Long-standing procedures

One of the stupider arguments the Rossifarians have made against Democrats thus far is that they are somehow trying to “change the rules” regarding the 723 absentee ballots that King County mistakenly left uncounted thus far. Oh please.

In any other year, in any other election, in any other county… these ballots, once the error was discovered, would be counted. In fact, The Seattle P-I reports that five other counties — Whatcom, Kittitas, Chelan, Snohomish and Pierce — have already found and added valid ballots that weren’t included in the original count. [“Other counties added votes in recount“]

Indeed, if the Supreme Court grants the GOP their request for an injunction, it is Dino Rossi who will have changed the established rules.

“If they uphold the (lower court) decision, it raises questions not just about what we’ve done, but about what historically all counties have done for as long as I’ve been in the business, which is 25 years,” said Snohomish County Auditor Bob Terwilliger.

That’s not just one auditor’s opinion. The Manual Recount Procedures – FAQ issued by Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed on December 6, states that “As a general matter, counties will not revisit prior canvassing decisions in the manual recount.” But…

…Any canvassing board at any time in the original count, machine recount, or manual recount may, upon finding that a discrepancy or inconsistency exists, direct a recanvass of any necessary portion of the ballots.

That’s not much more than a restatement of RCW 29A.60.210, but it is an interpretation of the statute that has long guided elections in Washington state.

The other day, in trying to explain the process by which the 723 ballots were left not rejected, but uncounted, I wrote that I hoped “a King County election worker will correct me if I’m wrong.” Well, within 24 hours a memo was released from Superintendent of Elections Bill Huennekens showing that I was indeed wrong on some of the specifics, but right in my general conclusion: these ballots were not marked “rejected” but rather “No Signature on File.”

But more interesting to me was the following tidbit from the memo that has been conveniently ignored by unsound muckrakers:

This spring, I learned that the long-standing operating procedure for absentee voters who did not have a signature in the system was to simply let the ballot count. For the May special election, I instructed staff that this was not acceptable and that the effort must be made to locate the voter’s original registration card, or the image of their signature.

King County Elections has been roundly criticized as sloppy and incompetent — even corrupt — over these 723 signatures, but the only reason we learned about them in the first place was because of efforts to tighten up lax signature matching procedures. Funny thing is, if this election had taken place under the “long-standing operating procedures” of prior years, Gregoire may already have been certified the winner.

Comments

  1. 1

    Josef spews:

    Who knows, Goldy, who knows at this point. I wish you’d join my cry for a runoff, regardless of who wins at this point…

    I really think 8 justices (not counting Justice Sanders, who’ll probably recurse himself again) deciding a gubernatorial election is off the wall…

  2. 2

    Brent spews:

    Josef, the Washington State Republican Party is attempting to “change the rules in mid-game” by attempting to stop the counting of valid votes in King County, even though they had no problem with the accepted practice occurring in five other counties. State law clearly states that re-canvassing is allowed. The Secretary of State is the expert witness in the court case and is also listed as an intervening defendant. Yesterday he pointed out that the legal practice of re-canvassing has occurred in five other counties, so if the Supreme Court rules to completely disregard state law and widespread long-standing common practice by upholding Friday’s ignorant ruling, the five other counties which re-canvassed would have to nullify the valid ballots they re-canvassed and counted. If that were to happen, the election would be up for grabs again. If you have a problem with state law, that’s too bad for you. It’s been law for decades and now you’re trying to change it during a recount because your candidate has no chance of winning. Throughout the recount process the Republicans’ mantras have been “Don’t change the rules in mid-game!” and “Don’t drag this out with legal battles!” and yet that is exactly what the hypocrites are currently doing. They are attempting to change the rules in mid-game by suing to have state law ignored. Gregoire has said that she will accept the outcome of the manual recount, regardless of who wins. Rossi’s spokeswoman has said that he will accept the outcome of the manual recount — but only if he wins. Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed have both stated that they do not support a runoff election. The only people who have left open the door to allow for a runoff election are Dino Rossi and Chris Vance, who apparently intend to drag out the process through legal means after Rossi loses, even after saying that they don’t want that to happen. The idea of a runoff election is moot anyway, because it would only happen if Gregoire wins the manual recount, in which case state tax payers would have to pay for the manual recount, in addition to paying for the machine recount. Gregoire, Reed, the state legislature and particularly Washington State tax payers would not support a runoff election, which would cost tax payers an additional $4 million, so it will not happen. King County’s returns aren’t even in yet and you neo-cons (and neo-con wannabies in your case) are already acting like sore losers. Grow up and learn to deal with the reality that state law and the Republican Secretary of State completely disagree with you. After the Supreme Court orders the counting of the 735 ballots, they will be counted and reported and Gregoire will win. Then, after almost two months of counting and re-counting and re-re-counting, we will have a winner and you will have to learn to deal with it. I’d get started on that now if I were you.

  3. 3

    Jim King spews:

    Goldy- NO ballot is marked “rejected”- the act of rejecting comes when the Canvassing Board accepts the abstract, with the accounting of why ballots were not included in the count. By your reasoning, King County has not rejected a single ballot, because no ballot was ever marked “rejected”…

  4. 4

    Jim King spews:

    And as usual, Brent has partially digested information and regurgitated it in a very weird form…

    For others, because Brent never listens:

    There was no expert witness. Period.

    There are actually SIX counties that have added ballots- the P-I did not include the ballot in Thurston County added yesterday. Only three counties have definitely added (or tried to add) previously rejected ballots- the King 723, and one each in Chelan and Thurston. As the situations in Chelan and Thurston are exactly the same at law as the King County situation, any Supreme Court ruling would be on point and they would have to be in compliance. Since everyone knows it was a Rossi vote in Chelan and a Gregoire vote in Thurston, no big deal…

    In Whatcom this count- seven ballots found that were accepted but mislaid before being counted. Again, everyone knows the partisan breakdown of those ballots. Although the situation is different, if a decision were made to back those ballots out, it can be done very easily.

    In Snohomish last count- 224 ballots. Similar situation to Whatcon- ballots accepted but mislaid prior to counting, EXCEPT it was the last count- probably too late to reopen that issue. But if necessary, everyone lnows what the count was on those ballots, and they can be backed out.

    I honestly do not know the story behind the Kittitas 34, which is why it would be nice for the media to be comprehensive in their posting of court documents. I have no doubt, however, that they too could be easily backed out of a count…

    Different points of law, and the Republicans have ONLY raised the point of canvassing boards reversing decisions on rejected ballots. The Court may choose to rule on a broader basis as facts are being presented to it.

    And yes, the Republicans are trying to change the rules. They are looking for a narrow and literal reading of the law. Are they being hypocrites- of course. But who resorted to the lawyers and the courts first? Hoisted upon one’s own petard…

  5. 6

    Jim King spews:

    And the idea of Nick Handy as an expert at anything except ripping off the public on pensions is enough to gag me- When Sam Reed hired his long-time buddy Handy, just earlier this year, Handy had NO experience in Elections- but he was made head of Elections at SOS!

  6. 7

    Jim King spews:

    Now, with coffee in me- Goldy, finish the narrative on how King County Elections workers handled ballots with no signature image available in the computer database- didn’t they go from just accepting all of them in May to just rejecting all of them in September…and, in fact, just rejecting all of them in November and December until Larry Phillips starting screaming?

    That, and Dean Logan personally trained the precinct inspectors who were supposed to have looked for any ballots in the voting machine bases…

    Dean Logan has it down right, but his staff just doesn’t seem to listen…

  7. 8

    Brent spews:

    The ballots were marked as “signature match” and accepted or as “signature mismatch” and rejected. The ballots in question were marked as “no signature on file” and placed with the “signature mismatch” ballots, so that when the “signature mismatch” ballots were counted and reported to the canvassing board so that they could make the decision to reject them, the “no signature on file” ballots were mistakenly included in the batch and therefore were mistakenly rejected. They were not analyzed and determined to be rejected, they were analyzed and determined to be “no signature on file” which need to be investigated further. They were not investigated further, and instead were placed in the same cage with the “signature mis-match” ballots. There is a difference between analyzing a ballot and rejecting it and analyzing a ballot, deciding it needs further investigation, forgetting to investigate it and then accidentally including it within the group of “signature mis-matched” ballots. You say that I don’t know what I’m talking about and then proceed to claim that King County did not reject any ballots. This is ridiculous.

    I said five counties because all the information available at the time suggested five counties, as Goldy also posted at the beginning of this thread. Statistics change over time, and since the media and Goldy have stated five counties, I repeated it, seeing as how it was the most recent information and was accurate at the time it was released.

    Who resorted to the lawyers and the courts first? The Republicans did when they attempted to have a restraining order brought against King County during the machine recount, which was before the Supreme Court hearing.

    The process of re-canvassing is clearly allowed as stated by state law and the Secretary of State. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out which way the Supreme Court will rule.

  8. 9

    Brent spews:

    The testimony of the Secretary of State, in person or by proxy, is considered expert testimony. This is obvious and has been stated by others in addition to myself. If you can’t deal with reality, that’s your problem, Jim.

  9. 10

    Rae spews:

    Maybe someone with more time that I have can break Brent’s posts into paragraphs, so that they are actually readable. He might have something important to say, but when it’s all in one jumble, I just can’t wade through it. That being said, I still think the D’s are the ones changing rules in the middle of the stream, and in fact, hasn’t Logan admitted to that very thing? I think he’s caught between a real rock and a hard place, but Sims is very unlikely to take any heat for the KC mess until all the underlings have been roasted.

  10. 11

    Brent spews:

    Rae, I’m sorry for the long paragraphs. I began developing my writing style at the time I was reading a lot of the writings of J. D. Salinger, who in his story “Seymour: An Introduction” wrote a paragraph which went on for five pages. I guess his style wore off on me a bit more than I should have allowed it to. I suppose you could always copy and paste my message into notepad or WordPad or Word and create paragraph breaks.

  11. 12

    bby spews:

    Ref: “Expert witness”- J K — I think it is possible for good minds to conclude that when the Sec of State is in the room, properly represented or in person, or by astute legal briefs on his/her behalf — that is very damn expert. Putting others in the shadows.

    You seem to take the word witness a bit too literal. I agree with Brent completely. Neither theR’s or the D’s are more compelling on election process, election law, or administring elections in W. State than The Sec of State. That fact for decades.

    Thus- a very strong EXPERT witness to the whole discussion, and the briefs were great “testimony”, in a situation where written pleadings were the only input to the matter.

    According to press reports today, the Sec of State has injected himself and his office stongly on the side of the Democratic appeal, and that is compelling, coming from such a widely acccepted expert voice/witness. Period.

  12. 13

    Josef spews:

    FYI: Jim King’s my “expert witness”. I’m not replying to Brent’s ranting and raving for much longer…

  13. 14

    Jim King spews:

    Brent- the Secretary of State did not testify.

    The P-I article was written late yesterday, posted last night- weren’t we all posting yesterday about the Thurston County ballot? So what was the latest and most accurate news- the P-I?

    And I seem to remember a Democrat lawsuit BEFORE their suit in the Supreme Court, or before the Republicans ill-advised foray into Federal Court. Unlike you, Brent, I have consistently argued against resort to the courts. You just keep on cheerleading your side, that’s your right, but you really should be embarrassed about flinging your inadequacies out in public…

  14. 15

    Jim King spews:

    bby- “Expert witness” is a specific term. With specific qualifications, and handled in specific ways. Qualifications are established in the court record. Witnesses are cross-examined. And so on. The Secretary of State’s lawyer is just a lawyer- the briefs are just that- briefs. No expert testimony was given, and nothing was accorded the status of expert testimony.

    Tossing words about inartfully is great for muddying the waters, but precludes clarity of discussion…

  15. 16

    jcricket spews:

    Rae – despite your feelings about Brent’s posts, you offer nothing substantive to rebut or clarify them (like Jim King does) – you just attack their grammar or formatting. And no, Logan has admitted no such thing. Logan has clearly stated, as have the Snohomish County Auditor and the Secretary of State, that they are following long-standing election policies.

    I understand that you think the Ds are the ones changing the rules, but lots of us here feel the evidence clearly states that is not the case, and gone to great lengths to present their evidence and supporting arguments.

    Although Brent and I are nominally on the same “side”, I don’t always agree with what he posts. His second post here does actually contain a good nugget of truth. These ballots were marked as needing further investigation before a decision was made, and then accidentally put in a (secure) place where that investigation wouldn’t occur. That kind of error is unacceptable, but the way to fix it is to ensure those votes are counted during this election. If you want to talk about what to do with those employees after the election, fine, that’s a different story, but I’m not going interested in disenfranchising legitimate votes and voters because you want more people angry at KC election workers.

  16. 17

    jcricket spews:

    And Rae – the reason the Rs are accusing the Ds of changing the rules is because the Rs are doing that (and have done that in the past) so they just assume that everyone is as guilty as they are. It’s called projection.

  17. 18

    Brent spews:

    Jim King, the Republicans filed for a restraining order during the machine recount. The request was denied. Following that, the Supreme Court heard the Democrats’ case regarding the forced re-canvassing of every county. Following that, the Republicans did the same thing they did before and filed for a restraining order against King County. Since that case ended up in the hands of a “minimally qualified” judge, it has been sent to the Supreme Court. You really should be embarrassed that you blamed the Democrats for resorting to the lawyers and courts first when in reality it was actually the Republicans who resorted to the lawyers and courts first.

    Joseph, I’ve never cared what you think. I only respond to your messages to point out that you are full of shit so that if any uninformed visitor reads what you wrote, they will understand that you are wrong and will understand why. I’m not surprised that you’ve given up trying to defend yourself, since the law, SOS, common practice and common knowledge all directly disagree with you.

  18. 19

    Jim King spews:

    Brent- think back- Democrat lawsuit on provisional ballots- Judge Lum ring a bell? As usual, you mindlessly cheerlead your side, but can’t let facts get in the way. And if you want to side with the good ol’ boy attorneys in Pierce County who don’t like women or minorities on the bench, just keep talking about “minimally qualified”…

  19. 20

    Brent spews:

    Jim King, I made an incorrect statement because I forgot about the ballot in Thurston county. Then, right after you lambasted me for having done so, you pointed out that you did the same exact thing by forgetting the Pierce county ballot. I then explained why I reported inaccurate information. Then, after that, you attacked me again for having forgotten the Thurston county ballot. Do you even realize that you’ve attacked me for doing something after you’ve admitted to making the same exact mistake? The word hypocrite comes to mind. So do a few others which I won’t mention at the moment.

  20. 21

    bj spews:

    On TV late yesterday, I watched the KC canvassing board worked through 1600+ “problem” ballots, ballots that couldn’t be read by the counting teams. It was kind of interesting (for a while) and was certainly handled in a calm, professional, and reassuring manner. And as expected the ballots broke for Chris over Dino by about 60/40, with a small percent of overvotes, undervotes, and Bennett votes.

    During the earlier machine recount, I’d assume most of these ballots were either not read by the machines or read randomly. So…. don’t these ballots represent at least as many new votes for Gregoire as the now-famous 723 ballots are likely to yield?

  21. 22

    Jim King spews:

    And your line “Since that case ended up in the hands of a “minimally qualified” judge, it has been sent to the Supreme Court.” BULLSHIT!!!

    It has been appealed to the Supreme Court because one side didn’t like the outcome. ANY judge would have been appealed by the losing side… Geez, your thinking is so knee-jerk muddled and pathetic…

  22. 23

    Jim King spews:

    Brent- I immediately posted the additional information, and I did not offer up inane excuses… “The P-I made me do it!” :(

  23. 24

    Brent spews:

    I call Arends “minimally qualified” for two reasons. For one, it’s my personal observation from having witnessed her during the court proceedings. Also, it’s her most recent rating by the bar association. You call me a “conspiracy theorist” because I know that Bush stole the election but cannot prove it, and then you proceed to engage in conspiracy theories of your own which you cannot prove. Where’s the hard evidence? Do you have any proof at all? Another woman being rated as “minimally qualified” by the bar association does not prove anything. All it proves is that there is another minimally qualified woman judge in Pierce county. Your hypocrisy is staggering and is only getting worse.

  24. 25

    Brent spews:

    Jim King, you immediately posted the additional information and then, after that, lambasted me for having forgotten the Thurston county vote. Go read what you wrote and when you wrote it. Also, the reason I gave for having made the mistake is because the media is slow to update itself and Goldy also mentioned five counties in the beginning of this thread.

    You pointed out that I made a mistake, then you pointed out that you made the same exact mistake, and then you got on my case again for having made that mistake.

  25. 26

    bj spews:

    The shouting match regarding who filed the first lawsuit is ridiculous. With the election this close, legal action was inevitable. Either party could and would have made the first move; it depended on whomever felt the need for it first. Both parties are legally entitled to do what they’ve done, so move on to some other issue, sit back, and be entertained by it all…

  26. 27

    Brent spews:

    The case on Friday was appealed to the Supreme Court by the SOS, Democrats and King County because Arends misinterpreted the law. If she had blocked the restraining order it could not have been appealed to the Supreme Court because the restraining order was to prevent King county from separating the absentee ballots from their envelopes. The case would not have reached the Supreme court in time to stop the ballots from being separated from their envelopes, and therefore it would have been an uncorrectable issue by the time the Supreme court heard the case. The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court because the judge misinterpreted state law and the rules set up by the SOS, even though the SOS’s proxy explained them to her.

  27. 28

    Brent spews:

    Jim King, also the SOS DID testify, by proxy and through written statements which were submitted to the court under penalty of perjury. A person does not have to be in the courtroom to testify. They can testify through written statements and through proxy, and it is still testimony. The SOS has a hard and busy job and cannot be expected to be able to show up at every court case in which he is involved. He usually sends a proxy, and that is what happened in this case.

  28. 29

    Jim King spews:

    Brent- Now you are regurgitating MY stuff. And getting it wrong. As usual. No comment on Judge Lum?

    And BJ- who knows- my point has been that elections are best settled without the lawyers, and that if there had been no lawyers, we’d probably be looking at Gregoire being certified tomorrow as Governor-elect- at least it is most likely that the 723 would have been processed and we’d be moving on. But the Democrats chose the lawyer route, and I’m going to be thinking it is poetic justice if that is what causes them to lose the election… That IS entertaining me, as is pulling the wings off a blogfly like Brent…

    But time to go on to other things- I’ve had my morning amusement…

  29. 30

    DCF spews:

    Jim King–so–election official heads should roll in the following counties, not just King: Grays Harbor; Thurston; Chelan; Whatcom; Snohomish; and Kittitas. All the afore mentioned counties made mistakes in counting the ballots, at least once, and some of them made big mistakes!

    bj–is right about the legal moves on the part of all parties in the process of counting the votes of citizens of this state, except I would put it this way: They SHOULD, could, would make legal moves to see that all the votes are counted.

    I’d say that as it stands right now Christine is going to be the winner without the 723 votes, and I think you’ll see the Repubs put the legal beagles in motion next, big time.

  30. 31

    DCF spews:

    Jim King–we missed one, I just heard that Piece county’s head is also on the block, they added a vote this time around.

  31. 32

    Brent spews:

    I’m not regurgitating your stuff, I’m pointing out how you’re inaccurate and hypocritical.

    You said you do not engage in conspiracy theories, and yet you believe that there is a conspiracy in the Pierce county bar association against women. Perhaps this is true, perhaps it isn’t true. The point is that you dismiss the bar association’s rating of Arend because you’re sure that the bar association is prejudiced towards women. But you can’t prove it, which makes it a conspiracy theory. It would be perfectly acceptable for you to believe in a conspiracy theory if you had not already claimed you do not do so and gotten on my case for having done so. <—- YOU WERE HYPOCRITICAL You attacked me for having forgotten to mention Thurston county. Then, immediately following that, you admitted that you had forgotten Pierce county. After that, you attacked me again for forgetting to mention Thurston county. <—- YOU WERE HYPOCRITICAL You claim that the case would gave been appealed to the Supreme Court if Arend had ruled in favor of King County, even though that is impossible due to the fact that by the time the Supreme Court heard the case the ballots would have been removed from their signed envelops, so the Supreme Court could not have ordered King County not to remove the ballots from their signed envelopes. <—- YOU WERE INCORRECT You said that the SOS did not testify in the court proceedings on Friday, when in reality he did testify through written statement and proxy. <—- YOU WERE INCORRECT. You claimed that I was regurgitating your stuff and getting it wrong, yet you did not say what I was wrong about, nor did you elaborate in any way. Instead, you simply left. What did I get wrong and how was I wrong? I had forgotten about the lawsuit regarding the provisional ballots, so I was wrong about who brought a court case first. I’m willing to admit my mistake and correct myself. Are you willing to do the same, or would you rather start keeping tallies on how often each other is wrong like a little kid would do?

  32. 33

    Brent spews:

    My last message got cut off for some reason. I’ll try to re-post it.

    I’m not regurgitating your stuff, I’m pointing out how you’re inaccurate and hypocritical.

    You said you do not engage in conspiracy theories, and yet you believe that there is a conspiracy in the Pierce county bar association against women. Perhaps this is true, perhaps it isn’t true. The point is that you dismiss the bar association’s rating of Arend because you’re sure that the bar association is prejudiced towards women. But you can’t prove it, which makes it a conspiracy theory. It would be perfectly acceptable for you to believe in a conspiracy theory if you had not already claimed you do not do so and gotten on my case for having done so. YOU WERE HYPOCRITICAL

    You attacked me for having forgotten to mention Thurston county. Then, immediately following that, you admitted that you had forgotten Pierce county. After that, you attacked me again for forgetting to mention Thurston county. YOU WERE HYPOCRITICAL

    You claim that the case would gave been appealed to the Supreme Court if Arend had ruled in favor of King County, even though that is impossible due to the fact that by the time the Supreme Court heard the case the ballots would have been removed from their signed envelops, so the Supreme Court could not have ordered King County not to remove the ballots from their signed envelopes. YOU WERE INCORRECT

    You said that the SOS did not testify in the court proceedings on Friday, when in reality he did testify through written statement and proxy. YOU WERE INCORRECT.

    You claimed that I was regurgitating your stuff and getting it wrong, yet you did not say what I was wrong about, nor did you elaborate in any way. Instead, you simply left. What did I get wrong and how was I wrong? I had forgotten about the lawsuit regarding the provisional ballots, so I was wrong about who brought a court case first. I’m willing to admit my mistake and correct myself. Are you willing to do the same, or would you rather start keeping tallies on how often each other is wrong like a little kid would do?

  33. 34

    jcricket spews:

    Brent/Jim – As much as I enjoy (and have occasionally participated in) a good pi**ing match, I think you two have made your respective points pretty clear. Can we move on?

  34. 35

    jcricket spews:

    Speaking of moving on, I was glad to see some actual independent investigative reporting in today’s PI article. So many of the articles about this recount have consisted mainly of regurgitated or paraphrased talking points from Chris Vance (or occasionally the Democrats).

    As Jim King said, it’s nice to have actual source material, and that’s what this PI article had.

  35. 36

    bmvaughn spews:

    “In fact, The Seattle P-I reports that five other counties – Whatcom, Kittitas, Chelan, Snohomish and Pierce – have already found and added valid ballots that weren’t included in the original count. ”

    Those votes were included in the MACHINE RECOUNT. They were not included in the hand recount. As per state law, and votes that were recanvassed solely for the HAND recount should not be included in the recount total. If a state has included them and they are not discernable from the rest of the votes, that county’s count should be tossed and the Machine Count numbers should be used.

    Simple.

  36. 38

    jcricket spews:

    bmvaughn – From the PI article: “Snohomish County found 224 valid ballots buried under empty mail trays. They weren’t included in the original count, but the county canvassing board added them to the machine recount.”

    What’s the difference between that and allowing King County to add the 735? You can’t just say machine vs. hand count. There’s nothing in the law that says the standards are applied differently in terms of adding/subtracting valid ballots during those counts.

    In both cases ballots that weren’t originally sent through the machine are being counted. If the original difference were 42 instead of 261 the second count would have been a hand count, and the 224 would be added during a hand recount.

    Yes, during the 2nd count (machine, in this case) many ballots were processed a 2nd time and the results differed (either because they were accidentally folded the first time or they were stuck together, etc.). That’s not what I’m talking about. There were also cases of ballots not even put into the machines the first time (like these 224) that, in the eyes of the law, would appear identical to the 735 except that they happened to be found during the 2nd count, rather than the 3rd. The technology involved makes no difference.

  37. 39

    bmvaughn spews:

    jcricket. The difference is the previous SCOWA ruling. They ruled you cannot recanvass in the manual recount, you can only retabulate. Had these votes been found BEFORE the democrats paid for a recount, they could have been included.

    However, as per the SCOWA ruling last week, they likely will not be. I am a Rossi supporter, but I have to say I don’t like the idea of a ballot being tossed because of a bureaucratic snafu. That being said, I find it more distasteful to be re-writing rather than interpretting during the recount process.

    I think they should follow the law as it was on election day. If there is a need for interpretation, as there was last week, so be it.

    As a side note, I am very impressed with Rossi already instructing his transition team to focus on election reform. I have heard nothing of that sort from the Gregoire transition team.

  38. 40

    jcricket spews:

    bmvaughn – I’d like to see the law that validates your comment “They were not included in the hand recount. As per state law, and votes that were recanvassed solely for the HAND recount should not be included in the recount total.”

    The PI article clearly points out that both during the 2nd and 3rd counts (machine and then hand), “Whatcom, Kittitas, Chelan and Pierce counties all added at least one previously uncounted ballot during the first or second recount for governor.”

    I know you’re going to be like claim that those votes weren’t “re-canvassed” but I haven’t seen evidence to support your use of that term as to only narrowly apply to King County’s additional ballots.

    Or you might claim that “those ballots were never formally rejected by the county canvassing board” (as Chris Vance has said), but as King County has made clear, these votes were not formally rejected. They were set aside for later validation, and then improperly set aside in a (secure) area that kept that validation from occuring.

  39. 41

    bmvaughn spews:

    jcricket. Those ballots should not be included in this count then. I do not agree with them being added in. I don’t care where they came from or who they are for, but including them goes against the ruling of the court.

  40. 42

    Goldy spews:

    BM… you are wrong on both counts. Other counties did add ballots during the hand recount… I know Whatcom was one of them, but I’ll get the specifics.

    Second, the state law does not specify a different canvassing process for a hand recount than for a machine recount.

  41. 43

    jcricket spews:

    Well, bmvaughn, I understand your opinion, but as several election officials outside of KC quoted in the PI article (and affidavits filed with the Democrats appeal), that is the long-standing procedure that has been followed, and is well-understood as within what the law allows.

    Just like the fact that the law clearly states that voters need not “perfectly” follow instructions to have their votes counted (see the Times article titled “Panel to announce hand-recount tally”), voting isn’t a “pop quiz” with no partial credit. Voting laws have always been applied liberally to ensure everyone can participate in our democracy. For the Republicans to now claim differently is what I would describe as “changing the rules midstream”.

  42. 44

    jcricket spews:

    Goldy is exactly right – the law doesn’t specify a different canvassing procedure because if the initial difference is small enough, than the 2nd count (first recount) would be a hand recount. Can’t change the rules midstream, dontcha know.

  43. 45

    Goldy spews:

    Brent/Jim – As much as I enjoy (and have occasionally participated in) a good pi**ing match, I think you two have made your respective points pretty clear. Can we move on?

    I agree with Cricket… let’s move on. I don’t care if a witness with expertise is technically an “Expert Witness”. The simple fact that the SOS will have his very excellent legal team supporting KC, bodes well for the Dems. AND… both sides are litigious, as we would expect them to be. The only difference is, only the Rossi is arrogant enough to deny it.

    Considering how overwhelmed I’ve been with the volume of comments here, Cricket, feel free to serve as an unofficial pseudo-moderator, and gently point it out when the debate gets too redundant.

    Also, while I repeat my lax guidelines that I don’t mind name-calling and invective (as long as it is backed up with facts) I want to remind everybody that as emotions run high over the next couple days, you might want to think twice about writing things that make you look unreasonable.

    I think what makes comments in this blog special is that we have good debate from both sides of the issues, yet this is an unabashedly liberal blog. If scare the other guys away, the comments will become boring… and pointless. As much as it makes me feel good to hear people telling me I’m right, nobody learns anything new from that.

  44. 46

    Brent spews:

    Goldy, I agree. However, if almost all of someone’s comments are incorrect, hypocritical and self-serving, what’s the point in having them around? If I want to hear inaccurate, hypocritical, self-serving propaganda such as Jim King’s comments, I simply turn on Fox News. Having Jim around only leads to people being misinformed and propagandized, and this blog is here to try to straighten out the facts. I’m all for debating with people I disagree with, unless they misrepresent the facts, are hypocritical and self-serving on a regular basis.

  45. 47

    jcricket spews:

    Brent – I don’t always agree with Jim, but your level of hyperbole is really extreme considering that Jim’s been pretty balanced in presenting his opinions. Jim’s even gone so far as to do some reporting on his own that’s been really helpful. He’s not like some of the other completely one-sided posters here.

  46. 48

    Brent spews:

    jcricket, I haven’t been reading or posting to this blog for long, so I’ll take your word that he has done so at some point. However, damn near everything he’s posted in this thread was incorrect, hypocritical and/or self-serving, and he’s posted an awful lot of comments like these in other threads which I’ve read. If he’s added anything of value to this blog, it must have been before I started reading and posting to it. Since he is a hypocrite with no credibility, I won’t read or respond to any of his messages anymore. If you guys want to put up with him, that’s fine with me.

  47. 49

    jcricket spews:

    Back in the days of USENET most newsreaders had a functionality called a “killfile”. It allowed you to programatically avoid seeing posts with certain titles or by certain authors. Although this blog doesn’t allow you to do that with software, it’s still a good thing to do on your own, as Brent has suggested if you’ve found it completely unproductive to read/respond to certain posts. I know I would be better off if I followed that advice.

  48. 50

    Chuck spews:

    Sorry, jcricket but I dont like going around with a blindfold on, I would just asoon hear what all had to say…even if it pisses me off.

  49. 52

    jcricket spews:

    Up to you Chuck. I just think there’s a point where most of us would just say, let’s “agree to disagree” because no productive discussion is occuring.

  50. 53

    Bob from Boeing spews:

    Back in time for the big decision. How can we contain our expectations one more day. RUMOR- Supremes will wear Santa Hats tomorrow…..Judicial Fashion this time of the year

    It might be wise to let each person talk the way they talk here at a quality blog…there really are many ways to articulate the same thing- and put out a good argument and position. I am never turned on by head nodders in serious talk….it might be a form of flattery for the talker, but it becomes a speech or lecture rather than an exchange….I enjoy unique observations of situations and “third eye” introspections…..literalists begin to sound like bean counters…..dull conversations.

    ABOUT the canvass board counting yesterday- King County wisely sent thousnds of ballots previously counted in phases one and two, over to the Canvassing Board if there was the slightest question about who the voter voted for. Smart decision for this re-count because there can be no debate about the authority of the canvassing board to do that work. Not delegated to any underling.

    Not new ballots, just better standard of processing. By the way a lot of ballots were a terrible mess…..Voter training is lacking. We register like crazy and don’t walk people through the actual ballot much it seems.

  51. 54

    jcricket spews:

    I agree with you on that last point Bob. I don’t see why the county can’t include a special pen capable of stamping a perfect black oval along with the ballot. That would avoid the check marks, circling, etc.

    Maybe the pen could have black and white ovals, to allow you to cover-up mistakes.

  52. 55

    jcricket spews:

    Oh, and the rumor I heard is that the Supremes will wear “holiday hats” (ChristmaHannuKwaanzukah) so as to offend Bill O’Rielly.

  53. 56

    Jim King spews:

    So, while everybody has been hyperventilating, I went and did the research I promised Goldy.

    From the News Tribune, Sunday, August 22, 2004- p.1 story- “Judging the Judges”, here’s the summary table:

    Overall ratings
    Here’s the overall score that Pierce County attorney’s gave Superior Court judges (1-5 scale with 5 being best):

    Thomas Felnagle 4.33
    James Orlando 4.29
    D. Gary Steiner 4.08
    Frank Cuthbertson 4.07
    Bruce Cohoe 4.00
    Bryan Chushcuff 3.95
    John McCarthy 3.89
    Thomas Larkin 3.70
    Lisa Warnick 3.69
    Kitty-Ann von Doorninck 3.62
    Roseanne Buckner 3.61
    Stephanie Arends 3.55
    Vickie Hogan 3.45
    Brian Tollefson 3.38
    Ronald Culpepper 3.34
    Frederick Fleming 3.20
    Katherine Stolz 3.19
    Beverley Grant 2.97
    Kathryn Nelson 2.67
    Sergio Armijo 2.65

    Now, as she fell into that broad middle, Judge Arends was not commented upon in the body of the article- neither excellent, nor poor (or “minimally qualified”). There was a summary of each judge, and in that the following details were given:

    Stephanie Arends
    Scores
    Overall 3.55
    Decision-making 3.60
    Efficiency 3.75
    Demeanor 3.66
    Impartiality 3.60
    [She was evaluated by] 93 attorneys

    There was also a breakdown in her overall ratings as given by different types of attorneys…

    It would seem that many people have been doing Judge Arends a definite disservice because she ruled on the law, as she saw it, and not as THEY saw it. Her most current bar “ratings” would seem to put her somewhere between “Qualified” and “Well Qualified”, to use the 1999 terminology…

  54. 57

    Bob from Boeing spews:

    Good for her- let’s see if the Supreme over rule her. Then she can add that to her resume. Maybe sign of judical competence in Pierce County for all I know or care. Except when she next comes up for election, will be sure to send her opponet 100.00. As will other folks.

    Jim K, you are stranded on a spur to nowhere. Save your coal.

  55. 58

    Jim King spews:

    Bob- there’s been many a judge I’ve voted for who at one time or another laid down the law in a way with which I disagreed. There is many a judge with whom I vehemently disagree but who’s caliber of argument I respect. It’s like on this post- you and I disagree a fair amount, as I do with Goldy from time to time… I rarely flame either of you, or if I feel I have to get a dig in, I try to do it in a way that you’d smile and say “Touche”. I don’t always succeed in that, but I try and save flaming for those whom I really do NOT respect.

    I guess I feel like a lot of people went after Judge Arends not on the caliber of her reasoning, but because they didn’t like her decision. As I’ve said, I believe she took a very literal and narrow view of the statute, but it was no more unreasonable than what the State Supreme Court did on felony murder- they actually looked at the words in the law and said (to paraphrase) We don’t care what long-settled practice has been- it does NOT conform to the law. I did not like the outcome of THAT decision, but I found that the majority- with whom I disagreed- had the most well-reasoned arguments.

    I don’t think ANYONE can have a clue as to how the Court will rule on this…