Monday, June 06, 2005
Justice denied: After hearing two weeks of testimony in Chelan County Superior Court in Washington state detailing falsified election reports, evidence of votes by more than one thousand felons, dozens of people voting twice and several dead people, Judge John Bridges ruled this morning that none of that is convincing enough to throw into doubt Christine Gregoire's 129-vote election "win."
As a former Washington state resident, I've been following the case over at SoundPolitics.com ever since the first re-count back in November. SoundPolitics' Stefan Sharkansky has put Seattle's two major newspapers to shame with his dogged coverage of the criminal incompetence at the King County elections department. Had Sharkansky been employed by either newspaper, they might be in line for a Pulitzer for investigative reporting or public service. Instead the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times have demonstrated a severe case of disinterested lapdog-ism.
Judge Bridges' ruling is troublesome, and not just for Washington State voters -- their election challenge law is based on California's statute, because the standard for invalidating an election has been set so impossibly high that there is no way one can be overruled.
Bridges said there was evidence that 1,678 illegal votes were cast in the 2004 election, including 1,391 votes by felons. However Bridges said there was no evidence that Gregoire benefitted from the illegal votes.
The vast majority of votes referenced here are from King County, home to Seattle and the state's most populous. King County went heavily for Gregoire. Yet, Judge Bridges would have us assume, against all logic, that more of those felons voted for Republican Dino Rossi than for Gregoire.
The court also dismisses the hundreds of provisional ballots that went directly into the voting machines and the dozens of valid absentee ballots to this day have not been counted. This says nothing of the thousands of ballots that were illegally "enhanced" by poll workers. (If a vote cannot be read by an optical scanner, then a duplicate is supposed to be made if voter intent can be determined and attached to the flawed original -- that way the original can be reviewed at a later time if necessary. Instead, poll workers merely "enhanced" the original, making it impossible to review at a later time.
The result cannot be believed or trusted.
With Judge Bridges' ruling, we need to ask the question: "What evidence of incompetence, fraud or illegal voting is necessary to overturn the election?" It appears that every illegal voter -- including felons and non-citizens (at least two non-citizens admitted voting in the Washington election) -- must be put on the stand and forced to reveal who they voted for (in violation of the secret ballot).
Of course, at that point you're faced with this problem.
Q: You're ineligible to vote because you're a convicted felon, correct?
Q: Yet, you voted anyway.
Q: You're a law-breaker, correct?
Q: So, under penalty of perjury -- which you know we can never prove -- who'd you vote for?
The voters in Washington state have been robbed by dishonesty and incompetence in King County -- and despite Judge Bridges' call for them to fix the problems detailed by Republicans at the voting booth (talk about irony!) -- there's not much that can be done about it. Democrats aren't going to want to fix a problem they don't want to acknowledge -- especially when it won them control of the governor's mansion.
If you thought the days of party machines running crooked elections were left behind with the 20th century, today's ruling proves that wrong.
Maybe a recall election should be considered -- and not just for governor.