[NWPT48]The Republican’s attorney just finished his opening statement, in which he describes King County Elections as “sinister”, “fraudulent”, and “outrageous”, and of course, claim that the election was “stolen.” Knowing that they don’t have enough felon, dead and double-voters (the only classes of contested ballots that are indisputably illegal) to reverse the election under their proportional deduction methodology, the GOP strategy is clear from the start. They intend to expand the definition of illegal votes, and attempt to prove fraud, or at least gross misconduct on the part of KC officials.
The Republicans will argue that all the provisional ballots improperly scanned at the polling place should be ruled as illegal, regardless of the number of provisional voters that were later verified by their signatures in the back of the poll books. They also will argue that the 875-vote discrepancy between the number of absentee ballots counted and the number of absentee voters credited, constitutes evidence of illegal votes. Indeed much of the focus thus far has been on the absentee ballot reconciliation process, claiming that it proves that ballots were “stuffed.”
Here’s a question: if the mail ballot reconciliation process is as inaccurate as the Republican attorneys claim it to be, how can it possibly be accepted as evidence of more ballots than voters? It’s kind of a curious dilemma… on the one hand they are claiming that the system was totally incapable of accurately tracking the receipt of absentee ballots, and on the other hand they are asking the court to except the number recorded as fact.
Hmm. I’ve got a solution.
The great thing about absentee ballots is that they produce a paper trail. We still have all the ballots. And we still have all the envelopes. Why not recount them, huh? Or are Rossi’s attorney’s suggesting that we’re better off using a statistical analysis to set aside an election based on speculation about questionable circumstantial evidence?
I’ve always been bothered by the allegation of ballot stuffing, because nobody has ever proposed a mechanism by which it might have occurred. Remember, each precinct has its own distinct ballot, and these so-called “voter-less ballots” are distributed throughout the majority of the county’s 2600 precincts. How exactly does one strategically stuff a ballot here and a ballot there without being caught? This differs very much from the Foulkes case where it was clear that ballots were actually fraudulently altered.
If the GOP can convince the court to include all of the disputed provisionals and the absentee discrepancy as illegal votes, and submit those with the felon votes to a proportional analysis, then they have a chance of prevailing… but they face huge hurdles. Judge Bridges has already ruled that he would not accept voter crediting records as evidence, and it appears that applies to absentee as well as polling place ballots.
As to the issue of fraud, well, neither Sec. of State Sam Reed nor KC Prosecutor Norm Maleng (both Republicans) believe KC officials committed fraud, and so I sincerely doubt the Court will either. And despite their protestations to the contrary, proving fraud is now a huge portion of their case. The Judge has made it clear that in the absence of fraud, they most prove Rossi actually one the election, not simply that the result is in doubt.
So it boils down to this: what is an illegal vote, and what is fraud?