Today I heard the opening arguments for both the Democrats and the Republicans on the trial to challenge the 2004 election where Christine Gregoire was eventually elected by a span of 129 votes. Both of their arguments are full of holes and if it were possible, I wish they could both lose.
Here is my summary:
Democrats have rightfully tried to raise the bar on what amounts as proof. Some of their points are strong and others are quite stupid frankly. They contest that Republicans should have to prove how felons voted by affidavit. (violating their 5th amendment rights) They also contest that their needs to be proof of how "live" people voted in the place of the "dead" people whose ballots they use. (Violating normal laws of common sense) While I agree both of these would be "proof" it just an impossible thing to prove...this is partly why they are insisting it. In other words, they want the bar so high it can't be proven so Gregoire can remain as governor. Understandable.
Republicans have proof that the election was handled poorly. Their idea is to make sure they can show that it was handled poorly enough in the right places to put the election in doubt. I personally know it was handled poorly. I also personally know one dead person whose ballot was cast...I'm serious. I believe that there was some absolute stupidness involved with King County because I've lived nearly all of my life in King County and it's nothing new. Furthermore the Republican's claim of using some statistical reduction to eliminate votes, while a cute theory, doesn't prove anything when it comes to who won the election. The idea behind statistical reduction is to eliminate illegal felon votes in proportion to the presincts where they voted. If 60% of voters voted for Rossi in a presinct then all illegal votes found in that presinct will be deducted using that same proportion.
Who is to say that felons who were convicted on drug charges didn't vote for Libertarian Ruth Bennett in large numbers? After all, she was the only candidate who favors the end of drug prohibition. (as I do) The bottom line is that statistical reduction is not a basis to overturn an election and remove a sitting governor.
Now don't get me wrong...I think that Christine Gregoire is the worst governor in my lifetime (yes, including Dixie Lee Ray) and she's only been in office for a few months. I don't like her. I can't stand to hear her voice. I hate seeing her on television. She is an awful party hack that has done nothing but raise taxes and pay off her contributors (labor unions) in big ways. Unlike Republicans and thousands of Dinocrats, I must attempt to be intellectually honest. I've long conceded that the King County electorate (Seattle in particular) is retarded, so the results shouldn't shock me too much.
So what should the citizens of Washington state do now?
Drink coffee and sit in traffic like we have always done.