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No major developments in the Washington gubernatorial recount saga today, but a few small details have crossed my desk that Kossacks might (or might not) be interested in.

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...

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Originally posted to Peace Tree Farm on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:12 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar (3.93)
    Even on a slow news day, there's enough going on for me to write a diary entry.

    You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

    by N in Seattle on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:04:02 PM PST

    •  Thanks for the updates! (none)
      It's great to have eyes and ears on the ground in a pretty crazy, but interesting, stuation.

      "Yes, Virginia, there ARE liberals in Tennessee."

      by TNliberal on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:06:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you (none)

      I am hopeful that the court rules before C'mas.  That'll give King County, perhaps, a chance to open the ballots and/or to complete its recount.

      And thanks for letting us know that the SoS is in on this.  (I can't open those PDF files on my slow 'puter so am grateful you did!)

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:25:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Diary (none)
    Concise, informed and informative.

    But since its not the sort one is likely to comment on - I just wanted to say thank you.

  •  Thank you (none)
    I took a day off from the internet (while watching It's a Wonderful Life with my kids, felt compelled to note that Mr. Potter is acting like a Republican...) anyway, was wondering what was going on in Washington. Thank you so much for the update!
    •  Re - it is a Wonderful Life -- (none)
      http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/19/opinion/19dowd.html?oref=login&oref=login&hp

      I hope you got a chance to read this "A not so Wonderful Life" editorial from NY Times -- it is priceless: ( a couple of lines but read it all)

      By MAUREEN DOWD
      Published: December 19, 2004

      XTERIOR BRIDGE OVER POTOMAC RIVER - NIGHT

      CLOSE SHOT - Rummy is standing by the railing, staring morosely into the water. The snow is falling hard. Feeling a tap on his shoulder, he wheels around and wrestles an old man with wings into a headlock.

      OLD MAN: Ouch! Tut, tut. When will you learn that force doesn't solve everything?

      RUMMY: Who the dickens are you?

      OLD MAN: Clarence, Angel First Class. I've been sent down to help you.

      RUMMY, squinting: You're off your nut, you old fruitcake. You can't help me. I was a matinee idol in this town, a studmuffin. Now everyone's turned on me - Trent Lott, Chuck Hagel and that dadburn McCain.

      etc etc

      ...Release the Hounds

      by sara seattle on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 05:23:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amazing, isn't it? (none)
    How RepubcorpTM is all for the process when everything goes their way, even if they have to rig the process to do it, but when things start going the Democrats' way in Washington, what does RepubcorpTM do? Accusing the Democrats of rigging the process.

    Presumably by insisting that we count every vote and follow the state's election laws. Even if, as for a long time it turned out it might, that process turns out in RepubcorpTM's favor.

    I for one will be happy when this is all over, and not least because presumably I will no longer have to read Vance's whining every time a story comes out.

    Republicanism (n). The ultimate triumph of style over substance.

    by Our Man In Redmond on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:15:20 PM PST

  •  Thanks N; appreciate the update (n/t) (none)
  •  Au contrare, you leeeberal peeeeegs (none)
    You! You hunt for votes the way my boar hunts for truffles!  With your beeeeeg fat snouts!  That Deean Logan.  He have the beeeeeegest snout of all!

    Hear now from my main man John Fund:

    All the Votes Fit to Count
    Ukraine gets to revote. Why can't Washington state?

    P.S.  I shared this with my friend Jerry, an astute observer in Pennsylvania, and he replies:
    This is a diabolical piece written to seem objective.  Fund is a member of the fiercely partisan and right-wing Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, and author of the book "Stealing the Elections: How Voter Fraud is Threatening Our Democracy."  In that book the only side he finds guilty of voter fraud is the Democrats.  That is also what he is suggesting here.  His premise is that the Democrats in King County are trying to steal the election, and the only fair solution is to hold a new election, which coincidentally seems to be the evolving strategy of the Republicans because they know they will lose if those new King County absentee ballots are counted.  If I am not mistaken, new Rossi votes previously uncounted have turned up in other counties, and the Republicans defended that.  Only now that those 700+ ballots have been uncovered in King County do they smell a rat.  Fund's piece conveniently neglects to mention that seemingly relevant fact.

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:22:01 PM PST

    •  Now I know where PseudoFrancophone vacations! (none)
      Susan, when PseudoFrancophone told me he wanted to take the day off, he didn't tell me he was going up to Port Angeles! You tell him he can keep his truffles. Hmmph.

      (I'm just kidding--I'm glad to share the nasality!)

      What shall I write about in my diaries? Vote in the poll today!

      by lilithvf1998 on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:35:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who (none)

        is this PseudoFrancophone you speak so fondly of?

        I am channeling the great dog, Triumph.

        P.S.  Something that's really irritating about Fund's essay is that he infers that the King County ballots are probably made up, and neglects to mention that any of the King County found ballots belongs to REAL HUMAN BEINGS!  Who've been on TV and everything!  I've seen them on my TV set!

        These Republicans.  What if they got a marriage license in King County.  Then months after the church service, they find out that the clerk failed to file their license, and that King County shows that they never got a marriage license?  Wouldn't they want to be able to prove they got a license, and get that license recorded?

        Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

        by SusanHu on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:44:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fondly?!? (none)
          For shame, I thought you looked at CIRQUES ET JERQUES for the articles. But now we know the truth. Oh yes, we know.

          You go on and say that that was Triumph The Insult Dog you were "channeling", but I know the truth. Oh yes. OH yes.

          ...Wait a moment. You aren't one of those folks who refuse to spend your whole day reading Cheers & Jeers, are you?!? insert look of abject horror here

          What shall I write about in my diaries? Vote in the poll today!

          by lilithvf1998 on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:57:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Made-Up Ballots (none)
          That's the mantra going around. A complete lie of course.

          ballots belongs to REAL HUMAN BEINGS!

          And it's not even that vague. They are named and hand-signed by specific traceable citizens!

          Shades of FL-Y2K.

          • "Stealing the election."
          • "Printing votes."
          • "Endless process."
          • "Loss of confidence in the outcome."

          This should leave no doubt in our minds about what will happen if "the election" is "overturned."

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 04:15:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yup (4.00)
      If I am not mistaken, new Rossi votes previously uncounted have turned up in other counties, and the Republicans defended that.

      224 votes were added in Snohomish; 1 Rossi vote was added in Chelan.  Rossi spokespeople now say they shouldn't have counted those votes, but their disapproval has been... shall we say... quiet.

      •  aoeu (none)
        Sp Rossie would lose if those votes hadn't been added?
        •  No (none)

          he'd still be ahead, which is probably why the GOP doesn't care about them.

          They know that the deal-breaker for them is the counting of the 500-700+ uncounted, still-sealed absentee ballots in King County,which will likely give Gregoire enough to win.

          (Situation reversed? What would the GOP say?)

          Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

          by SusanHu on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 02:40:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Snohomish 224 (none)
        Those ballots -- a container of absentee ballots that inadvertently hadn't been processed -- were added to Snohomish County's tally between the inital count and the machine recount.  In the hand recount, Snohomish recognized an appreciable number of ballots as votes for a candidate, but they were all previously counted ballots.  In fact, the county reported counting 4 fewer ballots than in the machine recount.

        The shameless Vance would, one presumes, that there's some meaningful difference between initial-->recount and recount1-->recount2.

        You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

        by N in Seattle on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 02:45:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have a legal question (none)
        I'm not a lawyer, so this might be a stupid question, If the SC rules against counting the King County "new" votes can it (in the same ruling) order that the "new" votes in the other counties (which have now been counted) be removed from the official count or would we have to file yet another lawsuit and work our way back up to the court?  ALso, if those votes were removed, would the Democrat win?
    •  Isn't It Interesting . . . (none)
      . . . how the Rethugs are so vocal in decrying the concept of a complete recount ("Those Dems just want to keep recounting until they get the result they want."), yet now that they've sensed that they may lose this time around -- possibly even without the 700+ disputed ballots -- they're becoming more and more eager to just throw out the whole election and start from scratch?  If they can't get rid of a pesky few hundred ballots, why not just ged rid of all 2,900,000 of them?  Heck, why even bother having elections at all?

      How do they square this apparent inconsistency?  Oh, right, they don't need to -- their overwhelming mandate nationally has exempted them from accusations of hypocrisy.  Silly me!  And of course the WSJ Editorial Board is one of the few places that probably feels that Fox News is fair and balanced.

      •  Of course they want a new vote (none)
        The the Repubs have been trying to brainwash voters that Rossi is the Governer now and Christine is just sour grapes and should give up and leave.  Chris, "But Why?" Vance, has stated that the democrats will try to steal the election and that is a recount is only of those votes that have only been counted the first time.

        So any extra votes that have been found that were were missed by the machines whould be thrown out.  Why don't we just through out the whole system.  And make sure you through out the Snohomish county votes.  They can say that now as it turns out that Christine had the lead by 51% in Snohomish County with Absentee ballets.

        Personally, I think that even with out the extra legal votes that Christine still has this won.  But Vance is whinning that they will continue and even if they have to due in every County and keep us from having a Governer if the Suppreme Court rules in favor of King County on the votes that there were not counted.

        But was it just me or didn't Dino Rossi say that he had faith in the voters of Washington State and Christine G. had faith in Lawyers.  IF the GOP Go sue happy and try to force a second election at the expense of the Tax payers of Washington state, I'ld like to see how they spin that one as it goes against Everything they were useing against the Democrats.

      •  tin foil warning... (none)
        Of course, they'd rather have a new election.  This would give them time to figure out how to rig it to a Rossi win.   Just sayin'....
        •  They Already Know How (none)
          Republicans seem to trend more motivated so it's very likely they'd win in a re-vote.

          Unless there are things about WA state I don't know, which is possible since this is only my 4th year here.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 07:15:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  N in Seattle/georgia10 (none)
    Between the two of you, I'm up-to-date on post election stories.

    Thanks.

    Dick Cheney is a public servent. The check is in the mail. And Santa Clause is coming to town.

    by NYBri on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 01:32:40 PM PST

  •  Hear the Rossi double standard! (4.00)
    I've posted this here already, but since this is more relevant, I'm going to post it again:

    Permanent Defense has posted an audio file from a KOMO TV report along with a quote from Washington's Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi in the Seattle P-I, highlighting his double standard on litigation.

    In his quote, Republican Dino says he has "faith in the voters", while Democrat Gregoire has "faith in laywers". However, the audio clip suggests otherwise. A Republican surrogate can be heard talking about Bush White House lawyers and how "they will be unleashed" to file lawsuits across the state.

    So apparently Rossi does have faith...in lawyers.

    •  Rossi win bigger than right to vote (4.00)
      just remember--as it is with all Republican candidates, a victory for Rossi is much more important than a citizen's right to vote!

      think about it--the right to vote is a mere secular institution.  Republican power--that's sacred.

    •  Oh, this is rich - - (none)
      Rossi has faith in voters? - What??

      My guess is he as faith in them as long as he doesn't have to have their votes counted.  

      They give me the creeps - so slimy - so sick.

      ...Release the Hounds

      by sara seattle on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 05:15:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ROSSI WINS (none)
    rossi wins unless the supreme court allows them to count the 750 votes. i heard he`s picked up 28 votes in king not sure about gregoire, got this off a wingnut website so take with a grain of salt.
    •  if he picks up only 28 in King (4.00)
      Then his goose is truly and completely cooked, even without the disputed ballots.  

      There are almost 900,000 ballots in King County, so surely somewhere over 100 human-detectable new for-a-candidate votes will emerge from that volume.  If it's only 100 (a rate of new-found votes less than one-fifth of what we've seen statewide so far) and we assume that Ruth Bennett gets her 2% of the vote, then with your number of Rossi additions the outcome would be Rossi +28, Bennett +2, Gregoire +70.  

      This would cut the margin by 42 (there's that number again), making Rossi's margin +7.  And that's if there are only 100 total new votes found.  Make it 108 new votes under your "Rossi +28" headline, and Gregoire comes out ahead.

      You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

      by N in Seattle on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 03:38:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Radio Call-In Program Link (none)
    KUOW public broadcasting in Seattle did a show on this subject this afternoon on "The Conversation."

    Anyone with an insufficiently acid stomach may want to download the MP3 or real audio & have a listen to the Republican memes.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 04:18:31 PM PST

  •  Affidavit shows precedent (none)
    Monday, December 20, 2004 · Last updated 6:22 p.m. PT

    Other counties included 'new' ballots in recounts

    By REBECCA COOK
    ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER (at Seattle PI Web site)

    SEATTLE -- At least five Washington counties found ballots that weren't included in the original tally for governor and added them to the recount, according to an affidavit by state Elections Director Nick Handy.

    The state Republican Party's lawsuit seeks to stop King County from including 723 newly discovered ballots in the hand recount. ...

    But five other counties have already done what King County wants to do, and the Supreme Court's ruling on the case could affect voters all over the state.

    "In similar situations, ballots like these were counted," Handy said. ...

    "If they uphold the Pierce County Superior Court decision, it raises questions not just about what we've done, but about what historically all counties have done for as long as I've been in the business, which is 25 years," said Snohomish County Auditor Bob Terwilliger.

    Snohomish County found 224 valid ballots buried under empty mail trays. They weren't included in the original count, but the county canvassing board added them to the machine recount.

    The secretary of state's office said Monday in briefs filed with the Supreme Court that if the Pierce County judge's order stands, counties may have to recount - again - to exclude the ballots that were added after the original tally.

    Republican State Party Chairman Chris Vance says Snohomish County is different because those ballots were never formally rejected by the county canvassing board.  [IS THIS LIKE A DIFFERENCE WITHOUT A DISTINCTION?]

    But attorneys for the state Democratic party and for Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed argue that all the counties rely on the same legal basis for including newfound ballots in the recount.

    Whatcom, Kittitas, Chelan and Pierce counties all added at least one previously uncounted ballot during the first or second recount for governor.

    "If they're going to ban King County from counting theirs, does that mean we'd have to revisit ours?" asked Debbie Adelstein, chief deputy auditor in Whatcom County.

    Until the Supreme Court rules, these auditors will likely continue to have more questions than answers. ...

    A site created by the state Democratic Party seeks to undermine Rossi's legitimacy at www.accidentalgovernor.com, while an enterprising Rossi supporter created www.gregoirethegrinch.com. (Sample couplet: "The chads were hung on the ballots with care/ In hopes that a Gregoire vote would somehow be there.")

    Democratic State Party Chairman Paul Berendt slammed Rossi in an e-mail titled "Rossi the Thief."

    "Rossi knows that he is nothing more than the accidental governor-elect. His earlier lead was an error," Berendt said. "And now he wants a court to make him Gov.-by-mistake."

    Berendt should apologize, said Republican State Party Chairman Chris Vance. Normally an eager attack dog, Vance said the seven-week election process is starting to wear him down.

    "We will fight like hell for Dino, but there is not anything ennobling or good about this," Vance said. "This is horrible. It's a political street brawl."

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 06:33:21 PM PST

  •  Hopefully the 20,000 voters (none)
    who didn't vote for any candidate for governor at all, would be motivated enough in a revote to pick one or the other.  Has any polling been done?
    •  not even close (4.00)
      20,000 blanks?  That's way low.  

      Well, I don't know how many write-ins there were statewide, but there were something like 75,000 more ballots tallied than there were votes for the three named candidates.  If the rest of the state is like King County -- and in this respect, I think that's a valid supposition -- they're nearly all blanks.  In King's initial count, there were 1240 write-ins and 21,994 blanks.  In other words, about 95% were blanks in King County.

      Which would indicate that there were probably around 70,000 blanks statewide.

      You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

      by N in Seattle on Mon Dec 20, 2004 at 08:53:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  good catch (none)
        I didn't specify that the 20,000 blank votes were from King County alone.  It boggles the mind that CoG could not distinguish herself from Rossi sufficiently to convince more voters to go for her.
      •  Shooting blanks (none)
        The most common blank types are voter who vote for President only, and the voter who forgets there's onaother side to the ballot (Gov race was on the B-side).

        But in my anecdotal observations in the counting room, there were a lot of voters who filled out all or most of their ballot, but skipped the governor's race.

        And in my blink-of-the-eye assessments, these included party-line Republicans as well as party-line Democrats.

        •  more on King's blanks (none)
          King County initial count detail:

          Governor (mentioned earlier) -- 1240 write-ins, 21,994 blanks
          President -- 1194 write-ins, 3390 blanks
          Senator -- 760 write-ins, 17,760 blanks

          I don't have data on the other statewide races easily at hand here at work.  The high number of blanks for Senator was a bit surprising.

          You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen

          by N in Seattle on Tue Dec 21, 2004 at 11:12:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a Carolina Tar Heel (none)
    And I'm a junkie for this story.  Keep up the posts...!

    kj

  •  UPDATE: Ballot hrng is now on C-SPAN sched (none)
    Wed 9:30 PST, 12:30 EST.

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