Thursday, December 30, 2004

Rossi Wants a Revote

In the great state of Washington, losing Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi now wants the state to just call off the whole election and vote again. For those of you who don't know, Rossi was ahead in the original tally of votes and the first recount. However, a second, manual recount put Democrat Christine Gregorie ahead, and it now looks like she will be certified the winner.

I'm going to try and put aside the rank hypocrisy on the Republican's part here (Kevin Drum is having more trouble), and address the proposal on its merits. I'm honestly undecided as to whether this is a good idea, but I lean that it isn't. For me, the paramount issue is whether or not the will of the people, as expressed in the election, is met. That's why I support recounts, including any additional ones that Rossi would like to have done. I'm also skeptical of the Washington Supreme Court decision that ruled canvassing boards could not look at ballots that were disqualified due to "voter error." I supported looking to voter intent whenever possible in Florida 2000, and I'll support it here. However, contrary to GOP claims of a double standard, I do understand the distinction between those ballots disqualified due to voter error and those disqualified due to administrative error (such as the now famous ballots in King Country which were eventually allowed). The latter ballots have a far better claim of validity than do the former. But that notwithstanding, I do think that there should be a goodfaith effort on the part of the entire state to determine who the voters intended to vote for.

That being said, a revote is an entirely different can of worms. For better or for worse, we have elections on certain days so that all of our candidates are evaluated based on the same series of events. A revote would have absolutely unpredictable effects on voter turnout, it might spike (due to partisans thinking their candidate was "robbed"), or it might plummet (with many less-attuned voters unaware that a second election is being held, or just not caring enough to vote any more). In the absence of clear evidence of fraud, which I haven't seen yet, I don't think we should upon this Pandora's box.

1 comment:

N.S.T said...

There's a big difference between losing a close election and losing an election where there are REAL concerns about the integrity of the vote(Read that last clause there, all you people who continue to believe that POTUS 2000 was a fraud, accepting as truth false accusations and consiracy theories, or simply rhetoric without supporting evidence). When a few hundred votes just HAPPEN to turn up in a warehouse in the most liberal county in the State, one has a valid concern. However when one is simply being a sore loser, that's not valid. It really becomes hard to tell because any party who loses a close election of any magnitude tries to appeal to the public by cliaming they meet the criteria I outlined above. The correct human response, in the end, is who really cares? I live in Maryland and I'd be hard pressed to walk down the street and be able to find someone who could tell me in any detail what impact Governor Ehrlic has had on their life. This is because a governor(depending on state, of course) has relatively little impact in such a small state anyway.