The theme of the “case” presented by Dino Rossi’s attorney’s last week can pretty much be summed up by former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton’s embarrassing statement of April 6:
“I think it’s appropriate to come to the conclusion that King County has the worst election administration in any county in the United States of America.”
What the fuck?
Forget for a moment that most of the alleged illegal votes were not the result of official error. And ignore the fact that Republican allegations of errors in King County have been overblown, and deliberately taken out of context. Regardless of what really happened in KC, a claim such as Slippery Slade’s would actually require a comparative study.
And one place to look might be, gee… I don’t know… Florida?
In the wake of their incredibly screwed up 2000 election, Miami-Dade County spent $24.5 million to move from punch card ballots to touch screen voting machines. Now in the wake of another incredibly screwed up election, the Supervisor of Elections has recommended scrapping the system and moving to optical scan.
After repeated embarrassing glitches at the polls, elections officials in Miami-Dade County have recommended scrapping the county’s $24.5 million electronic voting system in favor of paper ballots with optical scanners.
Supervisor of Elections Lester Sola made the recommendation Friday in an initial analysis of the county’s voting system and the feasibility of adopting a new one. In his report, Sola said that adopting the simpler system could save county taxpayers millions and restore voter confidence by providing a paper record of ballots cast.
In April, an outraged Mayor Carlos Alvarez requested a study on the merits of the optical scan system after revelations that the Elections Department lost hundreds of votes during the March 8 slot machine referendum because of a coding error.
The fact is, errors occur in every election, and while I’m sure there were many counties that performed better than King, you can be certain that there were plenty that performed much worse, in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere. (And by the way… I hear rumor that Snohomish County is quietly considering scrapping their touch screen machines too, much to the consternation of Auditor Bob Terwilliger. Hmm… I wonder why?)
Yes, the number of errors in this election exceeded Christine Gregoire’s margin of victory. But it is curious that Republicans would argue that this alone is reason to set aside the results and hold a new election, when they never suggested the same for the presidential election in 2000.