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This is Tuesday, May 24th, 2005. Welcome to another edition of the LIVE Trial Diary.

As many of you are aware, the trial in the lawsuit filed by Dino Rossi and the Washington State GOP to throw out the election of Gov. Christine Gregoire began yesterday.

Pacific NW Portal has all the information you need to brief yourself on the trial.

I will provide updates from the Chelan County courthouse as often as I can from this diary. I am not actually there, but I am watching the trial.

Opening statements were presented yesterday by the GOP, the Democrats, and the Secretary of State. The court is reconvening today to consider a motion by the Democrats to exclude new fraud charges and to move on in the case.

Once again, updates will be posted here. I'll also post links to other relevant sites throughout the day.

[9:02 AM] Court has reconvened.

[9:05 AM] Bridges says he has recieved response from GOP to Democrats' motion to exclude new fraud charges.

[9:10 AM] Hamilton is up for the Democrats arguing their motion to exclude new fraud charges.

[9:13 AM] GOP lawyer Korrell is now up to rebut Hamilton....he cites delays and resistance from the Democrats in getting data/depositions...

[9:18 AM] Ahearne is now up for the Scretary of State....their position seems be mostly in concurrence with the GOP's stance. Foulkes v. Hayes, a case argued decades ago that has served as a precedent in this case, is being cited frequently.

[9:21 AM] Hamilton back up now to respond for the Democrats.

[9:25 AM] Judge Bridges is speaking now....he says he will deny the Democrats' motion. Bridges says the claim is not new...

[9:28 AM] Moving on...the GOP is calling first witness - the Chelan County auditor, Evelyn Arnold....

[9:38 AM] GOP lawyers are asking Evelyn Arnolds questions...right now, the questions are about provisional ballots. Foreman specifically asked her if it was normal to try and push a provisional ballot into a machine...her answer is no. Then Foreman asked if ballot box security was important...her answer, yes.

[9:48 AM] Foreman and Arnolds are going over the process of counting ballots...and crediting, which Arnolds says it is important to make sure that no voter has voted twice. Arnolds says provisional ballots are usually counted last...the DIMS system (manufactured by Diebold) is supposed to detect multiple votes from the same voter. Now, they're moving on to the process of scanning absentee ballots, as well as the reconciliation process...

[9:53 AM] Foreman is asking some critical questions...he tried to ask Arnolds if, for some reason, the report had problems, if she would "fudge" the report and send it anyway...Democrats objected, and Foreman rephrased the question. Arnolds said no...

[9:56 AM] GOP legal team is done asking questions. Jenny Durkan is now up asking questions for the Democrats. Durkan asks Chelan about the fact that they're almost all vote by mail....they have only 7 poll sites....the number of poll workers for Chelan Co. is 31...the more precincts you have, the greater likelihood there is that something will go wrong...

[10:06 AM] Arnolds said Chelan County had over 700 provisional ballots in the election... Arnolds agrees "it would be much more cumbersome" to handle 31,000 provisional ballots...which is apparently how many King County had....she also agress that King County had over 8,000 new registrations the past two weeks before the election...and, she confirms that because of the new primary in September, every elections division faced a number of problems...plus, King County was transferring untold numbers of records over to DIMS from the old system....Durkan appears to be doing a good job. She's very thorough with her questions.

[10:16 AM] For a few minutes, quite a bit of moving around...Durkan is passing out papers to many of the lawyers....and now Durkan is showing a slide, and asking Arnolds questions about discrepancies....Arnolds is explaining why discrepancies can arise.... Durkan: "depending on the county, there could be different reasons for the discrepancies..." ....Arnolds: "That's true." Judge Bridges interrupted Durkan to clarify a question...

[10:20 AM] Arnolds says that one poll site mistakenly destroyed all its ballots, and they all had to be remade...she says she's sure of her totals....Durkan is now asking her about felon voters.... "If a person registers to vote, isn't it true that they swear they have the right to vote?" .... Arnolds: "That's correct" ...

[10:30 AM] Durkan is now asking about "wanda" , the handheld mechanism for scanning it ballot barcodes... Durkan states: "For every absentee ballot that comes through the mail, there's an envelope..." Durkan is done. Another laywer is up now, either for the GOP or Secretary of State....he's asking about reconciliation information. Foreman has come back up to ask a couple of follow-up questions...he asked if Arnolds had more votes cast than voters, would that be a problem....Arnold says yes, it would be a problem...and then Durkan has a couple follow-up questions following Foreman...Durkan once again brings up the point that King County is much larger and more complex...Arnold agrees.

[10:45 AM] Bill Huennekens, elections supervisor for King County, has taken the witness stand....Maguire asked the judge for permission to treat him as a hostile witness. After objections from King County deputy prosecuting attorney Don Porter, Bridges denied the request. GOP laywers are asking him questions. Right now, the questions are mostly basic....background, job duties, etc.

[11:00 AM] Has been kind of quiet. Bill Huennekens and GOP lawyers are exchanging some papers...they're getting into the deposition now. The GOP is trying to show that Bill Huennekens has contradicted himself...Democrats have made an objection, Bridges has overruled the objection....now, GOP is asking about felon registration, and another objection from the Democrats...objection is overruled again by Bridges.

[11:10 AM] Questions are getting tougher for Huennekens....GOP is asking for very specific information, looks like Mr. Maguire is asking the questions right now, though I could be mistaken. Questions concern absentees, provisional ballots, voting in more than one county, reconciliation, and crediting.

[11:20 AM] Really specific questions now - GOP lawyers asking Huennekens for dates, numbers, etc...Hamilton objects to one question, Judge Bridges asks for clarification and asks Hamilton to renew his objection once Bridges has heard the point clarified...Hamilton renews his objection, citing "hearsay".

[11:30 AM] Judge Bridges sustains Hamilton's objection...based on Hamilton's arguments that King County is not a party to the case (the counties were dismissed from the case at the Feb. 4th hearing). Maguire (or maybe it's Korrell) resumes questioning of Huennekens...right now, the questions are about absentee and provisional ballots...Hamilton objects to yet another question because he says Huennekens doesn't have personal knowledge to answer the question and a witness is coming before the court tomorrow who can answer the question. Bridges overrules it. Questioning continues...

[11:40 AM] Hamilton has come up for the Democrats and is asking Huennekens questions...Hamilton has handed Huennekens a document and is asking him to confirm a date printed in the back of the document (Exhibit 36)....the purpose of the document was to summarize canvassing documents....and it wasn't prepared during the canvassing period. Republicans object as Hamilton proceeds, but Bridges overrules them....then Hamilton objects to the inclusion of the document as evidence in the trial, saying it shouldn't be part of the litigation....

[11:50 AM] Maguire and Hamilton are fighting over some of the exhibits...Hamilton doesn't want one of the documents to be admitted as evidence. The judge is hearing arguments from both sides on the issue. Now Maguire has a document up on the screen, and he's going over it with Huennekens.

[12:00 PM] Maguire has been asking a number of short questions of Huennekens. Hamilton keeps objecting to many of them. The judge has been overruling Hamilton most of the time.

[12:02 PM] Court recesses for lunch break, will reconvene at 1:30 PM.

Originally posted to archerhouse on Tue May 24, 2005 at 09:00 AM PDT.

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