I'm reporting on developments and/or news on the legal/judicial front, and even a tiny change in the recount results.
Notes coming up below the fold...
- The Washington Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the appeal of the Pierce County judge's decision regarding the erroneously-untallied King County ballots beginning at 9:30am on Wednesday, December 22. The arguments will be shown live on TVW, the in-state analgue of C-SPAN.
- In the Supreme Court's order (link in section #1 above), Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed is listed as Appellant-Intervenor, following the Appellants (King County's election records service, the KC Canvassing Board, and the Washington State Democratic Central Committee). This is, I think, a positive sign, because Judge Arend specified in her opinion that she found the arguments by the SoS in the previous Supreme Court case to be persuasive.
- The Respondents in the appeal include the state Republican party and its slimy chair Chris Vance. Also named is "JANE MILHANS, a citizen of Pierce County", who I believe was used by Vance as entree to have his case heard in Pierce. And who is Jane Milhans? None other than the Pierce County GOP chair and RNC delegate.
- Somewhere between yesterday afternoon and midday today, Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire picked up another vote. It showed up in Thurston County, where she is now shown with +16 instead of +15 in the hand recount. There was no change in any other outcomes in the county. Thus, Dino Rossi's increase in vote margin over Gregoire is only seven, not the previously-reported +8. This change would very, very slightly alter the speculations in my Saturday update (in Gregoire's favor, of course) but I don't have the time or the inclination to rewrite all that stuff at the moment.
If switzerblog is correct -- and he's in a good position to know -- King County will probably have completed the hand recount of its currently-available ballots by the time the Supremes hear the Dems' appeal. No matter what their tally shows, however, I very much doubt that they would release their results before the Court issues its opinion.
That said, I have the feeling that the Court will already be well on the way to a fully-written opinion, even before oral arguments. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they issued that decision before the end of the day on Wednesday, perhaps even early enough for King County to process and add in the results from those disputed ballots (if they're allowed to do so) by COB on Wednesday.
Even if the opinion doesn't emerge quite that quickly, I'd bet that we'll have our "final" answer before Christmas. I use the quotation marks because Chris Vance will undoubtedly continue interfering, obfuscating, and lying beyond that point if it doesn't go his way.