Statewide voter database goes live Jan. 1

One of the things that pissed me off about last year’s over-hyped election contest controversy — I mean, really pissed me off — was the constant abuse heaped on King County Elections about felon voters. Yes, hundreds of ex-felons who had not properly had their voting rights restored voted in 2004, but this happened throughout the state, in every county. But because the state GOP so successfully promoted their cherry-picked list of KC felons, many voters came away thinking this problem was mostly due to negligence and/or malfeasance in KC.

The fact is, felon votes were pretty evenly distributed throughout the state, and were the result of a decentralized and inefficient system of reporting convictions. Indeed, the problem was so well known and so widespread that a federal law was passed in 2002 requiring the development of statewide voter registration databases to help clean the voter roles of felons, dead people, and duplicate registrations.

Well, WA’s database goes online Jan. 1, just in time to meet the federal deadline, and while it’s not a cure-all, it should make a huge a difference. For example, the new database is hooked directly to records from the prison system, State Patrol and the courts, rather than relying on haphazard communications at the local level. And one of the biggest improvements comes in removing registrations due to death…

To remove dead voters from the rolls, county auditors currently rely on reports from the state health department or obituary notices in newspapers. But those sources may be insufficient if a voter dies while out of state.

With deaths, the new system’s reach will be nationwide, Excell said, because of a tie-in to information from the federal Social Security Administration.

“If you’re dead, we got you,” [Pierce County Auditor Pat McCarthy] said.

Uh-huh.

See, what pisses me off is that King County Elections was publicly crucified for problems that had nothing to do with King County, and for which solutions were already under development at the state level. There was absolutely nothing nefarious or peculiarly incompetent about the way KC handled these registrations… these registrations were the result of a poorly designed system — nationwide — that was in the process of being fixed.

And yet the headlines from last year told a different, inaccurate story… a story that will shape public perceptions of KC elections for years to come.

UPDATE:
It has been pointed out to me that it was Assistant Sec. of State Steve Excell to whom I should have attributed the “If you’re dead, we got you” quote. Ooops.

Comments

  1. 1

    spews:

    For the GOP, it doesn’t fit the meme to talk about how many of these problems are statewide. Just keep yelling “King County!!” over and over again.

  2. 2

    jaybo spews:

    Goldy,

    THE “VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY” DOES IT AGAIN!

    What a joke. To try to spin the collapse of King County Election’s credibility as a canard defies logic. Especially in a blue state with most (if not all) of the mainstream media behind the dems.

    The fact that it became news is proof that there was (and still is) a huge problem there.

  3. 3

    spews:

    @ 2

    And the fact that a story of a guy who dies after having sex with a horse was in the news means there is a huge epidemic of horse-fucking in King County.

    Right.

  4. 4

    sgmmac spews:

    I want Goldy’s suggestion for online ballot making to be taken seriously and put into action in this state!

  5. 5

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Jaybo @ 2: Circular logic there Jaybo. “The fact that it (a deliberately misleading story perpatrated by the WA GOP in order to make headlines) became news is proof…” That’s what it was intended to do, so the fact that it did means nothing!

    Goldy presented a list of facts, arguments and a news story that backs up his case. Please present a “counter argument”, not just your opinion, otherwise your opinion is like the old joke about assholes….everyone has one and they all smell bad.

  6. 6

    Gordon spews:

    Jaybo: “The fact that it became news is proof” only of the power of Shark and two radio talk guys who are willing to lead the coolaid drinkers.

  7. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    There is, in fact, a vast rightwing conspiracy to discredit Democrats with lies, smears, and propaganda. It is well organized and professionally orchestrated, billions of dollars have been spent on this effort, and it embraces GOP control of most of the nation’s news media as well as private publishing houses, partisan think tanks, and GOP operatives and front groups.

  8. 10

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Ooooh,and Jaybo, you need to check the talking points from your handlers: Mainstream media is left biased remember? SO any news stories about politics must paint the left as correct and proper. But wait, this story doesn’t do that, so which is it Jaybo? Left biased MSM or fraudulent elections?

  9. 12

    RP spews:

    Yes, the electorial contest wasn’t so much an attempt to gain the governship, but to reap political hay in other areas. For example, by making “King County” the issue and alleging that “King County stole the election from the rest of the state”, they hoped to whip-up anti-Seattle prejudices in the rest of the state to their benefit in future elections. Also, it made for quite an effective fund-raising issue, nationally.

    Instead of placing the blame on themselves for not taking the governor’s race more seriously prior to the actual election, and for not getting out enough votes to actually win the election, it tries to demonize one election official for statistically insignificant anomolies which occured throughout the state, including Republican-leaning counties.

  10. 13

    Sven spews:

    I think the online database will help a lot and Goldy correctly identified the real root problem, which was a poorly designed system.

    But also contributing was a refusal to locally address the effects of that systems flaws by Logan, and inconsistent application of existing standards.

    That has been my beef all along, not an accusation of organized fraud, but a culture of acceptable error.

  11. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR CAMPAIGN DONATION

    If you pay federal taxes, you have been donating money to GOP campaigns, whether you want to or not.

    In case you missed it in the previous thread, here is a link to an explosive new corruption scandal that involves GOP front men laundering money stolen from Pentagon accounts through
    fake subcontractors and dummy web sites to GOP candidates.

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com.....dated.html

  12. 15

    sgmmac spews:

    King County became the story for the news media for a lot of reasons. The Democrats were also pissed at King County during the big fiasco and sued them, it’s wasn’t just the Republicans.

    You are the biggest county so you get the most attention.

  13. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    12

    My beef all along has been the selective criticism of King County by GOP shills like you who conveniently overlook these problems in the “red” counties.

  14. 17

    Sven spews:

    RP

    I think there is a core argument that King County does has undue influence in the state by basis of its large population density.

    But at the same time, that’s hardly a unique problem, and it’s is simply the way a democracy works. if majority rules, the places with more people will make more of an impact.

  15. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Sgt. Mac is rapidly establishing herself as an unprincipled GOP apologist and spinner. It’s easy to figure out Mac’s perception of right and wrong:

    GOP = okay
    Democrat = not okay

  16. 20

    Sven spews:

    Roger,

    Not a shill, but thanks for playing.

    My complaints about king County are a result my being a resident here, and this being my County, I am concerned about how it affects my franchise.

    Sorry jack (rabbit) but thats my right as a voter and a resident.

  17. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    In the interest of full disclosure and truth in advertising, my public relations department issued the following statement this morning:

    Roger Rabbit is a partisan hack.

  18. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    19

    If you look like a shill, walk like a shill, talk like a shill, and post like a shill, you’re a shill.

  19. 23

    Sven spews:

    Roger,

    GOP = okay
    Democrat = not okay

    Whereas your position is so much more nuanced and rational:

    GOP=lying racists
    Democrats=hard working party of the people

  20. 25

    Sven spews:

    Sine I dont do any of the above, then I am safe from your accusations.

    I address valid concernss that dont take any partisan interest.

  21. 26

    sgmmac spews:

    Almost all of the counties had problems. Only a handful reconciled their reports. Only a handful didn’t have felon voters. The majority of the problems was in King County, there isn’t any way around it, because of the population density.

    If KCRE had the Pierce County or Thurston County auditor working up there, there probably wouldn’t have been the media attention, the investigations, and the court battle. Logan’s leadership caused a lot of the problems.

  22. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    19

    “My complaints about king County are a result my being a resident here, and this being my County, I am concerned about how it affects my franchise.”

    May we assume, then, that if Democrats — I’m speaking hypothetically here, and not implying they would do this — stole votes in Pierce County, or stole a presidential election in Florida or Ohio, you would consider that none of your business and have no comment about it?

  23. 28

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Sven, your statements to the contrary notwithstanding, it sure appears you are a shill in sheep’s clothing. The pretence of impartiality I see you don occasionally is very thin cover for the red (get it?) meat of your statements.

  24. 29

    sgmmac spews:

    Roger,

    How am I an apologist and a spinner? Because I reminded you that the State Democratic Party sued King County? Please!
    I am not apologizing for any damn body, I don’t care who they are.

  25. 30

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Curious, does anybody know what the “per capita” rate of fraudulent felon voting was by county? This may not be statistically meaningful, as the majority of the felons may live in urban areas. But if the per capita rate is higher in the boonies, that would go to the weight of the argument that this is all hype.

  26. 31

    Sven spews:

    no comment? I rarely have no comment.

    In the case of Florida, because it was so close, I did do a lot of research on it, and as the Ohio accusations were national news, I read about them as well.

    But in the context of this discussion, I will have much more to say about the situation where I live that affects me directly then anywhere else. I would likely not spend as much time investigating it as I did this election.

  27. 32

    rossi too spews:

    sgmmac sez: If KCRE had the Pierce County or Thurston County auditor working up there, there probably wouldn’t have been the media attention, the investigations, and the court battle. Logan’s leadership caused a lot of the problems.

    You obviously saw a different version of the election challenge trial than I saw. TC Auditor Kim Wyman testified that there were no problems with TC elections, but was immediately refuted by discloseure of several election errors (wrong ballots sent out was the top error) and PC auditor testified that they have problems too.

    The KC R’s and Vance/Rants saw that blasting KC was their only hope…it didn’t matter if it was Logan or anyone else. They clearly ignored problems in red counties, and focused all their energies on a few problems in King Co. The tactic backfired.

    Now, they still focus all their energies on King Co, and still ignore other problems. Goldy is right, the state & national database is a great start to solving problems in ALL the counties, not just King.

  28. 33

    Sven spews:

    Larry,

    The majority of the opinions here are fairly hardcore leftist, and I argue against them when i see them as fallacious or spurious. It doesnt make me right wing, it makes me not left.

    There is a prevailing argument and belief that if you are not with me you are against me, and a polorized right/left yin/yang good/evil obsession. Both sides play this game.

    There are however many rational and reasonable positions in between the extremes, and thats where I live, at least in the area of politics.

    If you want to label me go ahead, I can’t stop you. I will continue to present my beliefs as i see fit, and refuse any association to the democrats or the republicans because in my opinion, neither side is respectable or concerned with anything but power.

    If one of the parties actually present a rational belief that they had anyone’s best interest at heart, I might change my mind.

  29. 34

    sgmmac spews:

    I agree with Goldy on the State Database going a looooong way to solving problems with double voters, felons and dead people. It is Federal law, Sam Reed is claiming it as his biggest election reform last year.

    Goldy’s suggestion/idea that he posted a few weeks ago about going online and preparing your ballot and printing it out and mailing it in, is the best idea I have read or heard of since Nov 04.

    The wrong ballots mailed out in Thurston County was in the Primary not the Nov election. Wyman is a Republican and trained by Reed. Pat McCarthy is a Democrat. The reason I mentioned them is because of their honesty and leadership. Logan doesn’t deal with the press very well, he speaks and then he has to back track or he doesn’t back track and then he comes across as dishonest. Both Wyman and McCarthy were in the Press talking about their errors and how they were going to fix it. They didn’t run and hide and they didn’t sugar coat anything.

  30. 35

    Voter Advocate spews:

    19,

    My complaints about king County are a result my being a resident here, and this being my County, I am concerned about how it affects my franchise.

    Well, aside from the felon voter issue that Goldy pretty well destroyed as anything unique to KC, and homeless people filling out their registrations incorrectly, what is the unique affect that KC REALS has on your voter franchise?

  31. 36

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Sven, Have u taken the political test that’s been out lately on the web? Curious to know where you fell in the spectrum. I did it, and, not suprisingly I’m lower left quadrant center, i.e left on economics, left on social, but not an extremist in either. How about you?

  32. 38

    Left Turn spews:

    This database will show that an equally large percentage of the population on the east side of the mountain voted illegally. This will go far to provide a factual argument against the GOP lies. The problem is, republicans follow the lead of their president. They have someone else give them the news. It’s usually a lying scumbag chickenhawk like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or John Carlson. So why bother with facts when you’ve proven lying works better?

  33. 39

    GBS spews:

    Goldy:

    Here’s where I’m going to agree with your frustration, but sharply disagree with you on the legacy of the GOP voter fraud claims.

    In the next election there can only be 1 of 3 outcomes, and two of which favor Liberals. Either the next election is going to be;
    1) Consistent with the previous outcomes which will exonerate KCE.
    2) Progressives will win more handily which means the voter fraud lies mainly on the conservative side.
    3) Or we’ll become a red county/state.

    In the last scenario, we’re going to have to admit Sharansky was right all along. Otherwise, we will have been right all along. Given the track record of corruption and lying coming from conservatives of recent years, I’m confident that that we will remain a blue state. Regardless of all the shrills crying foul.

  34. 40

    windie spews:

    sven and sgtmac whille (IMNSHO) wrongminded are at least willing to discuss things. I really think we should save the real venom for the scumbag trolls (You know who you are!)

    Anyawys… I’d use ‘dupe’ rather than ‘shill’. I think the problem is that both of them have fallen for the pr campaign… And altho thats not great, its better than being a flack like so many people on here are :p

  35. 41

    Sven spews:

    Larry,

    I took one that marked me as a social moderate and fiscally conservative centrist, but maybe its not the same one.

    Which one are you referring to?

    If I had to admit to a label, the closest I have found to my particular beliefs is neo-liberatarian.

  36. 43

    windie spews:

    hey honesty is a virtue: I think your reasoning and beliefs are deeply flawed, but at least you’re not a jerk about it :p

    (I’m such a meanie!)

  37. 44

    Sven spews:

    38 and others questioning why the GOP went after KCRE.

    The reason they focused so much attention there is fairly practical. They could have gotten some onesy twosy votes in various palces, but by focusing their attentoin in the place with the largest voter base, they had the largest number of discernable errors to cite, giving them more bang for their buck.

    I dont know if there was a higher error rate per capita in KC, I think that accusation is rightly in dispute, but there was a greater chance to show a significant number of errors that made a tangible difference.

    I cannot fault their logic.

    And the root problems they noted and that subsequent investigations noted are worthy of fixing, so it should be all good.

    Some of them have been fixed, and some havent. I long in my naive altruistic day for an election that is perfect, but I am realistic enough to say that it likely wont ever happen…perfection that is. But the goal of making it as accurate and flawless as possible is a worthy one for all people of all political stripes.

    I dont pretend to have all of the answers, but I can whine and complain when I see obvious loopholes that need fixing.

  38. 46

    dj spews:

    Larry the Urbanite @ 30

    “does anybody know what the “per capita” rate of fraudulent felon voting was by county? This may not be statistically meaningful, as the majority of the felons may live in urban areas. But if the per capita rate is higher in the boonies, that would go to the weight of the argument that this is all hype.”

    Unfortunately, comment threads on most blogs do not take tables, so I cannot post this information right here. I compiled and posted the felon voting rates for WA counties sorted from highest rate to lowest rate here instead.

    King County ranks 7th in felon voting rate.

    The important thing to realize is that all counties did not undergo equal scrutiny. That is, some counties were more intensively searched than others. A good example is King County, for which both the Republicans and the Democrats found felon votes. Both parties were selecting precincts with a high proportion of votes from the opposite party.

  39. 47

    RP spews:

    One more thing that seems to have been overlooked in all this debate between Democrats and Republicans.

    The reason the voter registration roles are somewhat inaccurate (throughout the country) is that our electoral system is based upon a precinct organization. The primary safegaurd against illegal votes would be that most people in the precinct were neighbors, knew one another, and would start asking questions if a stranger or a known felon showed up to vote, or if someone tried to vote in the name of someone else who was known to have died. That presumes that we have a pretty static society, without a lot of movement, which in reality no longer exists.

    The new system sets up not only a statewide database, but by also tying into the social security system it has become, in effect, a national database. Since the state criminal record database is also tied in with national records, I presume that network is also part of the national database.

    So if we are going to have a national database linking registered voters, criminal records, and work history records (through social security), shouldn’t we just can the whole fiction of “anonymity”, and just go ahead and issue national identity cards? Between the government, marketing agencies, credit reporting agencies, and insurance industry, I think we have pretty much lost the war against infringement of privacy anyway.

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/.....sp?id=1319

  40. 48

    For the Clueless spews:

    sven: I don’t see people here who are to the left of Rossi objecting to fixing things that are obviously wrong or in general being against improving the accuracy of elections. Does that mean those people are “hard-core leftist”?

  41. 49

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Thanks for the info, DJ. As his data shows, the “problem” is much worse in other counties, almost twice as bad in Yakima county as King county. Yakima is Hastert’s baliwick, ain’t it? Curious, that. Funny how I never heard a peep about Yakima County along with all the brouhaha about King county, isn’t it?

  42. 51

    Voter Advocate spews:

    In addition to Clue’s observation, I have nothing against fixing what is wrong, (and neither does KCREALS) but the rants here of vote fixing and fraud are just unsupportable.

    The problem was always incompetence, not criminality. I think the incompetence has been removed from the mail ballot operation, and the demise of the polls will take care of the rest.

  43. 53

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    23

    “Whereas your position is so much more nuanced and rational”

    No, it’s not; it’s straightforward. As you so graciously pointed out, my position is:

    GOP=lying racists
    Democrats=hard working party of the people

  44. 54

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    31

    Since you don’t want to post your thoughts on Florida and Ohio, why don’t you think them real hard, so the rest of us can pick up your brain waves.

  45. 55

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    33

    “The majority of the opinions here are fairly hardcore leftist”

    Hey, no shit man! This is a liberal blog.

  46. 58

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey, this thread is up to 57 posts already! Stefan doesn’t get traffic like that. Because he’s a

    B O R E

    and his pathetic little blog is

    B O R I N G

  47. 59

    RP spews:

    The old electoral system was based upon the precinct, where everyone was presumed to know one another which would provide a safegaurd against illegal voting. With today’s mobile society, that no longer provides any protection. The use of a statewide, if not a national, database is the logical next step.

    But if we are going to have a statewide voter registration database, and link it to (a) a national criminal history database, and (b) a national work-history database (social security), shouldn’t we agree that we have lost the war against intrusions into privacy? Now the federal government wants us to get passports to go to Canada and Mexico, credit reporting agencies and the insurance industry know more about us than we know about ourselves, and the NSA is listening into phone calls of citizens within the U.S.

    Isn’t it time that we do away with the fiction of privacy and anonymity, and accept a national database and ID system?

  48. 60

    Sven spews:

    47

    sven: I don’t see people here who are to the left of Rossi objecting to fixing things that are obviously wrong or in general being against improving the accuracy of elections. Does that mean those people are “hard-core leftist”?

    I didnt intend for that to all emcompassing, but to answer it, I have heard many people insist that any attempt by the republicans (for example) to identify and correct problems are nothing more then partisan attempts to disenfranchise democratic voters despite there being no discernable way to verify the party affiliation of the voters.

    Maybe partisan would have been a better word.

  49. 61

    Sven spews:

    voter,

    The problem was always incompetence, not criminality. I think the incompetence has been removed from the mail ballot operation, and the demise of the polls will take care of the rest.

    What I object to is the attitude I have seen in some people that the problem either doesnt exist, or cannot be fixed.

    Both of those ignore reality.

    I have never said there was a conspiracy to fraud. I have however said that certain members of KCRE seem to ignore obvious irregularities, which is not a deliberate attempt to aid on party over the other, but to me is malfeasence of responsibility.

  50. 63

    Sven spews:

    53

    Florida is long past, i see no reason to tie up the thread with it.

    if you want, we can hash it out.

    I have heard gross misrepresentatoins from all parties on both of those two, which is why I generall ignore the debate, because the spin on both camps makes truth practically impossible.

    You wouldnt want to pick up my brainwaves dude, you might see yourself as you really are.

  51. 65

    Sven spews:

    Larry,

    Thats the one I took previously. I took it again and got the same answer:

    You are a

    Social Moderate
    (56% permissive)

    and an…

    Economic Conservative
    (60% permissive)

    You are best described as a:

    Centrist

    You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness

    According to the Ideologies grid, I am liberatarian, which is no shock.

  52. 66

    sgmmac spews:

    Larry,

    You are a

    Social Conservative
    (38% permissive)

    and an…

    Economic Conservative
    (61% permissive)

    You are best described as a:

    Centrist

    You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness. loc: (-44, 43)
    modscore: (37, 23)
    raw: (3427)

  53. 67

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Sven @ 59:
    U said ”
    What I object to is the attitude I have seen in some people that the problem either doesnt exist, or cannot be fixed.

    Both of those ignore reality.

    I have never said there was a conspiracy to fraud. I have however said that certain members of KCRE seem to ignore obvious irregularities, which is not a deliberate attempt to aid on party over the other, but to me is malfeasence of responsibility.”

    See my original comment @29. Your position here seems reasonable enough on the surface, that you are an impartial observer who just wants the best for all. However, by accepting the canard of the GOP (that there are serious irregularities with KCRE and they are due to Democratic control/malfeasance/negligence above and beyond what would be considered normal in gov’t beauracracies), you are actually endorsing thier position!

    Your post at 59 implies there is a KCRE “problem”. To my way of thinking, there is a statewide problem, but not a KCRE problem. See the difference?

  54. 68

    Sven spews:

    Larry,

    However, by accepting the canard of the GOP (that there are serious irregularities with KCRE and they are due to Democratic control/malfeasance/negligence above and beyond what would be considered normal in gov’t beauracracies), you are actually endorsing thier position!

    Lets break that down into two seperate accusations:

    Democratic control

    I dont claim that the problems exist because they are controlled by democrats, so this is a faluty accusation.

    malfeasance/negligence

    This has been fairly well established outside of any partisan accusation, that there has been negliance in the application of law and code by members of the KCRE. That some of it has been corrected is not in doubt. That some of it was accidental is not in doubt.

    So if I beleive there are people who are negligent in duty, and I do not ascribe that to a deliberate action of partisan bias, then your accusation is off track.

    Your post at 59 implies there is a KCRE “problem”. To my way of thinking, there is a statewide problem, but not a KCRE problem. See the difference?

    I do, but I live in KC, not Thursten, so what KC does concerns me first.

    I have also said in posts that I want the legislature to fix the loopholes and problems, so I have addressed the statewide issue previously.

    I have never once accused anyone of deliberate fraud. I have only said there was neglect and that the efforts to fix it fall short of my expectation.

  55. 69

    Voter Advocate spews:

    66.

    Well, most of the interaction I have had with you has been about registration. KCRE says that, once the registration form is completed properly (with reasonable effort to determine this short of investigating every address supplied,) it is the job of law enforcement to prosecute wrongdoers, just as in any criminal matter.

    The major problems I observed at KCRE in 2004 were:

    1. The number of absentee ballots received was unknown.

    2. Nearly 1000 ballots were misplaced, still in their mailing envelopes.

    3. Provisional ballots were improperly run through the AccuVote machines by the voters at the polls, making it impossible to call back those votes, or even determine that they were provisional votes, should it be determined that a vote had already been cast or the voter was ineligble.

    All of those problems were addressed and should not occur again, if the prventative measures are followed.

    What is it that you are concerned about, over and above those above?

  56. 70

    For the Clueless spews:

    58

    there being no discernable way to verify the party affiliation of the voters.

    That is so false! Those areas targeted by Sotelo were cherry picked just like the R lawyers in the election contest cherry picked Dem-concentrated precincts.

    Come 2006, I hope the Dems do tit-for-tat in R-heavy areas because if the D’s don’t the R’s certainly will.

  57. 71

    TheDeadlyShoe spews:

    Sven,

    But if the issues are not horrible and evil as the state GOP suggests,

    then by adding your voice to the choir you are adding weight to their propoganda

    The same kind of thing follows on a lot of your statements

    which I think is what people’s problem with your positions is as much as anything.

    When we say ‘there is no problem’, we don’t literally mean that KC elections is perfect. Our meaning is that there is no problem in the vein that the state GOP suggests – massive incompetence ala the Iraq CPA or massive partisan corruption ala the Texas redistricting.

  58. 72

    TheDeadlyShoe spews:

    That all having been said, it is granted that this is a lefty blog and there is no lack of statements excorciating the GOP here!

  59. 73

    Sven spews:

    67,

    Sure you can target areas more likely to produce a higher percent based on overal demographics, but on a specific individual basis, you cannot do it to any degree of certainty.

    Remember how during the repbulican contest they actually identified votes that were republican and gained gregoire votes?

    It has a chance to backfire.

    The republicans, in the mail box contest, chose mailbox retailers because they were a convenient way to identify a large number of *potentially* illegal votes, based on a large number of people being registered to a common address.

    Now, if they ignored mail box etc locations in republican majority districts, well you might have a point. I dont have any information to that level of detail.

  60. 74

    Chuck spews:

    OK Goldy I guess you cannot grasp the fact that King County has the biggest burden on their election results is because you guys usually vote reverse of every county in the frikin state and because of population still carry the state. This is why the entire state wants you to be squeeky clean. God knows we dont want this garbage you guys brought in for governor next term!

  61. 75

    Sven spews:

    Shoe,

    But if the issues are not horrible and evil as the state GOP suggests, then by adding your voice to the choir you are adding weight to their propoganda

    Well the premise exists that even if the republicans cherry picked the issues to gain them potential gains, the fact still remains that they can be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

    In the case of the mailboxes, I personally feel that those illegally registered, whether by intention or by ignorance, needs to fix that to elimnate the possibility of people doing it deliberately, so it doesnt matter to me *why* they challanged it, what matters is whether there is substance to the challanges.

    The challange at its root, regardless of its motives, needsto be addressed because it does identify a problem.

    The same kind of thing follows on a lot of your statements
    which I think is what people’s problem with your positions is as much as anything.

    As some have said, even a broken watchis right twice a day. IN this case, again, they may be doing it for selfish reasons, but I am interested in facts. If they identify valid issues, everyone benfits from having integrity.

    When we say ‘there is no problem’, we don’t literally mean that KC elections is perfect. Our meaning is that there is no problem in the vein that the state GOP suggests – massive incompetence ala the Iraq CPA or massive partisan corruption ala the Texas redistricting.

    Well thats a matter of semantics, but i dont hear enough people jumping up and suggesting that we bury the party lines and fix the problems.

    All I keep hearing, mostly, is one of two mantras:

    If democrats can’t cheat they can’t win,

    or

    If republican cant disenfranchise they cant win.

    Both are fallacious. Both exist in spurious steretypes.

  62. 76

    rmdSeaBos spews:

    Typical Dem Message Incompetence.

    “We will Issue a Terabyte of Truthful Tomes,
    We will be ignored because we are smart and they are stupid,
    We will be ignored because we are selfless and they are selfish,
    We will be ignored because we don’t own NBC…”

    Of course, ignore the boobs behind the curtain, the media and communications incompetents who get their hands on hundreds of millions of dollars every election cycle and … blow it on losing !!

    In a perverse way, I kind of respected the Dino lie-machine; most of the state is blaming the wrong people for the wrong stuff, and our noble Dem party shakes its selfless finger at the meanie liars.

    there are SO many little dems working their asses off for these incompetents … hope the next party chair has a clue about the importance of incessant, effective message, AND is committed to implementing it.

    rmm.

  63. 77

    Sven spews:

    Shoe,

    That all having been said, it is granted that this is a lefty blog and there is no lack of statements excorciating the GOP here!

    Sure, and I accept that when I read it. Context is important.

    And there are no lack of Republicans defending their positions.

    What I object to is when partisanship overrides logic to the point that an idea that has merit is rejected because it is sponsored by a person whose ideology is opposed yours.

  64. 78

    sgmmac spews:

    @69

    The procedures for registration were changed by Logan right before the Nov 04 election, he had the workers stop checking to see if a voter was registered before inputing a new registration, which created hundreds of duplicate voters. Some still exist, but they have been working it. There is a woman named Patricia A. Levesque who voted twice in the last 4 elections in King County, she was talked about in the newspaper, but not named.

    During the recounts, they added almost 150 to 200 ballots that were clearly marked “fatal pend” on them into the count. Fatal pends are not fully legally registered voters, there is something wrong with their registration and the Dims system marks them “fatal pend.”

    There were dozens of people who mailed in absentee ballots and for whatever reason also went to the polls and voted provisional. Even though their provisionals were clearly marked that they had voted absentee and that the absentee ballot had been received, they counted the provisional also.

    There are still ballots in absentee envelopes that haven’t been “found.”

    Most of the errors above, wouldn’t have happened if the workers had checks & balances, and step by step processes to follow. Instead they had Bill Huennekins and Dean Logan. People don’t go to work saying let me see how I can screw up today, they go to work to do their job as well as they can. They fail because they arn’t trained and arn’t supervised.

  65. 79

    dj spews:

    Sven @ 75

    “Well the premise exists that even if the republicans cherry picked the issues to gain them potential gains, the fact still remains that they can be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.”

    No…in fact, they chose the wrong solution for the problem. KC invited all interested parties to assist in correcting the voter registration system. The GOP sat on their lists (dual registered–primarily women who changed their name upon marriage and the famous “mailbox registrants”) for weeks until the voter rolls were closed so that they could issue voter challenges.

    If they had simply provided their lists to KC before the rolls closed, most of the error would have been corrected prior to the election.

    The GOP were not interested in helping to clean the registration rolls (which are always inaccurate owning to name-changes, deaths, felony convictions, moving, mistakes during registration, etc.). They were interested in trying to (1) embarass King County or (2) eliminate a few thousand votes by their last hour challenges.

    I don’t care what party had engaged in this behavior—these tactics are just plain stinky, unprofessional and mostly unproductive!

  66. 80

    jaybo spews:

    Larry, Gorden, Roger,

    So I suppose the judge was lying too when he castigated King County’s handling of the 2004 election?

    Do you want me to post what he said?

    Again, if you blow-hards believe half of what you say, then how in the world could a lie be given so much credibility in this state? According to Goldy, Stefan makes a fool of himself on a regular basis. If that is true, why would anyone listen to him?

    Even if you could say that his (Sound Politics) regulars would accept his opinion, how can you explain The Seattle Times questioning Logan’s competence? Are you going to say that they also are right-wing kooliad drinkers?

    The actual “circular logic” is coming from all of you.

  67. 81

    Mom spews:

    All I know is Judge Bridges said it would be up to the voters
    to fix the “culture” that exists at KCE. Now, if I were Logan,
    I would be very embarrassed.

  68. 82

    dj spews:

    jaybo and Mom,

    A much more parsimonious explanation for Bridges comments about King County are the fact that he, himself, is an elected official in a conservative county.

    Bridges offered no numerical evidence to suggest a high error rate in King County elections. To the contrary, King County has a pretty low error rate (Goldy has cited statistics on this).

    Logan is also recognized by his peers in the elections business as being exceptionally qualified in the field of elections. Goldy questions his managerial skills, however.

  69. 86

    spews:

    DJ

    Sure he did. 1800+ demonstratably illegal votes is quite numerical.

    Maybe it is a statistically meaningless normally, but when the margin for victory was so close, there is no amount of error that is meaningless.

    And to be fair, that’s the central issue that made all this so relevent, had Gregoire gotten a landslide no one would care.

  70. 87

    spews:

    Regarding the mailbox voters, this article (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/.....ase29.html) raises an interesting point, which is the difference in approach some of the counties take to assure residential addresses are valid.

    The counties’ policing of mailbox addresses is uneven: Some, such as King County, accept any address that could be a residential address (in other words, one that isn’t obviously a non-residential address); others, such as Spokane County, keep an informal list of private mailbox addresses and flag registrations that include them.

    Speaking for myself only that’s a big reason I criticize the KCRE, thier lack of proactive efforts to keep the database clean.

  71. 88

    sgmmac spews:

    @83 & 84

    Sorry, I am not making anything up. I have personally laid eyes on several ballots still sealed up in their envelopes. I have also seen “fatal pends, many of them to be real precise, and all other kinds of remarks written on provisionals by the person voting and the polling place worker. I don’t know where you work at KCRE, but you must be pretty isolated not to see the obvious systemic errors.

  72. 89

    jaybo spews:

    dj,

    You should win the yearly award for “Stretching the Limits of Credibility”, with the follwing statement; “A much more parsimonious explanation for Bridges comments about King County are the fact that he, himself, is an elected official in a conservative county.”

    Most people don’t even know what a judge stands for when voting for him/her. Secondly, his decision has no effect on the constituents in Thurston County.

    Is this how the great Goldy argues his point of view also?

    I hope not, I would think he would be just a little more intelligent than that.

  73. 90

    dj spews:

    karl @ 86

    “Sure he did. 1800+ demonstratably illegal votes is quite numerical.”

    You are a little off. Here are the totals from Bridges’ ruling:

    GOP felons = 754
    Democrat felons = 647
    Deceased voters = 19
    Double voters = 6
    KC provisional = 96
    Pierce provisional = 79
    Pierce additional = 77
    Total illegal votes = 1678

    “Maybe it is a statistically meaningless normally, but when the margin for victory was so close, there is no amount of error that is meaningless.”

    As Bridges pointed out in his oral ruling, even if he accepted the GOP methodology, the results of “proportional reduction” using the above numbers gives Gregoire the win. During the trial, the analysis gave Rossi a 1 out of 10,000 chance of being the true victor.

    The fact is, errors both help and hurt each candidate. The known illegal votes were simply not enough to tip the balance in either direction. Somehow the wingnuts have it stuck in their brains that each error only hurt Rossi and helped Gregoire. That is incorrect.

    “And to be fair, that’s the central issue that made all this so relevent, had Gregoire gotten a landslide no one would care.”

    Agreed.

  74. 91

    dj spews:

    Jaybo @ 89

    “Most people don’t even know what a judge stands for when voting for him/her. Secondly, his decision has no effect on the constituents in Thurston County.”

    Usually your statement is correct. However, Bridges gained widespread notoriety from this trial. When he comes up for re-election, many of the citizens of Chelan county will have a strong impression of Bridges based soley on the election contest. I am not sure what the Thurston County reference means, but his decisions in the election contest most certainly affected people in all counties, including Chelan County.

    What we are discussing (Bridges’ statements about the culure that Logan found when he took over KC Elections from page 1 of the oral ruling) was not a decision. Here is the text:

    Mr. Logan in his testimony in court and, more particularly, in his deposition testimony referred to the culture he found when he assumed the responsibilities of the Director of Elections in King County. Almost anyone who works in state or local government knows exactly what this culture is. It’s inertia. It’s selfishness. It’s taking our paycheck but not doing the work. It’s not caring about either our fellow workers or the public we are supposed to serve. It’s not taking responsibility. It’s refusing to be held accountable. And so it is the voters who should send the message.

    This was one of three “introductory comments” that Bridges offered. The comments had no legal connection with Bridges ruling and had carried no legal decision in it.

    This statement is, in fact, interesting to analyze. It is not a criticism of Logan, and it is not clear that it is a criticism of King County in particular. It could, just as well, apply to, say Pierce county that had a much higher rate of errors than did King County. (Bridges did have some specific criticisms of King County within the substantive part of the ruling.)

    So, the question is, Jaybo, what was the purpose of this aside? Was this a chance for Bridges to vent a bit and preserve his job? Or was Bridges simply signalling that he would not take it upon himself to punish individual counties or try to fix county problems (something he said directly in the preceeding paragraph of his introductory remarks). I can accept either or both explanations. But, I reject your claim that:

    “So I suppose the judge was lying too when he castigated King County’s handling of the 2004 election?”

    If Bridges meant his comment as a criticism of King County, he did not say so directly. Likewise Mom thinks Logan should be embarassed. But, Bridges had no criticisms of Logan anywhere in his oral decision.

  75. 92

    jaybo spews:

    dj,

    You again only focus on facts that support your opinion. It really doesn’t matter anymore who had the most votes or who would have benefited the most from a correction of those errors.

    The real story is the “cover-up” of King County Elections ineptitude. After several reports highlighting their problems what does Executive Sims do?

    Nothing. I wonder why.

  76. 93

    Sven spews:

    DJ

    As Bridges pointed out in his oral ruling, even if he accepted the GOP methodology, the results of “proportional reduction” using the above numbers gives Gregoire the win. During the trial, the analysis gave Rossi a 1 out of 10,000 chance of being the true victor.

    I think that given the small margin of victory, and the number of votes in question, the odds were *much* closer to even then that.

    The fact is, errors both help and hurt each candidate. The known illegal votes were simply not enough to tip the balance in either direction.

    huh? Um, the entire point was that the errors were more then enough to tip it in both directsion. The entire issue revoves around uncertainty.

    Somehow the wingnuts have it stuck in their brains that each error only hurt Rossi and helped Gregoire. That is incorrect.

    Sure, that’s selfish logic, but the dems insisted the opposite.

    The truth was that it could have gone either way, because I won’t try and make a case that only democrats would cheat.

    The issue was the uncertainty factor. and that will always exist, just as it does with the people who claim Bush was appointed in 2000.

  77. 94

    dj spews:

    Jaybo @ 91

    “You again only focus on facts that support your opinion. It really doesn’t matter anymore who had the most votes or who would have benefited the most from a correction of those errors.”

    Wrong-o, Jaybo. There are a bunch of sore losers that hang out on the comment threads here who just cannot get past the fact that Gregoire was legitimately elected. If you have gotten past that then my congratulations.

    “The real story is the “cover-up” of King County Elections ineptitude. After several reports highlighting their problems what does Executive Sims do?”

    Perhaps you wouldn’t mind expanding on just what you mean by “cover-up.” From what I can tell, the process of improving KC elections has been quite open.

    “Nothing. I wonder why.”

    Nope…this is factually incorrect.

  78. 95

    dj spews:

    Sven @ 92

    “I think that given the small margin of victory, and the number of votes in question, the odds were *much* closer to even then that.”

    No, they were not. Handcock’s results are part of the court record. I obtained a copy of the invalid vote database used in the trial and replicated Handcock’s analysis. My results were identical. Using the GOP-proposed methods, Gregorie’s victory is almost certain.

    The entire analysis is based on the (possibly faulty) assumption that all illegal votes are reduced proportionally to the voting preferences within the precinct. Bridges ultimately accepted 763 illegal felon votes from the Republicans and 637 illegal votes from the Democrats. It turns out that the 637 Dem felons were from precincts that were, on average, more pro-Rossi than the 763 precincts were pro-Gregoire. The lists, in essence, balanced out to almost no net change.

    “huh? Um, the entire point was that the errors were more then enough to tip it in both directsion. The entire issue revoves around uncertainty.”

    Under the assumptions of the proportional deduction method, Gregoire is nearly certainly the victor. I think what you are refering to is the problem refered to as the ecological falacy. Indeed, given that felons are not representative of the general population in their precinct, it is a stretch to assume they vote like other people in their precinct. The ecological falacy is one reason that Bridges rejected the proportional reduction method. Nevertheless, he said that IF he accepted the method (i.e. if the Supreme Court overturned his ruling on the Frye hearing) then the evidence shows that Gregoire prevailed with near certainty.

    “Sure, that’s selfish logic, but the dems insisted the opposite.”

    No…the Dems didn’t have to rely on that logic. Any reasonable proportional analysis is a clear victory for Gregoire. You may recall that she won the election contest, so the Dems only needed to assume that errors largely occured according to the voting proportions (i.e. 50:50).

    You may recall that the GOP initially came in with a large list of illegal votes. They were, apparently, counting on that list to win the case. It was only weeks later that the Dems showed up with a list nearly the same size of illegal votes in pro-Rossi precincts. The two lists, in essence, balance each other out.

    “The truth was that it could have gone either way, because I won’t try and make a case that only democrats would cheat.”

    I agree that the election could have gone either way because it was exceedingly close. But, at the election contest phase, the errors brought forth to the trial were not sufficient to statistically question the 127 vote victory (even if Bridges had accepted the GOP statistical methodology).

    “The issue was the uncertainty factor. and that will always exist, just as it does with the people who claim Bush was appointed in 2000.”

    I agree that both elections were exceedingly close. I have no problems with that. What I find amusing, however, is the inability of some folks to get past it. A year later, I find frequent suggestions that there was election fraud in WA 2004, when there has been no evidence whatsoever for election fraud.

  79. 96

    Sven spews:

    DJ,

    No, they were not.

    They were certainly not a 1000 to 1…..

    Using the GOP-proposed methods, Gregorie’s victory is almost certain.

    Right, but…..

    The entire analysis is based on the (possibly faulty) assumption that all illegal votes are reduced proportionally to the voting preferences within the precinct.

    Exactly. Thats where all bets on statistical chances become even, because the porportional voting scheme is flawed, so random chance becomes more meaningful, unless you accept either sides assertion that the other sides cheats more, which I do not accept.

    Given any evidence to the contrary, there is essentially a 1 in 3 chance of either candidate getting a vote, and a 2 in 3 chance against.

    Given her lead at present, that allows a slightly greater chance she would retain it, but hardly 1 in a 1000.

    Under the assumptions of the proportional deduction method, Gregoire is nearly certainly the victor.

    But we both just agreed it was more then likely faulty.

    I think what you are refering to is the problem refered to as the ecological falacy. Indeed, given that felons are not representative of the general population in their precinct, it is a stretch to assume they vote like other people in their precinct. The ecological falacy is one reason that Bridges rejected the proportional reduction method. Nevertheless, he said that IF he accepted the method (i.e. if the Supreme Court overturned his ruling on the Frye hearing) then the evidence shows that Gregoire prevailed with near certainty.

    Again there is no statistical certainty of anything. its all speculation.

    No…the Dems didn’t have to rely on that logic. Any reasonable proportional analysis is a clear victory for Gregoire.

    Which is again, by your words…..possibly faulty

    You may recall that she won the election contest, so the Dems only needed to assume that errors largely occured according to the voting proportions (i.e. 50:50).

    Well in truth they didnt need to assume anything, they had the win.

    But there remains a chance that some votes were to the thrid candidate, and as you have noted, no one knows which way people will go. In other words, all we have proven is that it could have gone either way which is to say we proved nothing.

    That’s why the republicans lost, because without violating constitutional rights to privacy, there is no acceptable or empirical way to prove anything. The statute has a very high burden level.

    And be clear, from an objective standpoint, I firmly believe the judge ruled according to logic and the law, and made the right decision. But also from an objective standpoint, because the challange was denied because of lack of proof, it leaves open any possible chance.

    So she won because she had won the contest, and the republicans could not prove the results were invalid, and again, with the evidence presented versus the law, that was the right ruling.

    It does not eliminate the chance though, and thats just something we have to get over and move beyond. Note I have never insinutated she didnt win, not called Fraudoire or any of the other names. I jsut said she is stuck with the cloud of uncertainty.

    You may recall that the GOP initially came in with a large list of illegal votes. They were, apparently, counting on that list to win the case. It was only weeks later that the Dems showed up with a list nearly the same size of illegal votes in pro-Rossi precincts. The two lists, in essence, balance each other out.

    Sure, but at the same time the actually added to the uncertainty. The more illegal votes you contaminate the results with, the more you add to the b urden that the election outcome is uncertain.

    I agree that the election could have gone either way because it was exceedingly close. But, at the election contest phase, the errors brought forth to the trial were not sufficient to statistically question the 127 vote victory (even if Bridges had accepted the GOP statistical methodology).

    And again the statistics are meaningless because there are too many factors. The republicans may have depended on the spector of uncertainty, but the law does not allow relief for that.

    I agree that both elections were exceedingly close. I have no problems with that. What I find amusing, however, is the inability of some folks to get past it. A year later, I find frequent suggestions that there was election fraud in WA 2004, when there has been no evidence whatsoever for election fraud.

    Even as there are people who still maintain a lot of unproven allegations about Florida. I don’t care either way.

    Note also, I have never made an allegation of fraud except on an individual basis, ie people who deliberately voted twice, if they did, have commited voter fraud.

    I simple protest the loopholes that allow it to happen so easily.

    My concerns are what has Washington done to make future elections credible and certain.

  80. 97

    dj spews:

    Sven,

    “They were certainly not a 1000 to 1…..”

    Ummm…the number was 1 in 10,000 chance of overturning the election.

    “Exactly. Thats where all bets on statistical chances become even, because the porportional voting scheme is flawed, so random chance becomes more meaningful, unless you accept either sides assertion that the other sides cheats more, which I do not accept.”

    The proportional method was the GOP’s suggested remedy, and was not suggested by the Dems. The GOP, in essence, claimed that that analysis was the best they could do for providing evidence that Rossi won. In essence, they asked that statistical evidence replace more direct forms of evidence (showing how each illegal voter voted).

    The statistical method requires the proportionality assumption; otherwise it simply cannot be used. (This is, in part, because there were no deterministic bounds for voter preference in any of the precincts with illegal voters. If there had been such bounds, Gary King’s method of ecological inference might have been used).

    That doesn’t mean it is “more likely that Rossi really won.” It only means that a statistical solution was improper without additional “ground truth”.

    Bridges required clear and convincing evidence for each illegal vote. The Dems showed that it could be done, and gained a few more votes for Gregoire.

    By pointing out that the assumptions were likely to be violated for the proportional analysis, it only strengthens Bridges’ position that the actual voting behavior of each illegal vote was necessary to overturn the election.

    “Given any evidence to the contrary, there is essentially a 1 in 3 chance of either candidate getting a vote, and a 2 in 3 chance against.”

    No, not at all. You have replaced one assumption (that illegal votes are randomly selected from the precinct) with another assumption (that illegal votes are uniformly distributed among the three candidates). You assumption is almost certainly wrong. Nobody believes that, say, felons were as likely to vote for Bennett as they were for Rossi. The “proportional” assumption is the only reasonable assumption with a secret ballot, but that assumes that felons be sampled randomly from their precinct.

    But, we can do much better then that just assuming felons are like their precinct. The 1 in 10,000 analysis (from Handcock) did include information on the sex of the illegal voter. He used exit poll information on sex preference for each candidate to refine the analysis. If we had enough information (race/ethnicity, age, income, employment) we would expect the proportional method to converge to the correct answer.

    “Given her lead at present, that allows a slightly greater chance she would retain it, but hardly 1 in a 1000.”

    In fact, without the sex adjustment (I believe this was Handcock’s “scenairo D”) the probability of a Rossi win was 0.0008, which is 1 “election” in 1250 “sample elections.”

    “But we both just agreed it was more then likely faulty.”

    Actually, the method isn’t faulty, several assumptions were faulty, precluding using a statistical method.

    “Again there is no statistical certainty of anything. its all speculation.”

    You are looking at it improperly.

    Statistical uncertainty is completely irrelevant if you cannot use a statistical method. Without using a statistical method, you must rely on direct evidence to show that Rossi was the true winner. There was no evidence offered to show that.

    “But there remains a chance that some votes were to the thrid candidate, and as you have noted, no one knows which way people will go. In other words, all we have proven is that it could have gone either way which is to say we proved nothing.”

    Nope…all we know is that there is no evidence that Rossi won. The law requires that you demonstrate with evidence (clear and convincing, in this case) that the wrong person was awarded the election. That evidence could have come in a number of ways. Statistical evidence is just one form of evidence. Statistical evidence carries statistical uncertainty. For this election contest there was absolutely no statistical uncertainty because the statistical methods were struck down. That means only direct (non-statistical) evidence was valid for overturning the election. The GOP provided noting in the way of evidence that Rossi really won.

    “That’s why the republicans lost, because without violating constitutional rights to privacy, there is no acceptable or empirical way to prove anything. The statute has a very high burden level.”

    But, the GOP was challenging the election. They were required to provide evidence to prove that Rossi won. If they could not provide that evidence, then they were wasting everyone’s time.

    Regarding direct evidence: As I pointed out back then, social scientists have produced excellent ways of doing surveys about illegal or embarrassing behavior. It is not impossible. But, the GOP would have had to get some social scientists involved much earlier in the process….

    “And be clear, from an objective standpoint, I firmly believe the judge ruled according to logic and the law, and made the right decision. But also from an objective standpoint, because the challange was denied because of lack of proof, it leaves open any possible chance.”

    Sure…but can’t that be said about every election? I mean, all that is necessary for your particular idea of “uncertainty” is for someone to suggest that the wrong person was awarded the election.

    “So she won because she had won the contest, and the republicans could not prove the results were invalid, and again, with the evidence presented versus the law, that was the right ruling.”

    Right…because speculating that the wrong person won is just not enough…

    “It does not eliminate the chance though, and thats just something we have to get over and move beyond. Note I have never insinutated she didnt win, not called Fraudoire or any of the other names. I jsut said she is stuck with the cloud of uncertainty.”

    But, it is not statistical uncertainty. And it is not uncertainty based on anything rational (like…say…evidence). It is just uncertainty based on the fact that the election was exceedingly close.

    “Sure, but at the same time the actually added to the uncertainty. The more illegal votes you contaminate the results with, the more you add to the b urden that the election outcome is uncertain.”

    Sure…it adds to the psychologically uncertainty. But, without evidence (statistical or direct) it is just wishful thinking on the part of those who are unhappy with the outcome.

    ”Note also, I have never made an allegation of fraud except on an individual basis, ie people who deliberately voted twice, if they did, have commited voter fraud.”

    …which is why I used the term “election fraud,” which is a systematic effort, rather than the efforts of random individuals. The problem with individual voter fraud is that they were as likely to hurt Gregoire’s totals as they were to hurt Rossi’s totals.

    ”I simple protest the loopholes that allow it to happen so easily.”

    Not sure what you mean…what loopholes? Are you implying that the election should have been overturned without actual evidence?

    ”My concerns are what has Washington done to make future elections credible and certain.”

    The fact remains that, numerically, Washington’s 2004 election was pretty clean (i.e. low error rate) compared to other similar-sized elections that have been scrutinized to the same degree. The real “problem” was the closeness of the outcome, not anything extraordinary about how the State or any county conducted the election.

  81. 98

    Sven spews:

    DJ,

    Ummm…the number was 1 in 10,000 chance of overturning the election.

    I’d like to see the math on how that was derived….Maybe off line sometime.

    The proportional method was the GOP’s suggested remedy, and was not suggested by the Dems. The GOP, in essence, claimed that that analysis was the best they could do for providing evidence that Rossi won. In essence, they asked that statistical evidence replace more direct forms of evidence (showing how each illegal voter voted).

    yes, but that is not in dispute. You suggested earlier that the statistical proportoining model is flawed.

    What I am saying is that if proportional analysis cannot determine it, in the absence of empirical vote per vote analysis all we are left with is chance.

    The statistical method requires the proportionality assumption; otherwise it simply cannot be used. (This is, in part, because there were no deterministic bounds for voter preference in any of the precincts with illegal voters. If there had been such bounds, Gary King’s method of ecological inference might have been used).

    Again, I dont argue any validity of the statistical proportion. I think it is assumptive and flawed.

    That doesn’t mean it is “more likely that Rossi really won.” It only means that a statistical solution was improper without additional “ground truth”.

    Well the problem is that any estimative method is assumptive at best and cannot meet any empirical criteria because there is too large of a random factor. And again, I am not suggesting it was likely Rossi won. I just said it was uncertain.

    Bridges required clear and convincing evidence for each illegal vote. The Dems showed that it could be done, and gained a few more votes for Gregoire.

    Actually I took issue with that anyway, as there is no way to validate said proof, except by testimony of the voter, and there is no way to validate or impeach the veracity of that testimony without violating ballot secrecy by tieing the person directly to their actual physical ballot, which violates the state constitution. It becomes a self fullfilling truth, without any reasonable means to assure it is accurate. I dont think any votes should have been credited to anyone.

    By pointing out that the assumptions were likely to be violated for the proportional analysis, it only strengthens Bridges’ position that the actual voting behavior of each illegal vote was necessary to overturn the election.

    No arguement, plus that is in keeping with the proof statute of the Code.

    No, not at all. You have replaced one assumption (that illegal votes are randomly selected from the precinct)….

    But aren’t they? Even if you select a class of people (felons), there is still no reasonable empirical method to predict their content.

    … with another assumption (that illegal votes are uniformly distributed among the three candidates). You assumption is almost certainly wrong.

    But see in order to suggest that you are saying there is a probable likelihood that there is *some* validity to proportional predictions. I am not suggesting that at all. I am suggesting that any level of prediction is faulty because human whim and choice is not sufficiently predictable. People vote for too many reasons to be accurate. You had that demonstrated in precincts that went heavily for Kerry, but conversely favored Rossi, or Favored Gregoire at a lower rate. So any predictive demographics are uncertain because you cannot take all the factors into account.

    You can’t have it both ways. If the prportional method is not consistently demonstratable, then is it really a valid theory to determine voter intention? How can you then use it to invalidate the possibility that some of those illegal votes went to Bennett? How can you elimnate all the random emotional factors?

    The random factors and inconsistency leave the possiblity open.

    Nobody believes that, say, felons were as likely to vote for Bennett as they were for Rossi. The “proportional” assumption is the only reasonable assumption with a secret ballot, but that assumes that felons be sampled randomly from their precinct.

    Well, as i said, I dont think proportional analysis is sufficent to prove anything.

    In fact, without the sex adjustment (I believe this was Handcock’s “scenairo D”) the probability of a Rossi win was 0.0008, which is 1 “election” in 1250 “sample elections.”

    So you are saying then, that you accept the argument for proportional analysis, but that it would not have mattered.

    Thats fine. I don’t accept that proportional analysis can suffieciently be tested enough to prove its accuracy, and at best it is still just a guess.

    Either way I don’t think it should be basis to make any changes to an election.

    Statistical uncertainty is completely irrelevant if you cannot use a statistical method. Without using a statistical method, you must rely on direct evidence to show that Rossi was the true winner. There was no evidence offered to show that.

    Good thing I am not arguing that.

    All I have said thus far is that in my assessment, there is an element of uncertainty, and we have to live with it and move on.

    Nope…all we know is that there is no evidence that Rossi won.

    Sure. But there is no way to prove he might not have either. Cannot prove a negative and all that. What the court did is rule that you cannot overturn an election without evidence and they denied it, and rightly so.

    “That’s why the republicans lost, because without violating constitutional rights to privacy, there is no acceptable or empirical way to prove anything. The statute has a very high burden level.”

    But, the GOP was challenging the election. They were required to provide evidence to prove that Rossi won. If they could not provide that evidence, then they were wasting everyone’s time.

    I never said they had a case. I dont think the statuatory burden of proof is reasonably obtainable, so I do think it was somewhat futile. It was however Dino’s legal right to try. He may have been gambling on a judge who was willing to step out a bit, as judges often do. Who knows.

    Regarding direct evidence: As I pointed out back then, social scientists have produced excellent ways of doing surveys about illegal or embarrassing behavior. It is not impossible. But, the GOP would have had to get some social scientists involved much earlier in the process….

    perhaps, but i still think it would have been insufficient to meet the Court’s burden of proof.

    “And be clear, from an objective standpoint, I firmly believe the judge ruled according to logic and the law, and made the right decision. But also from an objective standpoint, because the challange was denied because of lack of proof, it leaves open any possible chance.”

    Sure…but can’t that be said about every election? I mean, all that is necessary for your particular idea of “uncertainty” is for someone to suggest that the wrong person was awarded the election.

    Well in this case, the narrowness makes the chance of a faulty result slightly higher when you can prove there was a sufficient amount of illegal votes to change the outcome. In other words, the odds are better, even if it is not a certainty.

    “It does not eliminate the chance though, and thats just something we have to get over and move beyond. Note I have never insinutated she didnt win, not called Fraudoire or any of the other names. I jsut said she is stuck with the cloud of uncertainty.”

    But, it is not statistical uncertainty. And it is not uncertainty based on anything rational (like…say…evidence). It is just uncertainty based on the fact that the election was exceedingly close.

    Maybe I am not being clear. It is not a *statistical* uncertainty. It is a factual one. When the vote difference is 129, and there are more then 12 times that many illegal votes, then you have an element of uncertainty that cannot be denied.

    “Sure, but at the same time the actually added to the uncertainty. The more illegal votes you contaminate the results with, the more you add to the b urden that the election outcome is uncertain.”

    Sure…it adds to the psychologically uncertainty. But, without evidence (statistical or direct) it is just wishful thinking on the part of those who are unhappy with the outcome.

    Of course. Its a matter of perception. But that perception is something Gregoire has to contend with, and the polls indicate it is still relevent to a lot of people. Perceptions matter.

    All she can do is the best job she can and hope that overrides the uncertainty and transforms it into vindication. If she tanks then people will use that uncertainty to just ify tossing her out, and her opponants will use it to say “fix what was broken”. In fact I fully expect them to make that claim regardless, so she has a high standard of perception she has to overcome to be reelected. I don’t envy her at all.

    ”I simple protest the loopholes that allow it to happen so easily.”

    Not sure what you mean…what loopholes? Are you implying that the election should have been overturned without actual evidence?

    No, I mean the systematic flaws that allow a person to commit voter fraud with a reasonable chance to avoid prosecution. They exist in the statute so that is not a KCRE issue. What makes it a KCRE issue is when the policies of KCRE allow those looholes more safety. As an example is mail box addresses that King County accepts by default whereas in Spokane they search actively to screen them out. (see the Seattle PI)

    Much of that has been fixed. Some has not.

    The fact remains that, numerically, Washington’s 2004 election was pretty clean (i.e. low error rate) compared to other similar-sized elections that have been scrutinized to the same degree. The real “problem” was the closeness of the outcome, not anything extraordinary about how the State or any county conducted the election.

    But having seen the flaws, we have a moral obligation to fix them. We as people have a right to a fair and impartial election process.

    And even if we did just as good as everyone else, that may just mean their systems are just as faulty.

    Being just as good as everyone else is pointless is everyone else sucks.

    :)

    Thanks for the thought provoking discussion.

  82. 99

    Mark1 spews:

    Ahhh, poor Goldy. You’re just pissed that the lies and fuck ups that allowed the illegitimate Queen Crissy in the Governor’s mansion are now being exposed. Until Dean Logan is out on his ass in the unemployment line, the main source of all the mistakes and incompetence is still allowed to flounder. I say throw all those assholes to the wolves and start fresh; maybe this time a candidate that was actually voted in by the people will take office-imagine that!

  83. 100

    Daddy Love spews:

    Sven and mark1 -
    You both seem to labor under a misconception regarding uncertainty.

    Here it is:
    There is “uncertainty” regarding whether, by using a different standard or by counting another time using a different method, the vote totals in 2004 would have been different.

    There is NO uncertainty about who won the election. Cavassing proceeded, and votes were counted, and recounted, all following the laws of Washington state to the letter. The winner was clear and legitimate. (Note to Mark1: “legitimate” means “accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements,” not “the outcome you prefer”). All anomalies and kown illegalities were accounted for as required by law. The Republicans went even further and petitioned a court to overturn the election result, which is their legal right. They made their case, in an Eatern Wahington county with a Republican-appointed judge. They lost, again “accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements.” No uncertainty about the result whatsoever.