Yesterday, GOPolitburo Chair Chris Vance repeated the mantra that has characterized his party’s PR campaign since the morning after the election:
Republicans are now “absolutely convinced that King County is trying to steal this election,”
Sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, sometimes couched in legalese or pseudo-statistics, sometimes bluntly vicious… the state GOP and their evil elves on the right-wing blogs have relentlessly pushed the message that the only path to Democratic victory is outright fraud and corruption.
And their PR campaign has been a brilliant success. Even one of the most liberal legislators in the state is apparently cowed by the supposed public perception the Republicans have labored so hard to fabricate:
Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, an attorney who will be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said there is a “popular assumption” that Rossi has won the race, in part because of the Republican’s careful postelection public-relations strategy.
That, he said, will put Democrats “on very, very thin ice with the public” if lawmakers get involved in determining the outcome.
“I would be very, very careful here,” Kline said. “No matter how thoughtful and surgically precise we approached this, if we were seen publicly as trying to steal an election, the ill will we would invite would be worse than four years of Dino Rossi.”
This is shit!
Let’s lay out a few facts here:
A) Statute called for an automatic machine recount, and allows for this hand recount as the final tally. Therefore, Rossi has not won anything.
B) If the 573 legitimate ballots — erroneously disqualified because election workers failed to check the signatures against the original records — had been counted the first time around, it would be Gregoire who would have come out of the mandatory machine recount with a 40-some vote lead… and it would have been Rossi trying to overturn the election by paying for a hand recount.
C) There are approximately 3000 additional ballots that have been disqualified in King County, because unlike some other counties, election workers actually did their job and matched signatures. The vast majority of these are legitimate ballots from legitimately registered voters, whose signatures failed to match those on record, or failed to sign their ballots at all. While the rules may in the end disqualify these ballots, the intent of these voters remains intact: a majority of voters who cast ballots for governor most likely did not choose Dino Rossi.
D) There has been no documented evidence provided of a single incident of fraud or corruption.
So… when Republicans claim that Democrats are trying to “steal this election”, the first thing I ask is, “from whom?”
Had election workers not erroneously disenfranchised those 573 voters, Christine Gregoire would now be the Governor-elect, and Dino Rossi would be the usurper. Okay, shit happens. But more disgusting is the GOP rant that Democrats are trying to overturn the will of the people. Gimme a break! In an election whose margin of victory is too far within the voting technology’s margin of error to provide confidence that we can ever accurately determine the results, such a claim is just downright insulting. And in light of the thousands of voters from Democratic stronghold King County who were disenfranchised on technicalities, it is at least as reasonable to argue that the majority of legal voters intended to elect Gregoire.
Are Democrats trying to take the governorship away from Dino Rossi? Absolutely. But they are not trying to steal anything from the people.
My second question is, “how” are Democrats supposedly stealing this election? By making their case before the Supreme Court, and losing? By counting ballots that should have been counted the first time around? By asking for a hand recount they shouldn’t have had to ask for in first place, that has uncovered hundreds of additional Rossi votes without complaint?
Republicans have accused Democrats of trying to “change the rules in the middle of the game.” But A) this is not a game, and B) if they are attempting to “change the rules” they are doing so by the rules already in place. Statute gives canvassing boards the discretion during a recount to fix any counting and canvassing errors they discover, and that is what Dems are now asking the counties to do.
You want to argue that there has been too much sloppiness and error by election workers in King County, have at it. But it has all disadvantaged Democrats, both in the vote count, and in the PR battle. If this is corruption, it’s the most incompetent corruption I have ever seen.
Yeah, I forgot… us Democrats are all a bunch of liars and cheats, with a long tradition of using electoral fraud to cling to what little power we have left. Well the only reasonable thing to say in response is… fuck you!
I mean it. Every single one of you blinded-by-the-right Rossifarian wingnuts, desperately searching for some enemy to validate your anger… the next time you write an unsupported comment here accusing Democrats of fraud and corruption and malfeasance and vote-stealing and pig-fucking or whatever… remember, you are saying this about ME, personally! And from here on out, I intend to take it personally, and respond in kind.
The truth is, the Republicans knew on election night that the governor’s race was going to be a crap shoot, and their efforts have been as much about delegitimizing a potential Gregoire administration as it has been about assuring a Rossi one. This isn’t about stealing elections, it’s about both sides playing political hardball. And what’s really pissing off Republicans, is that WA state Democrats aren’t just rolling over like their national counterparts.