A real reporter, David Postman of the Seattle Times, gets the scoop on the real news, although it’s not really much news after all:
In Chelan County Superior Court, Bridges denied a Democratic Party motion to exclude the evidence, saying he did not see anything in law or court precedent that would prohibit the use of expert testimony to show how illegal votes were cast.
But Bridges said he was not yet accepting the statistical analysis as valid for the trial set to begin May 23. He said the Republican evidence is subject to a separate hearing where Democrats can challenge its scientific value.
So the general consensus of HA’s comment threads was borne out. Judge Bridges has not ruled out a statistical analysis, but he has not ruled it in. He will hear the evidence and then decide.
Still waiting to hear on the Republican motion to exclude offsetting votes. That’ll be the doozy.
Postman has updated his story, and thus so shall I. In a potentially significant ruling, Judge Bridges has said that he will not accept voter-credit records as evidence that someone voted.
In granting a Democratic motion, Bridges said that any party alleging illegal votes will have to produce in court a copy of the voter’s signature in a polling place book or on the envelope of an absentee or provisional ballot.
Bridges said crediting is a “post-election administrative exercise” and “does not bear upon the authenticity of election results.”
This not only puts the burden on the parties to show that their respective felons actually voted, but it also eliminates much of the basis for Rossi’s “total mess” argument, the discrepancy between ballots counted and voters credited.
Stick a fork in it:
On another issue, Bridges sided with Democrats, saying he would allow them to introduce evidence of election errors that benefited Rossi. Republicans had made a motion to prohibit Democrats from introducing evidence of any of those “off-setting errors.”
I cannot overstate the degree of confidence to which the Democrats’ attorneys believe they have enough offsetting errors, so that Rossi cannot prevail even given the most favorable “proportional deduction” methodology.
Also from Postman’s latest update:
Bridges denied motions from both parties regarding the burden of proof that will be required at trial to show illegal votes had been cast by felons. But he set a standard much more to the liking of Democrats.
Republicans said it was enough to show a voter had been convicted of a felony and that there was no evidence in the court file that the felons’ voting rights had been restored.
But Bridges said Republicans will have to present “clear and convincing” evidence that a felon voted, a higher standard than Republicans had hoped for.
Bridges also set out six standards, similar to what Democrats had proposed, that will have to be shown for the court to consider a vote illegally cast.
“Clear and convincing.” Hmmm. If Judge Bridges requires clear and convincing evidence that a felon voted, doesn’t that also hint that this might be the standard for proving that Rossi won?
More analysis later.