Mixed messages

The Rossi campaign and their cheerleaders at (un)Sound Politics need to get together and iron out a consistent message. While Rossi spokesperson Mary (Matalin-wannabe) Lane has adopted the Democratic mantra of “Count Every Vote”, the unSounders are warning us that too many votes have already been counted.

The unSounders are at least consistent. They apparently prefer to count votes the way Princeton University plays basketball: score first and then run out the clock.

Okay, maybe that isn’t fair. (To Princeton.) But by consistently arguing for tougher standards on voter registration and signature matching — and by ridiculing the notion that imperfectly marked ballots should be reviewed by humans when they don’t register on machines — the unSounders have made it clear that they believe the risk of fraud far outweighs any harm from voter disenfranchisement. I think it is fair to say that they would like to make it harder to vote. Unless you’re in the military.

The Rossi campaign has been more equivocal. They were apparently comfortable with the standard practice that canvassing decisions not be revisited… at least while Rossi was ahead. But now we’re hearing passionate pleas that a simple signature matching problem (you know… like not having signed one) should not be used to disenfranchise an otherwise legitimate voter.

The problem with a PR campaign that emphasizes these two competing messages — “count every vote” vs. “beware of fraud” — is that they represent two sides of the same cost-benefit equation. Apart from administrative convenience, the only reason King and most other counties adhere to such strict deadlines and signature matching procedures — the reason we require voter registration at all — is to prevent and deter fraudulent votes. To argue that signature matching requirements should now be loosened not only contradicts the Rossi campaign’s prior position, it contradicts the argument that there is a significant risk of fraud. And to argue fraud, undermines GOP efforts to recanvass rejected ballots.

At the risk of providing free advice to the opposition (or of feeding Stefan’s ego), I think the unSounders have the sounder media strategy. Dishonest and deceptive… but strategically sounder. Out of 3 million ballots cast, I’d be surprised if the R’s couldn’t turn up evidence of at least a few suspicious — if not downright fraudulent — votes.

Thus I think we’ll shortly see the GOP give up its quixotic attempt to reopen canvassing decisions on rejected ballots, and instead, narrowly focus their legal and media arguments on voter fraud. They won’t necessarily allege corruption by election officials, but rather, negligence and incompetence that led to widespread voter fraud. And presumably, the argument goes, only Democrats commit voter fraud.

Not that I believe this will carry the day in court. But skillfully argued, the court of public opinion apparently requires a substantially lighter burden of proof.

Comments

  1. 1

    jcricket spews:

    Good post Goldy – This is a mirror of the Republican strategy everywhere – play both sides whenever possible – don’t admit it when you’re caught. First it was “affidavits for provisional ballots could be falsified if delivered by partisans”. Now it’s “we have affidavits from Republican election observers showing vote counting irregularities”. Affidavits are proof-positive when they help Republicans, but speculative when the help Democrats.

    First it’s “the courts are evil. Trust the people.” Then it’s “see, the court ruled against you, trust the law.” “Stop counting” “Keep counting” – flip-flop.

    Reminds me of Rush Limbaugh saying drug abusers should be put in prison. But then he should be allowed to go to rehab when he’s a drug abuser committing felonies (doctor shopping for prescription pain pills). Same kind of thing.

    I’m not going to argue that Dems haven’t done the same thing, but that doesn’t mean we should allow Rossi and the Republicans to get away with it.

    Regarding fraud on large-scale incompetence in KC, If it’s so easy to prove, don’t you think the Repubs would have better evidence by now than “3 affidavits of vote tabulation irregularities”?

    I know that the absence of evidence of fraud doesn’t mean their wasn’t fraud, and we all know you can’t prove a negative. I’m just guessing that the lack of evidence provided so far and the testimonials supporting claims of fair and transparent vote counting procedures (from Danny Westneat, almost all partisan observers on both sides, various election workers, county auditors and Dan Satterberg) combined with the extraordinary scrutiny of the machine and hand recounts, mean that Republicans are, at this point, desparetely wishing and hoping they’ve missed something.

    In an ordinary election (one with only one machine count), it wouldn’t surprise me to find huge numbers of vote changes in a hand-recount conducted later. Or to uncover fraud or incompetence, even if it doesn’t tip the election. I just think this is no ordinary election, and I have serious doubts about the validity of any claim of widespread problems remaining under covers for so long.

  2. 2

    Wyethwire spews:

    SoundPolitics weather forecast for tomorrow:

    Seattle has on average 272 rainy days.
    To date, there have been 260 rainy days in the Seattle area.
    Therefore, we expect it to rain tommorrow, and every day for the rest of the year.
    That still leaves eight rainy days unaccounted for.
    In keeping with annual rainy days totals in Seattle it should have rained today, and every day last week.

    The fact that it did not rain is an anomaly that must be accounted for before I will accept the legitimacy of this climate.

    Phone calls to God and Mother Nature have gone unreturned.

  3. 3

    Janet S spews:

    The general argument is that the election had so many errors and inconsistencies, that it is no longer reliable. The type of errors are numerous, some of omission, some of commission. That doesn’t mean the Republicans are hypocrits – they are just saying that there are a lot of reasons to call into question the legitmacy of the election.

    It is possible to argue both “count every vote” and “beware of fraud.” The two aren’t mutually exclusive. The military vote was note handled properly, from the anecdotal stories I have heard. This is an example of the “count every vote.” There were also eye-witnesses to poll workers altering ballots, either by making marks darker or whiting out stray marks. This is “beware of fraud.” There is nothing contradictory by pointing out the two types of error.

    The election system has been allowed to get fat and lazy. I don’t see what motivation King County will have to clean up their procedures if Rossi concedes. It will be messy to have a court battle, but how else will we get to cleaner elections? The foxes watching the hen houses aren’t going to do it.

  4. 4

    DavidH spews:

    when an argument contains “the anecdotal stories I have heard” (from Janet S), I have little faith in its merit.

  5. 5

    DavidH spews:

    bottom line is, when you have a system operated by humans, there will be imperfections…..and in this close election, those imperfections have been magnified and scrutinized to the n_th degree (as they should anyways). But, it’s a long path from human error(s) to fraud.

    And Goldy, you must be psychic —- from the Seattle Times: “Republicans demand King County voter list”

  6. 6

    jcricket spews:

    David – all systems are vulnerable to both fraud and inconsistencies/errors. Whether it’s operated by humans or programmed by humans. Nothing can anticipate perfectly all scenarios and handle every type of failure. Despite billions and billions of dollars spent, banks aren’t immune to fraud or system meltdowns. They have good procedures in place for getting things back up and discovering the extent of the fraud, but they can’t always recover all the dollars.

    Voting will never be perfect.

  7. 7

    Janet S spews:

    Let’s look at it hypothetically. If solid proof is presented in court that military votes were set aside because the election worker didn’t understand the post mark rules for military ballots, would you then come around to the opinion that the votes should be counted? If this is proven, how is it any different than the last 500+ votes that were counted last week?

    I agree – we need solid evidence. But we need to establish some rules of engagement, and not just make it up as we go, as has been the case throughout this election.

  8. 8

    DavidH spews:

    I agree, there is no way to have a perfect voting system, and we can only strive to improve it. I just don’t think that the errors which have been translated into “over” or “under” votes are due to intentional fraud…. and if it is (big if), then I would suspect that it has been equally distributed and therefore favored no one candidate. In fact, as I have argued before, King County is probably the least “corrupt” county in this state due to the supersized spotlight constantly shining on it.

  9. 9

    DavidH spews:

    At least King County checks signatures with some degree of attention…as many articles have pointed out, some signature checks in other counties are no more than someone looking after the “x” and saying “yep, that’s a signature.”

  10. 10

    jcricket spews:

    Comment by Janet S— 12/27/04 @ 3:51 pm

    Yes Janet, I would (hypothetically speaking) agree. Practically, I doubt this is an issue. All that Republicans have been able to propose so far is that some military voters got their ballots late – something which hasn’t been proven, and hasn’t been proven to be the fault of the county. if there was solid evidence of military votes being set aside because election workers didn’t understand military postmarks, that would likely have been brought up at the time the KC 735 were being discussed. Plus, military ballots have been coming in via absentee for a long time (not just during war-time), so I doubt that election workers were mis-informed of the rules.

    Despite all the Republican hyperbole about rule changes, KC election workers were following the rules when they set aside the KC 735 for further review, but they put them in the wrong place. That’s all. Yes, it’s possible they did the same with some military ballots, but there hasn’t been a single shred of evidence pointing to that, and a lot of evidence (and time that’s passed) pointing away from that. The Republicans have never offered solid proof for any of their allegations, but if they want to start now, I’m all for it.

    I also disagree that we’ve been “making up the rules of engagement as we go along”. The KC canvassing board and Republican SOS argued that they were following long-standing guidelines, and the Supreme Court agreed. In fact, when questioned, other county auditors also agreed that they understood the guidelines the same way.

    And as DavidH pointed out, KC had stricter signature match guidelines than other counties, which, if anything, “unfairly” disenfranchised more Democrats than Republicans (as KC leans heavily Democrat). So if you really want to revisit every decision that was made by the canvassing boards, fine by me, but don’t forget to include all of KCs other rejected ballots (there were a lot more than the 735).

  11. 11

    bby spews:

    JANET – JANET – you are chewing on the wrong rag.

    The most angry people in this whoe affair are Seattle-King county DEMOCRATS who are utterly furious at the wreck of an election system—-had it been well done the first time, Gregoire would have won with ANY recount. —-surprise.

    Those of us who live here and vote here and have a lot of access to party and county govt. will sweep with the REFORM broom big time. Trust me. Simple minded we arn’t.

    All of this gut wrenching crap would not have happened if King had counted ALL the votes in its piles the VERY first time. All neat and tidy.

    Remember, please the first suit was to get access to lists so voters could be directly contacted to correct mistakes. Why that? Cause King County had its head in the mud. Stupid stuff- even to the Democrats just days after the first count. Remember we won the case and went to work, big time. And it paid off.

    You are buying the R’ hash about who suffered. Gregoire suffered the most, and her supporters. Promise there will be reform, not tomorrow, have a party this weekend.

  12. 12

    Josef spews:

    God Bless Sound Politics! They now have a manual on how to commit voter fraud – maybe I should try (OF COURSE NOT). And now, Mary “Marummy” Lane is taking another angle on count every legal vote like the good warrior she is. God Bless her, too.

    (God Bless this blog, too. For a diversity of opinions and colorful words are always welcome.)

    I also am listening to KVI (thanks a whole freaking lot Gregovich, you made me a KVI listener!) and reports of illegal usage of white-out, exclusion of observers and more has poured forth from today’s press conference. If it’s true, can you spell REVOTE?

    P.S. Mary Lane should be Marummy to all of you. She loves that nickname, thinks it’s cute. I dare Goldy to call her by that!

  13. 13

    jcricket spews:

    “I hear lots of discussion of fraud in Ohio going on. If it’s true, can you spell new president?” Discussion and allegations of fraud in partisan press conferences and/or talk radio haven’t amounted to any real evidence so far, and I doubt they will.

    I understand you want all these accusations to be true, so that your candidate will have another chance at winning the race for Governor, but so far Rossi’s team has a poor track record of being able to back up any of his claims against KC.

  14. 14

    Josef spews:

    Comment by jcricket— 12/27/04 @ 5:39 pm

    That was respectfully then. What I heard today from the chief Rossifarian observer just made me gasp… and if he’s lying, then where are the Gregovich observers? Absent, AWOL, adios. Probably getting treats and more from Gregovych herself…
    (For those new here – Gregovych/Gregovich is f.k.a. Christine Gregoire and Rossifarians are Rossi supporters)

  15. 15

    Jim King spews:

    New wrinkle- was doing my own research on law regarding enhancing of ballots- RCW 29A.60.120 is the only statutory direction on handling of ballots that machines cannot read. The relevant sentences are “If it is found that any ballot is damaged so that it cannot properly be counted by the vote tallying system, a true duplicate copy must be made of the damaged ballot in the presence of witnesses and substituted for the damaged ballot. All damaged ballots must be kept by the county auditor until sixty days after the primary or election or according to federal law, whichever is longer.”

    That would seem to be a cause for concern, the issue in Foulkes v Hayes being the apparent (although in that case fraudulently so) remarking of ballots such that original voter intent couyld not be discerned. Combined with the holdings in Foulkes v Hayes that fraud is not a necessary element- error will suffice- and that election officer neglect to maintain standards can be an issue, is the enhancement of the original ballots, rather than the creation of duplicate ballots to be fed to the machines, going to become an important consideration?

    I’m going to go digging through the WACs, etc, looking for any grant of authority to alter original ballots…

  16. 17

    Jim King spews:

    Okay- real problem? The two WACs governing ballot enhancement say

    Optical Scan- WAC 434-262-080 “Ballots shall only be enhanced when such enhancement will not permanently obscure the original marks of the voters.”

    Punchcard- WAC 434-262-085 “Ballots shall only be enhanced when such enhancement will not permanently obscure marks or punches of the voters.”

    These would seem to preclude the use of white-out, fully darkening ovals, or other methods reportedly used in King County to enhance ballots.

    Both WACs also contain the following additional requirements:
    “When enhancing ballots, the county[auditor] shall take the following steps to create and maintain an audit trail of the actions taken with respect to those enhanced ballots:
    (1) Each ballot to be enhanced must be assigned a unique control number, with such number being marked on the face of the enhanced ballot;
    (2) A log shall be kept of the ballots enhanced and shall include at least the following information:
    (a) The control number of each ballot enhanced;
    (b) The initials of at least two people who participated in enhancing each ballot; and
    (c) The total number of ballots enhanced;”

    To sayt the least- interesting… Did King County screw up again?

  17. 18

    Janet S spews:

    My best educated summary of the election: Christine Gregoire won the popular vote. It took three counts because of the complete incompetence of King County Election officials. Their standards and procedures are lax at best, and quite open to fraud if someone had it in mind to do so.

    So, does that mean Rossi should concede? Tell me this first: Will King County clean up its act if there isn’t a court forcing it to? I suspect not. I also suspect that those individuals who altered ballots or instructed others to alter ballots will never suffer punishment if this is dropped from the public attention. Is it possible for GOP to pursue the court case, but let Rossi concede?

  18. 19

    Josef spews:

    Comment by Jim King— 12/27/04 @ 6:26 pm

    “Screw up” would be so mild, it would be respectfully absurd. I mean, saying that it’s a privledge for observers to watch the election and not allowing them to challenge the elections personnel just made me gasp.

    As I posted earlier, where are the Gregovich observers refuting this? Absent, AWOL, adios. Probably getting treats and more from Gregovych herself…

    So if these reports are true, then I urge all Washingtonians to call for a new, clean election with strict rules and international observers. Maybe Victor Yushchenko could take a vacation and after sking down Mount Rainier to a cheering throng of Ukraingtonians observe Ukraine County Elections?

    Comment by Janet S— 12/27/04 @ 6:29 pm

    Christine Gregoire Gregovych stole the election and should be punished – and I will stop there and allude to my vivid imagination. Rossi must not concede – rather, the federal government needs to step in. We also need to shun our pride for a bit and request international observers!

    My oh my, this just gets wilder and wilder with every turn.

  19. 22

    Richard Pope spews:

    Comment by Jim King— 12/27/04 @ 6:12 pm

    It would seem that ballot enhancement is flat out illegal, since RCW 29A.60.120 requires duplication (not enhancement) of ballots that cannot be counted by the machine, and there are absolutely no RCW’s which authorize ballot enhancement, or could even remotely be interpreted to authorize such a bizarre act.

    Comment by Jim King— 12/27/04 @ 6:26 pm

    As for “WAC 434-262-080″ and “WAC 434-262-085″, the citation should be to “WAC 434-261-080″ and “WAC 434-261-085″. Otherwise, you got the language right. It would seem to be absolutely impossible to enhance a ballot, without permanently obscuring the original markings on the voter. Enhancement is an inherently bogus practice.

    This ballot “enhancement” appears to have been a process which was invented under the WAC back in October 1997. The Washington State Register proposal for this rule gave no indication of any reason why ballot “enhancement” should be allowed.

    As for RCW 29A.60.120, that section was originally designated RCW 29.54.085. The provision for duplicating ballots that could not be accurately read by the machine was originally adopted by the legislature back in 1990.

    Presumably, prior to 1990, all of the machine ballot processing was done by punchcards, and optical scanning was only started sometime around 1990. There really isn’t any need to duplicate or enhance a punch card ballot, aside from the hanging chad issue.

    The legislature clearly decided that non-readable ballots, with a clear contemplation of optical scan ballots, had to be duplicated, as opposed to enhanced. However, the SOS office in 1997 invented the ridiculous “enhancement” procedure out of thin air, without any RCW authority, and in fact, contrary to the clear mandates of the RCW.

  20. 24

    Jim King spews:

    Thanks for the WAC reference correction- I also originally had -280 and -285 instead of -080 and -085. Cross-working across too many windows…

    But again, completely without need for fraud, the incompetence of not following the RCW and WAC on ballot enhancement sets up a real problem that gets right to Foulkes v Hayes (without the unneeded fraud). Now, I have no idea how many ballots were enhanced in King County in a manner contrary to law, but there is the legal case…

  21. 25

    jcricket spews:

    Josef – for the last time, why would a Gregoire observer be needed to refute the unproven allegations of (at this point) Chris Vance in a press conference. We all know that PR isn’t played best in a “tit-for-tat” fashion, but by controlling the message.

    If Chris Vance makes specific allegations that are refutable, not just vague accusations of possible irregularities, then Gregoire or KC might have to refute those allegations. Republicans know this, so they try to float as many accusations through the media or surrogates (blogs, talk-radio) as they can.

    Jim – good detective work. I’m not going to refute you, but I will say that I find it highly unlikely that Sam Reed and Dean Logan would go to bat for something they know is statutorily illegal (not to mention the other counties that did it). If it were that clearly spelled out, I’d think that “slam dunk” would have been brought up a while ago. But that’s just speculation on my part.

  22. 26

    jcricket spews:

    Janet S wrote

    My best educated summary of the election: Christine Gregoire won the popular vote. It took three counts because of the complete incompetence of King County Election officials. Their standards and procedures are lax at best, and quite open to fraud if someone had it in mind to do so.

    All vote counting margins have a small margin of error. Not counting the KC 735 (which is a legitimate screw up), the actual errors uncovered in both the machine recount and the hand recount are well within the expected margins of errors for the types of technology we use and the population we have. All counties added new ballots, changed votes, eliminated over and under-votes and more accurately tallied up the overall totals. If you look at the percentage of error, KC is not outside where it should be, given the population (1/3 of the state) that lives within its borders.

    And yes, all counties are open to fraud too. Just like small banks and large banks get robbed, embezzelment happens in Temples, Churches, schools and big businesses. Sometimes small places get robbed more often because they are too “trusting”, but large places can be too “anonymous”, allowing fraud to go undetected. Every system has its weaknesses.

    KC having a larger number of problems than other counties is to be expected. It’s when the percentage (problems/voters) is greatly out of whack that there’s an issue (specifically with King). Again, all counties have flaws and will probably make some corrections during the next election.

    I’m not going to excuse KC for making mistakes like misfiling 735 ballots (or the scanning error that lead to the problem in the first place). But singling them out for special punishment is not merited by a thorough look at the facts. Other counties are “just as guilty” (or more accurately, suffer from the same issues), as evidenced by the changes that occured in both recounts.

  23. 27

    Goldy spews:

    But again, completely without need for fraud, the incompetence of not following the RCW and WAC on ballot enhancement sets up a real problem that gets right to Foulkes v Hayes (without the unneeded fraud). Now, I have no idea how many ballots were enhanced in King County in a manner contrary to law, but there is the legal case…

    Jim, I think it’s a stretch to say that ballot enhancement is analogous to the altered ballots in Foulkes v. Hayes. In Foulkes, the court found that the ballots were not properly secured, and that a number of them had been altered (essentially, under votes were turned into votes) between the counts. Now you can argue that enhancement is not sanctioned by the RCW, but it was sanctioned by the SOS as an alternative to replication, and occurred during the second count, in front of observers, and was publicly acknowleged and recorded. There scandal or potential fraud here… they took ballots that the machines could not read, and enhanced them to according the voter intent…. somewhat like evaluating ballots during a manual recount. Now, R’s are free to argue that this process was partisan, but the canvassing board and their delegates are free to make these decisions.

    I doubt a court is going to toss out an election because King enhanced instead of replicated, following a practice that had been in place for years.

    Other than that little nit pick, I really do appreciate all the hard work you’ve done researching the RCW and WAC, while I’ve spent most of the day entertaining a seven-year-old coming down from her post-Christmas high.

  24. 28

    bby spews:

    To add a bit — ballot enhancement is common practice in all the counties using scanners. Going back years. Some fracas in Pierce 5-6 years ago on the topic.

    Might put the practice on “trial”- won’t float to overturn this election. The two go arounds with the SUPREMES already involved is also an interesting factor.

    No virgin turf, already in the judicial web, opinions taken. Large scale concepts like finality and completion and the staus quo of seatting a Gov. and on with the business of the State.

    It seems the conspiracy stuff is really taking hold…..

    RALPH MUNRO on trial….if the new guidelines came into use in 1997…well..well..well

    The Dino death trap.

  25. 29

    Jim King spews:

    Goldy- the problem here is that the practice in King County was not sanctioned- in fact is in violation- of law. The complete filling in of ovals and the use of white-out is not in accord with “Ballots shall only be enhanced when such enhancement will not permanently obscure the original marks of the voters.”

    What we have here is mismanagement of a nature that allows the permanent changing of the face of the ballot such that in a recount the original markings cannot be reviewed. These “enhancements” were complained about at the time (albeit for different reasons) and were most pointedly NOT done in a manner in which the party observers could see or comment. They were done by county employees in the first recount, not the bipartisan teams in the second.

    This amounts to the county permitting- even requiring- the defacing of ballots, and I think will prove to be the greatest threat to a Gregoire victory.

    As I read Foulkes v Hayes, we have administrative incompetence allowing the defacing of original ballots such that a fair recount cannot be made because the margin falls within the number of ballots defaced.

  26. 30

    Jim King spews:

    Of course, I am even more upset about the Eagles playing their second team in a game with play-off implications… Football doing such things is one reason baseball remains the nobler sport…

  27. 31

    Goldy spews:

    Goldy- the problem here is that the practice in King County was not sanctioned- in fact is in violation- of law. The complete filling in of ovals and the use of white-out is not in accord with “Ballots shall only be enhanced when such enhancement will not permanently obscure the original marks of the voters.”

    Jim… first of all, we do not know that the enhancement obscures the original marks. I have not seen these ballots, have you? And it is my understanding that this is a practice that has been carried out for years in optical scan counties, although I am awaiting confirmation.

    Second of all, the canvassing board has the discretion (directly or through its delegates) to discern voter intent; this is part of the canvassing process. While that bipartisan process used during the hand recount was intended to create confidence in the process, it was not required by law. The fact that the election workers enhancing the ballots may have been partisan (and we don’t know that they were) is immaterial.

    One of the things that has annoyed me most in the many debates over these recounts is that people seem to have the role of the the voting technology backwards. The machines are there to help people count the vote, not the other way around. There is nothing scandalous or suspicious about a human examining a ballot for voter intent.

  28. 32

    Jim King spews:

    Goldy- the point is NOT discerning voter intent- when have I ever argued against that? The point is permanent defacement of the original ballot, in violation of law and rule. And the enhancement occured during the first recount- these were changes made to the ballots to make it easier for the machines to read, done by county employees without observation by the parties. Nothing to do with canvassing boards trying to read the ballots- in fact, making it difficult/impossible for actual canvassing board to review voter’s intent- they’ll be looking at election worker’s decisions regarding voters intent…

  29. 33

    DCF spews:

    Let this go on to the very bitter end. Scrutinize the voting process from the top to the bottom, from the bottom to the top. Let heads roll all across the state. I wrote the Secretary of State’s office after the 2000 election, as I suspect many voters in our state did, but it doesn’t seem that that office took any suggestions to heart. IT IS TIME to FIX or election procedures and make them as perfect as possible, for the sake of Repubs, Libers, and Demos.

  30. 34

    Goldy spews:

    Jim, but the election workers are delegates of the canvassing board, and are thus authorized to discern voter intent. That is, after all, the very nature of ballot duplication and enhancement… you take a ballot that the machine can’t read, discern the voter intent (if it can be discerned) and then duplicate or enhance the ballot so that the machine can read it. In a hand recount, that extra arts-and-crafts step would be unnecessary.

    To say that this is somehow analogous to unsecured ballots mysteriously being altered in between counts is a stretch. No, they did not prove fraud in Foukes v Hays, but it was clearly implied.

    Whether permitted by statute or not, ballot enhancement was an established practice, and I can’t see an election being tossed out because of it. Here’s maybe a weak analogy, but and illustrative one. Statute clear states that that the full text of an initiative must be printed on the reverse side of a petition. Yet the SOS permitted me to print the Horse’s Ass initiative on the front… and told me other petitions had been accepted like that in the past. Could Eyman have gone to court and argued that my petitions were illegal, because they didn’t technically conform to statute? The SOS assured me, no, because it was a standard practice that complied with the intent of the legislation (in fact, better than the language itself.)

    A court is not going to throw out this election because of a technical violation that was established practice for years, unless it can be shown that this practice might have been used to change the results of this election.

  31. 35

    Jim King spews:

    So now permanently defacing a ballot comports with the legislative intent that ballots not be altered? Come on, Goldy…

    And as for the State Supremes taking action that upends well-established practice- just look at felony murder…

    No, Goldy, there is no well-established practice- these rules have only been in existence since 1997- and the King County practice is clearly in violation of the rules and the law. King County has had to change a lot of practices that were well-established- and wrong- already. I sense the Achilles Hell may have been stumbled upon…