The Adventures of Huckleberry Snark



  1. 1

    bmvaughn spews:

    Goldy, missed you at Michael Medved’s talk this evening. It was quite good! Or is he a prick too?

  2. 2

    Erik spews:

    but the “discrepancy” is not evidence that there were more ballots than voters. At the very worst, it represents the lack of evidence to the contrary.

    This is a wacky issue that keeps being brought up that has no substantive basis to effect the election contest. One can only hyperventilate about the issue UNTIL they speak to their auditor, any of the 39 auditors, it doesn’t matter. There are at least a half dozens reasons why the numbers can’t match in the first place.

    Secondly, the number has never been used to try to establish how many, if any, suspect votes their are. No county auditor in any county in the history of the state has tried to use this figure
    in this manner.

    I suppose that the Department of Transportation will get a rough idea of how many cars travel on a road by putting down one of the cables for cars to run over, however, the devices were never meant to produce a precise count.

    Nor does the state constitution, state law or case law suggest that these numbers are a criteria for overturning an election.

    Snark is demanding that King County prove a negative, and while that kind of (il)logic may sell on (un)Sound Politics, it’s not going to find any buyers in a court of law.

    True. Buts it’s worse. Rossi’s legal team doesn’t even believe it. They are not going to bring it up at trial because it doesn’t prove anything and will only irratate the judge.

    It’s the same farce as spending thousands in ads to try to convince people that there should be a re-vote when the knew it couldn’t be done in the first place. Then, when the court denies it, they yell outrage as their straw man falls.

    However, what else is going to keep the orange group perpetually “outraged”?

  3. 3

    Don spews:

    Actually it was “Tom Sawyer.” Tom was put to work whitewashing the fence by his aunt. Along come a couple of other kids and Tom convinces them that whitewashing the fence is fun. Pretty soon the other kids are whitewashing the fence while Tom sneaks off to have some real fun.

    Poring over voter lists is not my idea of fun. For that matter, running a blog site is not my idea of fun, either. I’d rather go fishing. But I wonder, is the Shark having “fun” yet? Good work, Goldy … I mean Tom.

  4. 4

    jpgee spews:

    And what will the almight ‘Unsound One’ do when the case is dropped and he has to wait 3.75 more years? Probably continue twisting the truth, attacking anyone that does not agree with his ‘absolute vision’ and start a new website with our wonderful chuckie ‘wilson’! Than would be a classic, all talk and virtually nothing solid to back it up. Hey they can even get Mr. Cynicalidiot to be their Patron Saint!

  5. 5

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Erik @ 2–
    “No County Auditor in any County in the State has tried to use this number in this manner.” (Regarding reconciling votes & voters).

    Erik, your statement is false. Jefferson County always tries to reconcile votes & is a fundamental step before certification. We have a list of 18,769 voters names plus there are 3 ACP (Address Confidentiality Program) voters ==18,772 voters. There are 18,772 votes counted. Reconciles 100%.
    Douglas County is off by a couple. Other County’s are very, very close to.
    Logan, Huennekens & Sims have had months to develop a list of voters that matches the total number of votes. They have admitted they have tried hard but it cannot be done. IMPOSSIBLE!
    Then the question is WHY?
    One very viable reason is BALLOTBOX STUFFING.
    Sims/Logan have lost credibility by trying to explain it away by saying the difference is ACP’s, Federal Write-ins and voters who failed to sign the poll book.
    1) The 1800 figure is NET of ACP’s and Federal Write-ins.
    2) Failure to sign poll book MUST have been reconciled by poll workers when they turned in BALLOTBOX Election Night. They account for EVERY ballot issued and received. They must. They sign a certification in the back of each poll book. Discrepancies must be noted.

    Logan failed because either he tried to hide these discrepancies or he failed in his duty to review each poll book and find discrepancies PRECINDT-BY-PRECINDT>

    It really sounds foolish for the Dems to repeatedly say that asking KingCo to provide a list of voters that matches the total of ballots counted is UNREASONABLE, don’t you think Erik??
    And if reconciling is so unreasonable, why is it now being proposed as a requirement?
    Also, many County’s do try to reconcile. Logan is supposedly the State’s Election wizard. If others focus on this, why can’t Logan? He wants us to believe all his upfront “controls” are 100% failproof. Unbelievable, considering his voter registration database was a mess.
    Erik…keep telling folks reconciling votes & voters is not necessary and unreasonable but I’ll bet you lose more people than you can with that schtick.
    Let’s agree to strongly disagree.

  6. 6

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    jpgee-@ 4–
    “Nothing to back it up”
    Read @5 DOOFUS.
    No matter what I say, hacks like jpgee will discredit.
    jpgee has never, ever offered one substantive thing.
    He is clearly a Democratic Party Hack who’s sole purpose is to attack all comments the Dems don’t approve of. I’m sure most of you can see that though…if you want to.

    Let the depositions begin!
    The R’s must put up or shut up.
    I can guarantee you there will be lots of putting up!!
    If the Dems continue to address every example of error or neglect like they have the lack of reconciliation in KingCo…they will find themselves in 2nd place in 2 years.

  7. 7

    jim spews:

    First, thanks for keeping all voices encouraged here (unlike SP which recently did a survey on how to supress dissenting views).

    Second, I didn’t hear Medved last night but I did hear him discuss the election on the radio. As with most talk show hosts (of all stripes), he is a master at using SELECTIVE information to prove a point. He fastidiously ignores data that doesn’t support his assertions.

    Having listened to him over 100 times (he is very entertaning), I can say that he is a master at selective fact use. His dittoheads relish this technique and cast him such.

    Like the Shark, Medved is very smart. Also like the Shark, Medved is intolerant of well-argued views that include data he skirts. He often resorts to name calling (as does Shark).

    The bottom line is Shark and Medved (and Savage and Rush and all the others) don’t really want to find “the truth” — they want to prove their biased view is correct. It’s like lawyers who argue cases in a court…it’s not about truth and justics…it’s about winning the case. Same here…the case of opinion.

    So…use not Shark nor Medved (nor Horse) for all your facts. Be a smart consumer of information. And remember, those who do webblogs and run talk shows don’t do them for truth and justice…they do them to further a particular view.

    Thankfully, those on this side tend to appreciate dissenting views while Shark does his best to limit them or render them illegitimate (e.g “troll”, “Moonbat”) without discussing the issues.

  8. 8

    Bob spews:

    According to Ron Sims, “we had an accuracy rate that any bank would envy.”

    If King County Executive Sims believes the mess that accured is an appropriate banking standard, it is no wonder that municipal and state governments finances are in such bad shape.

    I understand that there will be a limited number of mistakes as this is a human run process. However, the numbers in this election far exceeded what can be tolerated. Yes, the close election, caused us to look closely, but election problems have been festering for a long time.

    Remember that back in 2002/3, the King County Council and the King County executive through up their hands and had open war over sloppy election practices. Some of their words were that voters were loosing confidence in the election process. That is why they brought in D. Logan to solve the problems and set up a Citizens Elections Oversight Committee. That committee warned of likely problems with provisional ballots in this election.

    The King County elections practices have historically demonstrated problems with sending out ballots late, not sending the right ballot to the right person, permanently altering voters ballot marks counter to state requirements, and having people on the voter roles who should not be allowed to vote.

    King County elected officials in the past, when all of these stories were published, expressed shock and said they would fix things. THEY DIDN’T GET THEM FIXED IN THE PAST.

    Now Ron Sims says, he we did a great job, but not good enough we will fix things and make it better.

    WHAT IS DIFFERENT NOW? What is going to finally motivate King County to actually make changes, regarding things that King County officials had alledged they have already fixed?

    Remember most of these problems are not new problems and most of them have been “fixed” at least if we believe past political statements of King County offiicals.


  9. 9

    Goldy spews:

    Don @ 3

    See, I told you I didn’t remember the book. (That’s the problem with forcing kids to read classics when they’re young. On a similar note, I’m in the process of re-reading Great Expectations, and am really enjoying it.)

    But I wonder, is the Shark having “fun” yet?

    I’m sure he is… in the way that angry people experience fun.

  10. 10

    swatter spews:

    Where have Carla and Torrid Joe been?

    You guys can argue between 1200 and 3700, but in either case, it is enough to call the third count a tie. So, at a tie, we go back to the second.

    I still want to hear Carla and Torrid Joe’s response to the Shrark’s own rebuttal with quotes from Sims and the Incompetent One.

  11. 11

    Goldy spews:

    Swatter @ 10

    You guys can argue between 1200 and 3700, but in either case, it is enough to call the third count a tie. So, at a tie, we go back to the second.

    Excuse me? Setting aside for a moment the FACT that a discrepancy between these two unrelated lists means absolutely nothing, are you actually suggesting that the solution is to use the results of the machine recount?

    That’s gotta be the most dumb-ass logic I’ve seen regarding this election (and I’ve seen an awful lot of dumb-ass logic.) So please explain… if this so-called “discrepancy” calls into question the accuracy of the hand recount… how does it not call into question the accuracy of the machine recount, or the first preliminary count?

  12. 12

    chew2 spews:


    Since there is a lot of confusion about the problem of the votes not matching the voting lists, I was disappointed that Logan’s Report didn’t address that in much more detail either in the report or in an appendix. He made certain claims, which were plausible but conclusory, and I wanted to see the evidence for this. This might not have been appropriate for the report, but should have beeen included in supporting documents. Those of us who are not familar with the voting and counting process just can’t evaluate the competing claims.

    Of course as a legal matter, the challengers have the burden of proving in court that these so called “over votes” were illegal or fraudulent votes and/or actually changed the outcome of the election. They and their blogger supporters haven’t provided any evidence to carry that burden.

  13. 13

    dpk spews:

    This R’s demand that the vote be 100% accurate just like the banking system is crazy.

    Imagine a banking system where:

    1) The citizens must mark each bill to determine the denomination, and if they mess up and don’t mark it properly, the banking system has to try to determine what they heck the intended.

    2) You can only deposit money at your local branch, but any branch must accept a deposit and they get that deposit to the right breach and try credit that deposit as having occurred at a different branch that it was actually made.

    3) Felons can’t make deposits and if a felon does make a deposit that is an illegal deposit , but there is no statewide data base of felons to check against.

    4) All of the teller windows are manned by volunteers who only do their job for one day – maybe two or three times a year.

    Oh . . . yeah – and even though in the banking system everything is fixed, conducted by trained professionals and doesn’t have these variables, it still isn’t 100% accurate.

    Let me tell you a story – my dear departed mother had an odd habit of using her bank deposit slips as a substitute for business cards if she ran out of cards at a trade show (not the best idea, but she was in her 70’s and 80’s when she did this). One time, out of the blue, she got a check for over a thousand dollars from some bank in another state and with that check was a notice that her account had been closed. She never had an account at that bank and had never done business in that state.

    Turns out – someone she had given a bank deposit slip to, had inadvertently used it at a bank in a different state, and neither the bank not the depositor noticed. So, the bank had a deposit from a person for and account but not record of that person and no matching account. So the bank opened an account in my mother’s name, deposited the check, and then closed the account and sent that check and the notice of closing the account to my mother.

    And at the end of the day – that bank reconciled its deposits to its account holders with 100% accuracy. Of course, some poor schmuck was out over a thousand bucks, but WTF, it was reconciled with complete accuracy (as far as the banking system was concerned)!

  14. 14

    swatter spews:

    I have noticed that you, Goldy, are in reactive mode on this. I previously like your callout to Carla and Torrid Joe. At least there was fresh info and Carla actually spent a lot of time researching her point from her perspective. You wondered what the shark would say in rebuttal and he did by quoting several newspaper quotes.

    I am looking for a rebut of the rebuttal, if you will.

    This debating we are doing is good, but like you said, that judge in Chelan is the judge. I got the impression that the Republicans had quite a hurdle to overcome, but there was enough info to at least proceed to hear the particulars.

    And yes, I believe the hand recount was more accurate. There was nothing more frustrating than when King County brought in Professor Trelawney from the Hogwart’s class of Divinity to “divine” voter intent. And it was frustrating to hear accounts of how sloppy the hand recounts were handled.

    I am also one to believe that if the shoe don’t fit, then don’t make it fit. In other words, if you can’t fill out the blasted form right, then your vote doesn’t count.

    But my above opinion goes back to the 1976 presidential race when I changed residences and signed up at one of these voter registratin tables in the U District. The change never was processed, so when I went to my new polling place, they told me I had to go back across the bridge to my old place.

    Today, I believe the voting process is too lenient. So, there you go. Just some of my background.

    Swat!! Back at ya!!

  15. 15

    Mark spews:

    dpk @ 13

    I have a close relative who works in IT for a major bank. If they were unable to account for 2 out of every 1,000 transactions — be they teller or ATM — the Fed would shut them down.

  16. 16

    dpk spews:

    Mark @ 15 – the bank in the example I offered @ 13 accounted for all its transactions. The banks books were 100% reconciled at the end of the – every deposit had an account and all deposits went into those accounts. Of course it was wrong – but it was accounted for (and I’ll bet this idea wasn’t even thought up by a 77 year old volunteer who only does the job for one day twice a year).

  17. 17

    jim spews:

    Mark @ 15

    I believe that if your relative’s assertion were correct, this would mean virtually every financial institution out there would be shut down. Garbage in; garbage out. We’ve all experienced bank errors — at least everyone I know.

  18. 18


    Goldy, I actually think Sims went back and changed his statement, because I can swear it said 99.98% when I looked at it yesterday morning. I don’t cut Sims any slack for that at all, because he’s been saying it for a while, and Stefan is exactly right–it’s really 99.8%.

    And I also have to agree that it was really stupid for Sims to say a bank would envy it, even if Stefan made his own hay out of the reaction (interesting how the Seattle reporters are treating Stefan in stories, I think). A bank would NOT envy that error rate, but elections offices are not banks. And you give a bank a brand new computer system, and flood it with record numbers of transactions, and I guarantee they’re going to fuck some things up, too.

    I confess I don’t know what specific rebuttals swatter is looking for. Why don’t you ask a question, and I’ll try to answer it? As far as voter intent goes, that’s state law–if you can determine how they wanted to vote, it should count. They were all reviewed by a panel of three, and the large majority were unanimous decisions. Apparently the “permanent obscurance” angle isn’t panning out either; according to Logan’s report they made duplicates of the ballots to prevent obscuring original marks.

    The SP types are using Logan’s list of reasons for discrepancy as if he claimed they were still in the final count. That’s entirely misleading; they are simply reading from his report, that explains the sources of discrepancies as a generality.

  19. 19


    Mark @ 15

    Norm mentioned the following article at SP yesterday and since the info contradicted a lot of arguments people were making, unsurprisingly it received no comment:

    It would seem that our view of the banking world is hardly an accurate one if we believe mistakes don’t happen there.

    I’d love Goldy to give this info more light.

  20. 20


    Daniel @ 19

    Well, sheeeit. I stand entirely corrected. Right there in black and white it sits: .2% error rate. The killer is that it’s DOWN from double that 3 years ago.

    Goldy, if you take a pass on blogging this one, let me know and I’ll grab it. That’s too perfect.

  21. 21

    Goldy spews:

    Just a comment about the banking analogy… if we’re going to compare error rates, then we need to agree on what an error is. The R’s want to include “The Discrepancy”… which doesn’t actually prove anything, since the two lists come from different processes and are not intended to reconcile. But they also include illegal votes and other alleged fraud.

    Now my guess is that the banking industry does a damn fine job reconciling their books… eventually. (Though I once deposited a $10,000 check in an ATM, and had it disappear. I had the receipt, but the bank had absolutely no record of the deposit. Amazing but true.) But there is an awful lot of fraud that goes on in the banking industry… hence the fact that identity theft is now the single largest category of fraud in the US.

    Credit Cards in particular are susceptible. The industry won’t publish fraud rates, but estimates I’ve seen tend to range from .06% to .20% of all dollars charged. (Some estimate it’s as high as 1%!) And that’s just the fraud itself, not the cost of dealing with it.

    So let’s be fair… if you’re looking at the banking system as a whole compared to our election system as a whole… the two are quite comparable.

  22. 22

    Goldy spews:

    DanielK @19

    I just saw your comment after I posted mine.

    TorridJoe @20

    Well, I say we all three blog on it… it has greater impact when people see it in multiple places.

  23. 23

    Goldy spews:

    Swatter @14

    I don’t particularly like being “in defensive mode” Swatter, but that’s the reality of this debate. Christine Gregoire is governor. The Snarks of this world are trying to undermine her legitimacy; I’m trying to defend it. My evidence that she is governor is that she is governor. It is up to the Snarks to find evidence to set aside the election, and then I have the opportunity to refute it, if I so choose.

    And trust me… I’d rather be talking about tax restructuring, but I doubt you all would find it so interesting.

    As to rebutting Snark’s rebuttal of Carla and Joe… he didn’t really rebut Carla and Joe, so there’s nothing to for me to rebut. Stefan’s idea of refuting the other side is to say they’re bad at math… nyah-nyah.

  24. 25

    Mark spews:

    I specifically said “unable to account for.” If an error is brought to a bank’s attention, they must correct it (or show why it is correct in the first place). The pre-reconciliation number for the KingCo discrepancy is MUCH larger than .2% — as evidenced by the fact that they adjusted numbers downward as they figured things out. The difference is KingCo Elections simply makes the blanket excuse that they don’t have to when they’ve run out of reasons why the numbers don’t match.

    It makes me wonder… If the numbers weren’t supposed to reconcile, why would they know what the discrepancy was in past years? I doubt they do it for giggles. Why would the SoS issue a directive saying that all numbers must be accounted for?

    Goldy @ 21: Did you get your $10,000? (I’m betting you did.) Or did the bank just say that your receipt isn’t expected to reconcile with their records?

    dpk @ 13/16: Unless the $1,000 guy was a zillionaire and didn’t care, I’m betting they went after their bank and got their money.

  25. 26


    mark @ 25

    if the numbers were supposed to reconcile on penalty of…something, why do they have discrepancies every year since 2000–and why was that never described as a violation before?

    Your point about whittling down the discrepancies might be valid, but you’re pre-suspecting that they are errors, rather than preliminary estimates based on registration rolls that are not fully updated. You’re equating a discrepancy before attempted reconciliation (ie, I have more ballots than voters, but I don’t yet have a full list of voters), with actual errors of comission or omission (ie, I was supposed to enter $100 for the check amount, but I entered $10).

  26. 27

    jcricket spews:

    Now my guess is that the banking industry does a damn fine job reconciling their books… eventually.

    Depends on what you mean by reconciling their books. Sometimes they have to write off debts as uncollectable. That helps them reconcile the books, but doesn’t mean they get the money back.

    What the banking system has in its favor is several layers of “audit-ability”. An individual can audit their own statements against their receipts and checks and so-forth. A bank has to face external auditors periodically. They also have internal audit controls.

    But all those “audit points” do is highlight when there are problems, they don’t eliminate the possibility of those problems. And in some cases, the bank simply has to acknowledge the error (or fraud) and move on.

  27. 28

    jcricket spews:

    And the bank is under no obligation to make your checkbook balance with their bank statements.

  28. 29

    Adriel spews:

    I’d laugh too if somebody said something that any 8 year old knew was blatantly RETARDED! he should have guessed he’d get laughed at. I’d say it was ol’ Sims fault more than any Republicans, he just looked like the idiot everyone knew he had the potential to become.
    Not saying this to slam any Democrats, most of you are much smarter than this guy (see I do give credit where it is due.)

  29. 31

    middleoftheroader spews:

    Goldy @ 21

    ” if we’re going to compare error rates, then we need to agree on what an error is. The R’s want to include “The Discrepancy”… which doesn’t actually prove anything, since the two lists come from different processes and are not intended to reconcile. But they also include illegal votes and other alleged fraud.”

    While I agree that there might be two different lists, “discrepancy” and “error rate,” King County (or any other county for that matter) has not detailed precisely where the errors come from. There is no indication whether the “discrepancy” comes from a handful of precincts, or as torridjoe and carla suggest are county-wide. The “error rate,” is similarly not broken down and, if it is just misplaced ballots, mistakes in provisional ballots, and other miscellaneous errors, why was this aggregate number left out of the Election Report.

    I will agree that the election, in general ran smoothly, it irks me that several posters are happy with a .2% error rate. The goal, in any election, should be no errors, and after reading the report, I am not confident that the county will be much better the next time.

  30. 32


    Adriel @ 29

    If Sims is to be accused of anything at yesterday’s press conference it is probably having a poor feel for how the manner in which he made his arguments came across.

    I think we’d all agree our first disposition would be to expect the banking analogy to be a little extreme – that is until we look into it deep and discover that, lo and behold, it isn’t that bad an analogy after all. Problem is perception is 99% of reality, and other analogies could have been better.

    As for the 99.98% vs. 99.8% mistake, that was unfortunate, but hey, at least they didn’t stubbornly leave that uncorrected – or would you have preferred they did?

    Now what I find a very poor analogy is the one County Councilwoman Jane Hague made, when she said,

    “There are two things that should be managed to zero defects. One is nuclear technology; the other is elections”

    Comparing nuclear technology and elections is laughable. Elections are not a matter of life and death, and one does not expect or require 100% accuracy. Again, before anyone jumps on me for saying that, I am not suggesting we shouldn’t strive for 100% accuracy, of course we should try, but the reality is we will likely never get there.

  31. 33

    Goldy spews:

    Mark @25

    Did you get your $10,000? (I’m betting you did.) Or did the bank just say that your receipt isn’t expected to reconcile with their records?

    The check was never cashed, and the bank never admitted anything. I had the check issuer stop payment on the check and reissue another one. After much complaining, the bank did waive $20 in unrelated fees as reimbursement for the cost of stopping the check.

  32. 35

    Don spews:

    Goldy @ 9

    I’ve never met him. Is he one of those guys who turns beet red in the face with round little purple veins protruding like dandelion roots if he hears a contradictory word?

  33. 36

    Don spews:

    chew2 @ 12

    “Overvotes” are ballots marked for more than one candidate that aren’t counted because it’s impossible to determine who the voter intended to vote for.

  34. 37

    swatter spews:

    You guys and your bank analogies- and that goes for the shark.

    I have previously mentioned and will expand my surprise that so few problems occurred. I didn’t need my math background to say that. But there were enough to invalidate the election.

    Someone mentioned yesterday that if there were a revote Gregoire would lose 60-40. Since the election was tied and we need a revote, why has she lost so much credibility?

    Hey you guys, keep up the number crunching. I am cubicle bound and spend too much time as it is on these blogs. But the bank analogy just means nothing for me.

  35. 38

    Don spews:

    Since we’re discussing banks, I’ve had the experience of:

    1. Having personal checks I forgot to sign sail right through the banking system, no problem;

    2. Having personal checks my wife signed my name to, sail right through the banking system, no problem;

    3. Depositing a check in a night slot that the bank never found, even when they remodeled the bank and tore that wall down;

    4. Getting back more money from an ATM machine than I requested and the receipt said I got;

    5. Getting a run-around, then being treated like a trouble maker, and finally being told to let sleeping dogs lie the next time it happens, when I tried to give the excess money in #4 above back to the bank.

    Makes our election system look good by comparison.

  36. 39

    Goldy spews:

    Don @35

    I’ve only met Sharkansky once, and he struck me as fairly normal and reasonable… if wrong. This was before the election, and before either one of our blogs really took off. I tried to keep up an informal email correspondence with him… in fact, I even proposed that it might be fun for us to blog together on a site.

    Thus I was pretty surprised when he started refuting me by going personal. (And I know it’s childish, but he did start it.)

    I am “the horse’s ass initiative guy” after all, and so I’m all for name-calling when appropriate. It doesn’t bother me when people call me names… just expect to get the same in return.

  37. 40

    D Huygens spews:

    “why has she (Gregoire) lost so much credibility?”

    Oh I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with the 24/7 screeching on certain radio stations and the BIAW advertising campaign to undermine her.

    Repitition, repitition, repitition.

    Repitition can turn a purple heart veteran into a guy who shoots people in the back. It can turn a quiet Senator from the midwest into “El Diablo”. It can warp reality to suit its needs. Happens all the time.

  38. 41

    Don spews:

    Goldy @ 39

    Hmmm, I figured he’d be one of those type-A guys whose short life spans keep us sane and Social Security actuarially sound.

  39. 42

    jcricket spews:

    4. Getting back more money from an ATM machine than I requested and the receipt said I got;

    5. Getting a run-around, then being treated like a trouble maker, and finally being told to let sleeping dogs lie the next time it happens, when I tried to give the excess money in #4 above back to the bank.

    You definitely did the right thing. Most ATMS actually have a mechanical counting mechanism that measures the number of bills that leave, and even if your receipt doesn’t show it, you can sometimes end up charged for the additional money (you did receive it after all). That “mechanism” is hidden inside the machine, but it is there as a safeguard to prevent (or at least take note of) machines spitting out more money than requested.

  40. 43


    torridjoe @ 34

    I’ve also posted additional commentary on this at my site at On The Road To 2008, with links here and to Also Also. Perhaps you’d care to reciprocate?

  41. 44

    Adriel spews:

    D Huygens-

    Sounds like local media to me, ommit important details and twist a story until it becomes the way they want, they are more sneaky about it though. I hear it all the time from people that have moved from Arizona, Texas, California, etc. that the media here has a huge Liberal bias. I agree it would be nice to get the facts and just the facts, instead of slanting stories the way they think you should hear them, but we both know that will never change.

  42. 45


    DK @43

    Happy to oblige, Daniel. You’re linked. Good additional info, thanks.

    Anyone else have the feeling we’re finally getting a little pushback on this election story?

  43. 47

    jcricket spews:

    Nope, the bank charged my account what the receipt showed, not what I got.

    I understood that – I’m just saying it’s turned out differently for other people I know (the bank charged them for what they got, not what the receipt showed), so you did the right thing in bringing it to their attention. CYA and all that.

    I recently realized that I pay for so much electronically or by credit card I can go nearly two months without hitting an ATM. I nostalgicly remember “pay day” when you actually rushed to the bank to deposit your check (and got cash back).

  44. 48

    swatter spews:

    So then, the Gregoire’s 40% is only a temporary thing and if a new election were done, she would have time to recoup? I would just be afraid there would be another tie vote (i.e. within the margin of error).

    Goldy, I wish you would do something about what is going on in Olympia. I liked it when you skipped the election stuff and reported on the inauguration bash.

    What about and where are all these bills going now that they were rushed out of committee? And getting rid of corporate welfare? I am all for that, except there is always ‘except’. Boeing and Weyerhaeuser come to my mind immediately. We just gave Boeing a huge break to stay in town.

    And then there was a maneuver to put several thousand of kids on health insurance when they supposedly didn’t have any. These are good discussion items.

    When Gregoire was in Ecology she doubled staff and when the legislature wouldn’t give her any more money, she threw a fit and supposedly “reallocated FTEs” away from the permit writers. That maneuver was supposed to prove she needed more money and therefore she deserved more.

  45. 49

    Goldy spews:

    Swatter, I plan to get back to Olympia. (In fact, I’ll post something on problem gambling funding this evening.)

    But understand that it is much less time consuming to cover politics than it is to cover policy, and I just can’t commit my whole day to blogging.

  46. 51

    TJB spews:

    The bank analogy is a terrible one. Banks would never say they envey a .2% error rate. It may be reality but certainly not what they envey. Their goal is to be error free. Apparently Ron Sims doesn’t aspire to the same thing when it comes to running an election.

    At the end of the day banks have checks and balances to remedy their mistakes and proactively do so. Ron Sims on the other hand would prefer to accept .2% error rate and sweep the errors under the rug with the rest of the dirt and move on.

    In addition, to say the that he was pleased with the way the election was handled in KC is unacceptable when the error rate is greater than the margin of victory.

    Ron Sims looked rediculous when heckled yesterday. The way he handled himself as an elected public official is scary. The man lost his cool. I don’t blame him for being mad, but in his position I would expect him to handle the situation professionally and in a mature matter. If he can’t handle a little heckling and show some restraint, then it shows just how unstable he is. Either that or he has something to hide? I personally expect more from an elected official. Okay, I admit it. My standards are too high.

    Futher, I find it a bit ironic that he touts the accuracy of the hand recount but at the same time blames human error for a majority of the mistake that occured in the election process. It sure makes you wonder what’s more accurate.

    Goldy – I can’t figure out why you feel the need to bash the Shark? Be the better person and take the higher road and leave the name calling to the people who post on your blog. You lose all credibility when you head down that path and it’s too bad as you actually have some valid points worth debating, but once you start the name calling and ranting your credibility is shot. Get back on track and stick to the facts.

  47. 52


    TJB @ 51

    The bank analogy is a terrible one. Banks would never say they envey a .2% error rate. It may be reality but certainly not what they envey. Their goal is to be error free. Apparently Ron Sims doesn’t aspire to the same thing when it comes to running an election.

    Lofty goals are great. I want world peace. I want to live a millions years. I want to never get sick.

    Having a lofty goal in itself isn’t enough though. Saying you want and will defeat terrorism, doesn’t mean it is ever likely to happen. Saying you want 100% perfection doesn’t mean it is ever going to happen. Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best is not a policy.

    The fact that even though the banks would want 100% perfection they still have a 0.2% error rate actually makes it a good analogy. The point is that while we would want a perfect election system, the reality is we will be hard pressed to attain it. However, suggesting that people are satisfied with the current error rate simply because they point this out is disingenuous. I know I am not.

  48. 53

    Mark spews:

    Daniel @ 52

    Here is the problem, though. The .2% error rate EXCEEDS the margin between the two candidates. And, as I’ve said before, the .2% KingCo error rate is AFTER every attempt to fix the errors. The .2% banking rate is BEFORE they fix any errors.

    CG herself said that the race was a “virtual tie.” Why not just put it up for a revote and call it a day?

  49. 54

    TJB spews:

    Daniel K @ 52

    Expecting world peace isn’t realistic. Expecting ballots to equal the number voters who voted is. It’s not that hard. I bet between the two of us we could design a system to do just that. There’s actually system in place now but the problem is no one is held accountable (e.g. Ron Sims & Dean Logan). I bet the number of questionable ballots would be significantly lower if either Sims or Logan knew they would lose their jobs. It might even be less than 129 votes!

    You’re missing the point on the bank analogy. Banks simply don’t tout they aspire to a .2% error rate so why would Sims?

  50. 55


    Mark @ 53

    Here is the problem, though. The .2% error rate EXCEEDS the margin between the two candidates.

    Glad you bring that up, as I have also done so in my last two blog postings. It is not reasonable that we can ever set a standard except one of complete perfection that will avoid such a possibility, and complete perfection is not a reasonable standard.

    If we set 0.02% and the vote difference was 200 votes we’d have the same problem. If we set it at 0.002% and the vote difference was 20 we’d have the same problem. Eliminating that possibility isn’t feasible, and because the error rate would be an accepted standard, one could not use it to throw out the result.

  51. 56


    TJB @ 54

    Perhaps not with this President, but it is still something we should try to achieve.

    As for your argument that because Sims made the statement he made that he aspires to only a 0.2% error rate, again I say you are making a conjecture that I simply don’t agree with.

  52. 57


    Perhaps not with this President, but it is still something we should try to achieve.

    This was in response to the comment “Expecting world peace isn’t realistic”, of course.

  53. 58

    George spews:

    Businesses sometimes have independent audits, is that possible for elections? It’d be helpful to get figures from someone who hasn’t taken sides in this (from Switzerland, maybe).

    Some of us weren’t too sharp at math even when we were in school; how are we supposed to figure out where the statistics leave off and the partisan spin begins? (I knew the one about numerators and denominators, but don’t ask me to work problems in front of the whole class).

    Even if we all had a Ph.D. in math, there’s still the issue of credibility. One man wasn’t entirely forthright about his line of work, others acted as though they were about to be fingered in a lineup. Maybe the elections oversight committee would be a good idea, but send along a polygraph expert too.

  54. 59

    Don spews:

    Let’s be candid and realistic, the right-wingers posting here will not be satisfied with anything less than Rossi becoming governor (regardless of who really won) and will continue their temper tantrum until they get their way. Until then, everything they say is just rationalizations and talking points.

  55. 60

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Don-@ 59
    Your comment about “right-wingers not being satisfied with anything less than Rossi becoming Governor” is false.
    I’ll be satisfied with Gregoire out, Owen in and a new Election in November. GOTCHA!!

    Oh, I would like one more teeny-tiny thing…to see The Lefty goofballs spayed and neutered for the next 10 years. Once the depositions begin and the evidence starts being put forward, I can see that happening. Remember, Gregoire did say:
    “This election is a model for the rest of the nation and the world at large”!
    Logan said: Reconciling is impossible.
    Sims said:Ummm, he did talk a lot…but said nothing intelligent as usual.

  56. 61

    George spews:

    Addition to my #58:

    I’d especially like to hear about the 1,800 vote “discrepancy” from anyone who knows about statistics and accounting, and isn’t obviously on one side (when a post refers to “Ukraine county” or “wingnuts” it’s a giveaway; people who work for King county aren’t exactly neutral either).

    Is that 1,800 a real discrepancy, or a result of the way the recordkeeping was done? Is there some way to actually add up the total number of people who voted in King county? Even if the lists of voters and number of ballots were “never meant” to reconcile, could they be?

    Thanks in advance.

  57. 62

    Goldy spews:

    George @60

    I am admittedly partisan, but I also somewhat respect the truth. I have communicated with a number of auditors offices, D and R, and they all tell me the same thing. The voter list, and the ballots cast, are compiled out of two different processes, and are not intended to reconcile. Some of the counties do indeed attempt to reconcile them, but that is not the purpose of the voter list. And I have seen no report from a county auditor who says otherwise.

    Could King County do a better job of reconciling the two? Probably, yes. Given the time (and money), they could go back through every precinct polling book, and re-enter the data. But to what end? Satisfying the Snark?

    The discrepancy is most likely the result of data entry errors, and 1,800 out of 900,000 is not a high rate. Especially considering all the other demands placed on election workers due to the unusual nature of this election. The discrepancy rate is also consistent with past elections, so to assume that it represents some kind of massive vote fraud is to assume that we’ve had similar massive vote fraud in the past… which is to assume some kind of persistent, organized, official corruption.

    As to whether we could avoid such a discrepancy in the future… I’m sure that there must be some procedural and technological solutions that could greatly reduce it. But we need to ask the questions… what problem is it we’re trying to solve, and at what cost?

    I don’t know if that answers your questions. I think in the end your concerns might be put to rest when the court dismisses this discrepancy as an issue. Indeed, it’s not clear that Rossi’s attorneys are even going to argue it as evidence.

  58. 63

    torridjoe spews:

    Twice now people have said King’s errors are greater than the margin of victory. That’s not true at all; Gregoire won by 150,000 votes in King.

  59. 64


    torridjoe @ 62

    Twice now people have said King’s errors are greater than the margin of victory. That’s not true at all; Gregoire won by 150,000 votes in King.

    You are correct of course! A 0.2% margin of error statewide would be more like 6000, which if unacceptable would call into question many less close contests.

    So then do you apply error rates county by county and if it is greater than the vote difference in one county of 39, annul the election? I don’t think that’s a reasonable standard to set.

  60. 65

    middleoftheroader spews:

    Goldy @ 60 says:

    “The discrepancy is most likely the result of data entry errors, and 1,800 out of 900,000 is not a high rate.”

    Do we know where this descrepancy comes from? Or are our analyses (on both sides) based on assumptions of the types of errors involved in this election? Until the counties give us the information about the election errors, we are just speculating about the nature of the errors and what effect, if any, they had on this election. From there, we should be working on ensuring that the same errors do not happen in the future.

  61. 66


    middleoftheroader @ 64

    From there, we should be working on ensuring that the same errors do not happen in the future.

    Or at least try. I concur. That what I hope election reform will result it. That’s what I wish everyone would focus on.

  62. 67

    torridjoe spews:

    MOR @60
    The errors are many variants. Workers had to scan the barcodes on each signed pollbook line. So imagine the errors that flow from that:

    *missed a signed line
    *scanned an empty line
    *scanned the line above or below the signed one
    *signed a line with a crossed out name (as happens sometimes)
    *wrong line signed by voter
    *improper scanning (worker thinks it took when it didn’t)

    That’s just for the poll ballots. Many more were absentee, more than polling ballots. As they are received and processed, the voter is given credit for voting. Same is true for provisionals. More errors:

    *programming failure
    *failure to process qualifying records
    *missed records submitted for credit

    Then there are the people who submitted ballots at the wrong precinct, people who moved, etc.

    It was a brand new computer system, a record number of ballots, a record number of absentees, and a very short time between the primary and the general elections. Plus there was a first-ever manual recount, and the entire set of election materials were locked down from the time the automatic machine recount was announced, through certification of the hand recount.

    It’s also presumptive to refer to discrepancies as “errors.” They are not errors per se; they are potential errors caused by an inability to reconcile fully.

  63. 68

    zip spews:

    tj @ 66

    I quote presumptively from your web site:

    “If King in fact did not trim the “courtesy credits” from their discrepancy total when reporting in 2000, on a comparable basis the error from 2004 is undoubtedly larger. But is it yet an anomaly? Sharkansky’s detail of King’s discrepancies since 2000 shows an error rate of .16% in 2003, after the time Logan claims the County stopped including courtesy credits in their totals. That would be roughly analagous to the .21% for 2004, especially when you note that the number of ballots cast was over twice that of 2003″ blah blah blah.

    You guys are really peeing in the wind trying to get the term “error rate” outlawed. just give it up.

  64. 69

    torridjoe spews:

    Busted. Framing works. That’s no secret. Everybody and his brother who writes for a paper knows the Bush administration likes “personal investment accounts” over “privatizing,” but they end up using the terms anyway.

    If I agree I’m a big ol hypocrite, can we agree that discrepancy <> error?

  65. 70

    torridjoe spews:

    crap, it took the greater than/less than symbols as HTML and blanked em out.

    …can we agree that discrepancy [not equal] error?

  66. 71

    zip spews:

    tj @ 69

    I’m just venting because Goldy profanely made such a big deal over how wrong it is for anybody to breathe the words “error rate” when discussing the 99.8% or 99.98%.

    I do agree that “potential errors” is probably the best description. “Discrepancy” is too wishy washy considering the importance.

  67. 72

    zip spews:

    tj @ 69

    Ron Sims calls your “discrepancy” and my “error” the “remainder”, as in “The facts are clear. We had an election that was 99.8% (or 99.98%) accurate. This report explains what happened with the remainder.” His term is definitely the most unclear choice, almost guaranteed to confuse. Figures.

  68. 73


    zip @ 72

    well, and the report doesn’t explain what happened with the remainder, it only notes potential sources of explanation for discrepancies in general. By definition, if you could explain what happened with the remainder, it wouldn’t be a remainder in the first place.

    I think discrepancy is perfect. It’s all we know about it–the numbers don’t match. We don’t know specfically why, although there are several potential contributing factors. They are potential errors, sure, but a frog is a potential bird if you give him wings.

  69. 74


    Like Sands Through Hourglass….
    Having a day job has precluded me from being able to participate in the day to day goings on in Washington State’s Governor circus.

    Fortunately, Dave Goldstein at HorsesAss has the latest in the brouhaha that I have dubbed Goobernorgate.