‘Mystery Voters’ in Washington Governors’ Race
Rossi given fresh hope as ‘mystery voters’ grow (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Thousands of “mystery voters” in the counties of King, Pierce, Snohomish, Clark and Kitsap appear to be Republican Dino Rossi’s best prospect for challenging the legitimacy of the closest and most contentious gubernatorial election in the state’s history. The state Republican Party yesterday called on county election officials to explain what the GOP says is a nearly 8,500-vote discrepancy between county vote tallies and the number of people credited with actually voting in the election. “People ask me what would fraud look like? It would look like this,” said state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance.
County auditors and election officials say Republicans have based their conclusions on there being many more votes than voters on preliminary lists, and they say much of the deviation would be accounted for as voter lists are updated. But they do not dispute that the numbers don’t add up.
And most agree they never will. “At the end of this, it’s never going to match one to one given the volume,” said Dean Logan, elections director of King County, which counted about 900,000 votes.
The current number is “larger than I’m comfortable with,” Logan said. But based on historical data, he expects the reconciled lists to include 1,000 to 1,500 more votes than voters accounted for even after the lists are reconciled. Logan said those unaccounted-for votes would likely be from military voters who cast federal write-in ballots and the 76 people in King County who participate in the Address Confidentiality Program.
I’d have to see the comparable data from previous elections to know what to make of this–it may well be perfectly normal–but it sure looks odd. One would think that the total votes cast would match up exactly with the total ballots counted plus total disqualified ballots. Certainly, it shouldn’t be off by a whole percentage point.
Ed Morrissey is right: “The election will have little credibility if the margin does not significantly decrease.”