Monday, June 06, 2005

I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing

A ruling has been handed down against the GOP in the Rossi/Gregoire governor contest. There is uproar among voters. King County Democrats are ecstatic, Mrs. Gregoire will remain governor until 2008. Many other Washington residents are less thrilled.

Judge Bridges ruled to the exact letter of the law, for which he is to be commended. He set aside the illegal votes but would not proportionatly deduct them - which would have changed the results back to Rossi's favor. That is where the case hinged. Republicans said that the illegal votes in King County should be set aside in the proportion in which King County voted. Bridges rejected proportional analysis and would only specifically deduct illegal votes proven to go to one candidate or another. The problem is that no one knows who those illegal votes were cast for, the ballot is secret after all.

Bridges knew he was in the hotseat and said this before ruling:

"I have been asked in closing arguments to send a message. I'm going to decline that invitation. This court is not in a position to fix deficiencies in the election process that this court heard about over the past nine days."
He also slapped election officials with this statement:

"It's inertia, it's selfishness, it's taking our paycheck but not doing the work."
He said it is up to voters to fix the problems by getting rid of elections officials who were not doing thier job. My questions are these: how do voters vote out election officials in a system many are convinced is beyond repair? How do you ask voters in Spokane to vote to fix problems in Seattle?

Voters may affect statewide positions but the rotten apples are local to King County. I don't have much faith that King County wants to correct election problems there.

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