Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Gregoire to challenge 42-vote 'win'

Democrat Christine Gregoire would like to challenge a ballot recount that gave opponent Dino Rossi the governorship of Washington with a 42-vote margin. That means she must raise $700,000 as a deposit on another recount of at least some districts. If discrepancies are found in selected districts, that will trigger a statewide recount.

Gregoire must make an official request for a recount by 5 p.m. Friday. About 9.2 million votes were cast in the race Nov. 2.

The Olympian reports.

"Our goal is to have a statewide recount. . .the trick is raising money. If this happens tomorrow and we have to raise $700,000 by Friday, it presents a challenge," Gregoire spokesman Morton Brilliant said Monday in Seattle.

He said the organization has less than half the money needed.

Brilliant did not specify how much money is in hand, but said: "We are raising money for a hand recount right now. . .These are a lot of small donors coming in now."

Secretary of State Sam Reed and Gov. Gary Locke, a Democrat, will certify the elections results today. That will initiate a process that allows the person on the short end of a very close contest to request a recount. The previous recount was automatic and the costs were covered by the state. Gregoire will pay for the new recount if it occurs.

. . .When Reed certifies the election results, Rossi will become the state's governor-elect, but the title might not be as significant as it usually is.

"With the race this close, one thing I've made clear to the Rossi folks is that it doesn't really mean a whole lot, because we expect a recount," Reed said.

So many voters. Such a small margin. How did it happen? Rossi, who is anti-abortion and quite far to Right on other issues, has downplayed his conservatism. In 2003, Rossi earned a 100 percent rating from the Washington Conservative Union ( Like former candidate Jack Ryan of Illinois, he relies on a pleasant demeanor and hints at moderation to enhance his electability. His reputation, as a self-made millionaire in real estate and budget wizard, may also have impressed some voters. Gregoire may have been hurt by her gender. There are still voters who will favor a man over a woman in electoral politics. She was doubtlessly harmed by the higher than usual turnout by voters who oppose gay marriage, and, voted Republican. Some also say she ran a low-key campaign, not touting her achievements enough.

The Associated Press cites a more direct reason why Gregoire trails -- write-in votes from Democrats for other candidates.

SEATTLE -- If Christine Gregoire officially loses the race for Washington governor her supporters might blame 502 voters in King County who wrote in Ron Sims.

The King County executive lost to Gregoire in the primary. His supporters may not have known that a candidate who loses in the primary cannot be a write-in candidate in the general election.

The write-ins disclosed by the county also show 40 votes for Gary Locke, who is not seeking a third term. His wife Mona got one vote.

Other write-ins included Phil Talmadge with 28 votes, Mike the Mover with nine votes, Edgar Martinez with nine, Norm Rice with six, Donald Duck with six votes, Ralph Nader with five, Alice Cooper with two and God with two votes.

Neither Nader nor God drained away enough votes in King County to make a difference. But, 502 ineligible votes for Ron Sims may cost Gregoire the election.

Reasonably related

The Seattle Times describes the transformation of Dino Rossi's image from hardcore conservative to moderate.


As of Dec. 1, Democratic Candidate Christine Gregoire is soliciting donations for the recount through the national party. The online donation site is here.

Note: This entry also appeared at Mac-a-ro-nies.

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