If it wasn’t already obvious, this is why our good friend Stefan and many of his fellow Republicans so bitterly oppose King County’s proposed move to all vote-by-mail balloting:
Republican candidate Mike McGavick thinks his chances of unseating Cantwell are enhanced by the fact that Democratic-leaning King, the state’s most populous county, hasn’t yet switched to all-mail ballots. The Cantwell camp agrees that McGavick has a point but says it won’t help him nearly enough.
Voter turnout is generally higher in the 34 counties that now vote solely by mail than in the five counties — King, Pierce, Island, Kittitas and Klickitat — that still use polling places as well as mail ballots.
Secretary of State Sam Reed predicts a statewide voter turnout of 67 percent, a record for an even-year, non-presidential election. But for King County, election officials forecast a turnout of only 59.5 percent, with two-thirds of those voting by mail. Reed expects 88 percent of the votes statewide to be absentees.
“Most of those counties (that vote by mail) are Republican-leaning areas,” Dan Brady, McGavick’s campaign manager, said Wednesday. “To us, it means thousands of votes for Mike because it’s easier for people to vote when (the ballot) is sitting in front of them at home than it is to go to their polling place.”
If as many counties voted by mail in 2004 as are voting by mail this year, “Dino Rossi would probably be governor,” Brady said.
It is about nothing more than naked partisan advantage. Their goal all along has been to delay the implementation of vote-by-mail in King County until at least after the 2008 election, so as to give an advantage to Dino Rossi.
The Washington State Republican Party, having been seized by corporatist and right-wing fundamentalist factions, simply cannot win statewide elections on the issues. That’s why their candidates run these cynical, wishy-washy, issueless, faux-moderate campaigns. And that is why they focus so intently on voter suppression and intimidation.
I mean, I don’t blame them for wanting to suppress voter turnout in their opponent’s strongholds. I blame them for actually acting on their want.