As the thousand monkeys on the right-wing blogs tirelessly type away in hope of accidentally writing Hamlet — or better yet, the final chapter of Christine Gregoire’s political career — we have been treated to snippet after snippet of half-coherent conspiracy theories regarding alleged misdeeds at King County Elections.
The 10,000 ballot underestimate during the first count, the provisional ballot affidavits, “changing the rules” to count 735 misfiled ballots, disenfranchised military voters, partisan canvassing decisions, lax security, enhanced and duplicated ballots, improper voter registrations… it is all intended to crush the integrity of the electoral system under the combined weight of the various allegations.
Now perhaps the unSound sycophants find it convincing, but as legal evidence in an election contest… it’s all load of monkey poop. Not a single one of these so-called-scandals provides legal grounds for overturning this election. And no court is going to set aside the results simply because the election was chaotic, or imperfect, or close.
But the monkeys keep on typing, and the latest “smoking turd” to roll off their Smith-Coronas is the supposedly shocking discrepancy between the number of people who voted, and the number of ballots counted in King County. County officials and the Secretary of State have all said that these returns are preliminary and unofficial. But how could King County possibly certify the results, the monkey’s angrily demand, based on unofficial returns?
Hmmm. How about RCW 29A.60.190, which is plainly titled “Certification of election results — Unofficial returns”…?
So how long do the counties have before submitting the final returns? Well, I’m not exactly sure, but according to RCW 29A.60.230 it seems a final report on absentee ballots is not due until March 31st. So personally, I’m just going to remain patient and wait for the final numbers before I start worrying about the typing monkeys.
Oh… and one other thought. It’s not at all clear to me, that even if King County fails to reconcile all the discrepancies in its returns, that this would provide grounds for an election contest either:
Certificate not withheld for informality in returns.
No certificate shall be withheld on account of any defect or informality in the returns of any election, if it can with reasonable certainty be ascertained from such return what office is intended, and who is entitled to such certificate, nor shall any commission be withheld by the governor on account of any defect or informality of any return made to the office of the secretary of state.
I think the key words here are “reasonable certainty”, a phrase repeated in RCW 29A.60.200. But, the usual caveat: much to my mother’s chagrin, I am not an attorney. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this statute… but hell if I’m going to trust a bunch of typing monkeys.