Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Republicans Democrats

WA Governor Race Ends 119

Republican Dino Rossi decided last night to not appeal yesterday's decision by Chelan judge John Bridges to let last November's governor election stand -- the closest in U.S. history -- which keeps Christine Gregoire, who won by 129 votes after two recounts, in office. The Republicans claimed that fraud and mistakes far exceeded the difference between the candidates, and that statistical analysis showed Rossi might have received more legal votes. Bridges concluded there were thousands of incorrect votes and other major problems, but that the Republicans didn't meet the high threshold of proof that the result was incorrect. He also said he feared current law will make elections problems even worse, and urged the government and voters to work to fix the system.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

WA Governor Race Ends

Comments Filter:
  • Here's an idea... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oldosadmin ( 759103 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @11:55AM (#12747555) Homepage
    In races this close, call it a statistical tie, and run a revote.

    You'll get a bigger turnout, and possibly a true outcome.
    • That is exactly what Rossi tried to have happen.

      But the courts said "No Joy."


      • Rossi was a crybaby. ha ha.
        • Rossi was not being a cry baby. If that were true he would have been asking the courts to hand him the election. (cough cough Al Gore)

          What he was asking for was that the questionable results be set aside and the state be given a chance to have an honest election. (i.e. without King County's felons and dead voting)

          That being said, I will abide by the rule of law and accept Gov. G. as our overlord for now. On the other hand I sure hope we can all work to prevent this from happening again.

          Perhaps thos

        • Enjoy the short victory.

          You have just motivated the Republican voters in Washington to the point you will never see that state go blue again.

          Ha Ha yourself.
          • Not likely. With the red states regressing more and more to the middle ages, the blue states will just get blue-er. Rossi didn't come out looking very statemans-like, a bit but not much. Sure, the GOP faithful are pissed. But the moderates and independents just wanted it over with. I think you're engaging in some seriously wishful thinking. WA is the bluest state in the union right now, with a Dem governor, Dem control of both houses of the legislature, and two Dem senators.
            • There are 1600 known bogus votes. For everyone who ever called Bush an illegitimate President, look at Gregoire's 129 vote win and "Eat this".

              You seriously underestimate the ill will this will create. Washington is about to become the win-at-any-cost state for Republicans in the next cycle. Republicans are pissed enough to hold onto this for 3 years. Bank on it.

              When Washington goes Red in 2008, you think of me.

              • Yes, Bush has fraudulently won two elections while Gregoire has fraudulently won one election.

                "Democracy" is a joke, at least in this country.

                Why isn't Bush working to bring democracy here? Oh, that's right, if we could oust him by simple vote we would, and did.

                But Bush knows well the maxim attributed to Stalin: It doesn't matter who they vote for, it matters who counts the votes.

              • When Chris gets reelected I will likely have forgotten you, and your silly boast. The Soviet of Washington will stay blue for a long time to come. A bunch of yokels in sparsely populated counties watching the roads for the vast armies of the UN come to bring clean water and condoms are not all that numerous. Remember most felonies are committed by Republicans. Stock Fraud, embellzement, bigamy etc. Smoking Pot is not a felony.
            • Wow, it seems to me we need a verifiable vote, and more measures to ensure the accuracy of said vote.

              As an independent, I welcome this change. Every Republican tactic suggests they do not. I wonder how many Red states there would be if/when the elections are fair. In fact, I wonder if the outcome of the last 2 PRESIDENTIAL elections would be the same. You think the reds in WA are pissed, I wonder if they are as pissed as every non-Republican in the country.

              You wishing for a "fair" election reminds of the

              • Neither republicans nor democrats want fair elections. Notice that all their campaign reform laws make it harder for third parties (Eg: you can't spend money unless you money comes from a major party, and you can't get major party status unless you won one of the previous elections, etc.)

                I think as long as voting has been going on in this country, political parties have been trying to manipulate the system to concentrate power for themselves-- they've been very successful.

                Another example of this is gerry
          • That didn't happen after Bush v. Gore, not even in Florida. I don't see why Washington should expect anything different.
      • Joy Luck Club (Score:4, Informative)

        by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @02:53PM (#12750098) Homepage Journal
        No, Rossi tried everything he could to become governor, including the fraud that got his original cheating victory thrown out. When he originally won (by the skin of his cheating teeth), he blabbed all about how Gregoire should let him keep the office "for the good of the state", without all that "divisive" complaining. When the tables were turned, Rossi of course ignored all his own self-serving "advice", and the "good of the state", in favor of his attempts to try again in the courts himself. Then, when he got his day in court, he charged Gregoire's campaign with "fraud", but presented no evidence of fraud. Just evidence of the same kind of badly run election we've got all over the country, that usually favors the Republicans running their state election commissions.

        You can try to spin this (repeated) Republican defeat in attempting to take office through a court. But it's obvious that Rossi was doing everything he could, even things he couldn't, to take the Governor's office, regardless of the merits, or the damage to Washington. Of course politicians do anything to win, but we don't have to like it.

        Now that both sides have been hurt in their war over shoddy state election work, maybe there's a mutual interest in fixing the system. Continuing to fight the war after its over will only get in the way of that more important work.
        • Yeah, and nowhere here do I see Rossi's reason for not appealing to the Washington State Supreme Court: He said, "Due to the political makeup of the Supreme Court, we are unlikely to win" (not an exact quote, but close). Great way to end the campaign (seven months later) -- by insulting the Supreme Court. What a true Republican! Blame "activist judges"!

          The good news for Republican's is that Gregoire ("that bitch") knows she's Governor of a divided state, and she'll lead accordingly, respecting both sides of

        • I find it interesting that the above was moderated 4 informative.

          But the fact is, there is no evidence of fraud on the Rossi campaign-- the votes were counted and he won.

          The votes were counted again, and he won.

          Then the democrats made sure the votes were counted a third time-- but this time they used a different methodology, and amazingly, discovered thousands of new ballots! The vote counts went way up between the 2 "recount" and the third "recount" (making them really new counts.)

          Finally after addin
          • Re:Joy Luck Club (Score:3, Informative)

            by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )
            When a Seattle councilmember found that his own vote had been discarded, along with many other votes from disproportionately Democratic King County, he obtained a recount. Which showed that lots of Democratic votes had been discarded.


            And the coverup is sick. We do not live in a democracy anymore, because the vote counters are controlled by the local party in league with the vote counting corporation. That merger of state and corporate power is called "fascism" (Mussolini). Nationally, 80% of the vot
    • Define "this close" and someone can make it a law, otherwise a close election is completely subjective.
      • Definition of close (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jgardn ( 539054 )
        I think a reasonable margin of victory could be at about 0.1%. For ten millions votes, you would need to win by 10,000. For 100,000 votes, that's only 100 votes.

        Currently, Washington State does have a method whereby close elections are handled without long, drawn-out challenges. The legislature can refuse to accept any result with a majority vote. If there was any candidate for the legislature to exercise this power, the governor's race of 2004 was it. It was too close and there were too many weird things
    • What they should have done is follow the Constitution, which means turning to the Legislature. Bringing up a challenge in court is completely unconstitutional. I would have loved to see this go to the state Supreme Court, because I bet that's exactly what they'd say. As it stands, Rossi left the door open to another court challenge in the future since nothing was really decided here.
      • Well, actually state law which was passed by the legislature allows for court challenge in cases like this. The state Constitution also provides for checks and balances just like at the Federal level. What they were asking for wasn't a court-appointed governor, but rather an affirmation that the results were indeed legitimate. Nothing wrong with that.

        That being said, while I'm a big fan of Rossi, I think that the Republican challenge was pretty weak. When you have to rely on stats to make a decision t

        • No, they had to rely on stats because the Judge told them that was the only way they could try to make their case.

          Since the ballots are secret, they can't tie the ballots to the voters. So they can't say definitively whether the manufactured and illegal votes were for gregoire or rossi.

          But a little thinking will make it obvious-- in fact, the judge in his summary talked about incidence of fraud (my word) covering what I think was as many as 10,000 ballots.

          Its clear from this trial that wholesale fraud o
          • The Republican judge in this case found against every point the Republicans brought up for their case, including the fraud charges.

            • Not true. I listened to him read much of his ruling, and he found, as findings of fact, that ballots were added, and many other discrepencies.

              He didn't call them fraud because he wasn't ruling on the intent of them--- but when more ballots are cast than there are registered voters, that's pretty clearly proof of fraud.
              • LIES (Score:5, Informative)

                by Vicissidude ( 878310 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @09:49PM (#12753936)
                From the Seattle Times [] (emphasis mine):
                [Judge] Bridges said there was no evidence to suggest fraud, intentional misconduct or any attempt to manipulate the election. He said election officials "attempted to perform their responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner."

                While he had stern words about how King County ran the election, Bridges said that even there, Republicans failed to show any intentional wrongdoing.

                "While there is evidence of irregularities, as there appears to be in every election based on the testimony of various county election officials, there is no ... clear and convincing evidence that improper conduct or irregularity procured Ms. Gregoire's election," the judge said.
                Now please stop spreading your lies.
          • No, they had to rely on stats because the Judge told them that was the only way they could try to make their case.

            Actually, the judge was very skeptical about this. He basically said "I'll let you try to convince me, but the burden of proof is very high". I think that the judge did this only because he wanted to allow the Republicans the air time to make their case. We all know what would happen if we relied on stats to determine elections.

            Since both parties engage in it, neither party wants to do a

            • The ballots are secret in order to prevent voter intimidation. This way i can't be pressured in to actually voting one way or another (though i can be pressured into public support) because those who seek to intimidate me do not really know how i voted.

            • What, by the way, would you suggest I do about it besides complain? Change who I vote for?

              Do you see the irony in voting to try and change the fact that the voting system is rigged?

              By definition, if they are counting more ballots than there were voters, there was fraud.
              • What, by the way, would you suggest I do about it besides complain?

                How about any or all of the following:

                • Find a candidate you like and volunteer for his/her campaign. Tell all your friends to vote for them. Campaign as hard as you can.
                • Find a candidate you like and give them money. Tell all your friends to give them money. Hold a fundraiser at your home, just like all the rich people do.
                • Volunteer to become an election monitor. Report any problems to the Elections department and to your local news

                • All of those suggestions are based on the assumption that the election is conducted in a valid manner, except the last one.

                  As for the last one, the fraud in our election system has been printed in newspapers and blogs across the country, and has been backed up with hard evidence regularly.

                  I'm complaining in the hope that some people will actually wake up and stop living in the fantasy land idea of what this country is that their government sells them.

                  As for me, I have retirement plans in place. The US
                  • I think that you're a smart guy - really. But either you're really paranoid or an elitist. I think that it's probably the second since you make statements like "I'm complaining in the hope that some people will actually wake up and stop living in the fantasy land idea of what this country is that their government sells them." In other words, "The rest of you all are so stupid that you can't see what is so obvious to me." Forgive me for being frank, but I've heard this bullshit all my life from people wh
        • No, Rossi didn't go through the proper channels to the Legislature because it is predominately Democrat.

          He picked his court venue based on the politics of the court, which leaned Republican.
          • Which is his right, by the way, underr the constitution.

            The idea that the legislature is the only proper channel is false, and is not supported by the state's constitution.

            If the courts didn't have authority to rule on matters of law, according to the constitution, then there would be no use for courts at all.

            The constitution gives them this authority.

    • Have all future elections run by The Amazing Race, but "accidently" lose their maps when they're on the Pitcairn Islands. No airport, no ships, Washington State might be able to get some work done for a while.
    • Would you have another revote?

      Another possibility is to extend the same law that many jurisdictions have for dealing with actual tie votes, that is to decide the election by chance, usually by flipping a coin. The difficulty with this approach (and in general with having a revote) is that whether you are discovering whether the threshold has been achieved or simply trying to decide a winner, the process of qualifying votes is the same. For instance, if you define it as being within 100 votes statewide, w

      • In standard parliamentary procedure (in other words, how group of people agree to thigns), if you don't have a majority behind a candidate you vote again until you do. Robert's Rules sets the standard pretty high by default - not a plurality, but a majority. It isn't fair to have the group ruled by a candidate that actually represents a minority of the group.

        What this means is that in order to win, one of the candidates will have to do something to gain the support of people who wouldn't normally support

        • Yes, that is a superior solution.

          And you recognize one of the inherent problems with democracy-- by definition, the minority is not represented.

          Some would argue that even if that minority is %1, the majority doesn't have a right to initiate force against it... or put another way, that a just country would have a very limited government such that you wouldn't have the "tyranny of the majority".

          Looking at the last two presidents we've had in office, its clear that we have tyranny of the majority here.

          I s
    • In races this close, call it a statistical tie, and run a revote.

      1) revotes cost lots of money.
      2) unless the relevant law has this an an option, this is not an option. I realize that this sounds redundant, but it's true and important to keep in mind.

      Ultimately, when a vote is this close, half the people want whatever makes candidate A win, and half want whatever makes candidate B win. They don't seem to care how this win happens, they just want the win. So invariably the losing candidate will

      • 2) unless the relevant law has this an an option, this is not an option. I realize that this sounds redundant, but it's true and important to keep in mind.

        That's what I meant. Make a law.
        • They did, two revotes and they came to a conclusion. And the judge said that's it! Game over. Go Home! That was the law, the other law was the legislature could toss it out, but being as their Democratic controlled Rossi would never get a shot. They were holding on mostly because the Senate elections are coming up and Rossi might have had a shot if they had a good case for fraud. They don't and now he's damaged goods. If he had pulled out a bout a month or so ago he might be in a strong position to run for
        • That's what I meant. Make a law.

          Adding in possible revotes to the law is not a solution either. Why?

          Easy. Right now, people start freaking out and whomever is on the losing end starts crying shenanigans whenever the vote is like 50.5%/49.5% or so. (Ok, the exact cutoff point may not be quite right, but it's a gradual process -- the closer it is, the more the losing side screams that it's wrong and the more the winning side screams that it's right.)

          Adding a recount if the vote is too close

  • when accountable voting is outlawed, only outlaws will be able to vote accountable.. or something.
  • So What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Profane MuthaFucka ( 574406 ) * <> on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @12:08PM (#12747719) Homepage Journal
    GW Bush won his office through some questionable means. Not once, but twice. Every single instance of an election problem worked out in Bush's favor. When a voting machine screwed up, it was inevitably adding votes to Bush, or counting Kerry votes as votes for someone else. Right now in Ohio, there's a big scandal where money meant for investment wound up in the pockets of Republican campaigns.

    I predict that some people will try to mod me down to suppress the truth, but they will fail.

    More information: [] m []
    • Re:So What? (Score:1, Offtopic)

      I predict that some people will try to mod me down to suppress the truth, but they will fail.

      Then repost it, but for gods sakes, do any of the rest of us give a rat's turd about your fucking persecution complex? I may even agree with some of your points, but if I had mod points, I'd still stuff your whiny ass into the earth's fucking core.

      This goes for all the "I'll probably get modded down for this" fucknuts out there as well.
  • by waynegoode ( 758645 ) * on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @12:13PM (#12747784) Homepage
    I sure am glad that SlashDot covers these important technological issues because we sure won't be able to read about this story in the mainstream press.
  • C'mon... (Score:3, Funny)

    by yotto ( 590067 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @12:13PM (#12747793) Homepage
    You got the white house, give us one governor in one state.
  • In sports, each coach has his own system. Sometimes they're really well crafted, honed over years of experience, and work really well. Sometimes they're stupid. However, even a crappy system can result in victory if the players all play within it.

    A business works the same way, usually. A crappy boss can ruin efficiency, but a boss in business is really one of the players. Adherence to the system is the surest path to success, since only by adhering to it can you tell if it's working.

    And so it is with
  • we have a small paper card, the candidates name is listed, with a circle next to it. (the name and circle are plane paper and surounded by black ink. each option is divided by a white line)
    you vote by writeing a large x in the circle of the candidate you choose and place it in the ballet box. a ballet with any other marks on it except an x (yes it has to be an X)is considered spoiled. it is idiot proof to vote, and intenions are very clear.

    btw, municipal elections had electronic voteing. the balet worked t
    • This was not the case in this election. It was the simple fact that ~1300 votes were illegal in one way or another. This is a fact found by the judge. The problem is you do not know in which column those votes went.
    • I'm going to post now to head off the "OMG the USA has eleventy billion people" trolls.

      I had the pleasure of being a volunteer for the recount in Ohio this past presidental election. A hand recount of 3% of the vote in each county was done. It was slow, boring, and incredibly accurate. If you live in an urban area, have 20 or 30 bi-partisan (preferably non-partisan, but that is a different discussion) teams doing recounts. It scales quite well.

      It will probably take a few days to get exact results. Ex
    • a ballet with any other marks on it except an x (yes it has to be an X)is considered spoiled. it is idiot proof to vote, and intenions are very clear.

      Yah, and in Florida in 2000, the punchcard ballots they used were idiot-proof and very clear (punch the chad out completely, punch only one). Yet, we had people complaining, and insisting that partially punched chads should count, and that cards with two chads should be counted (as long as one was for Gore, of course).

      Make something idiot-proof, and the Un

  • Shoddy Vote Counting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ndansmith ( 582590 )
    I am shocked that the results of an election can change so much between recounts. Here we are in the information/computer age, and a swing of several hundred among 2.9 million in a simple count is unacceptable. Where else is that sort of margin of error acceptable?

    Why can't we develop a more accurate system for counting votes? With our current resources, the court contest in Washington should have been a moot point: we should have known the exact vote totals without room for doubt.

    • Computer age or not, you're dealing with human processes, which can never be absolutely perfect. Even if the vote was 99.9% accurate, that still leaves 2,900 votes that may be wrongly counted.

      Usually, this is no big deal since most of the time elections involve a blowout that does not end so close. This only became a problem because we're in that 0.1% margin of error.
    • Why did the results change so much between recounts? Lots of hanky-panky. Votes were "found" in unlocked rooms, tucked into cabinets that housed the vote machines, etc...

      The problems with the count were:

      1) people expected a deterministic outcome.
      2) the rules weren't unambiguious.
      3) the rules weren't followed.

      While my guy (Rossi) didn't win, I don't blame the judge and I really don't blame the winner (Gregoire). I blame the voting officials statewide.

      I think that the goodwill that Rossi generated (and am
  • It will take several things:

    Valid voter verification:
    Voter registration will have to have some kind of at-the-poll-verifiable biometric data. For example, to get a voter registration card, you will have to present either a picture ID, a fingerprint, or something else that you can bring with you to the polls. When you vote, your photo-id or fingerprint or whatever will be matched up to your voter-registration records, if they don't match, you get to vote provisionally. Anyone registering late or on elec
  • Republican Dino Rossi decided last night to not appeal

    Yes, but who decided to split the infinitive?

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.