savvy observation likely sums up its legal impact:
“If the transcript was available this morning and they didn’t have a press conference this afternoon, my conclusion is they probably didn’t pick up much.”
For a Rossi team that has fought this contest at least as aggressively in the court of public opinion as they have in the court of a law, their silence is deafening.