Monday, March 07, 2005

Evil Republicans

After losing the close Washington gubernatorial election, Dino Rossi's campaign continues to challenge voters' eligibility. But the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that many of the names on the Republicans' list of ineligible voters actually check out just fine.

Evil Machiavellian moment: Republicans send out fake surveys with a $10 check in order to collect signatures of people to check against voter logs. Quoth a spokeswoman for the group, "We're not apologetic about that."


Blogger Vincent said...

Incidentally, I ended up watching a lot of Seattle channels leading up to the election, and I saw a lot of ads for both Dino Rossi and Democrat Christine Gregoire. Gregoire's ads were run-of-the-mill political ads. Rossi's were orders of magnitude viler. The muckraking distortions were so transparent that it's a wonder nearly 50% of Washington voters were swindled by them. The voters of Washington would be advised to send the Republican National Committee and the various R 527s a strong message by refusing to vote for anyone who pollutes the airwaves with such disgusting trash.

3/07/2005 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

First, I'll put on my statistician hat and point out the ridiculousness of this whole process. The election was a tie. Given any reasonable estimate of the margin or error in an election count, the two candidates were in a statistical dead heat. The law ought to have recognized this fact months ago and had the issue settled by a coin flip.

Second, I'm failing to see where this is a horrible, horrible thing. Rossi has put forward a list of a little more than 1000 "possibly illegal" voters. Many of these voters were legal voters, and the court process will make that determination. The article seems to criticise Rossi for listing people that have the same name as a felon or that have been the victim of identity theft, but it seems like those would be exactly the sort of voters that ought to be looked at. If we know that there are two Bob Smith's, one that is a legal voter and another that is a felon that cannot vote, it would seem to make sense that we'd want to take a look at Bob Smith's vote to make sure that the correct Bob Smith voted that day. If Bob had been the victim of identity theft, all the more reason to verify that the thief wasn't the voter.

As for the "obvious" errors, like someone signing on the wrong line, I'll reserve judgement until a lawyer familiar with WA voting laws indicates that those sorts of technical mistakes cannot be used to invalidate an otherwise valid vote. Otherwise, Rossi's lawyers would be remiss not to include them.

As for gathering signatures, I don't see the problem. If you're willing to spend $10 a pop to get a signature, that implies that they are sufficiently confident that something was wrong with the targetted ballots to overcome the appearance of a fishing expidition. Frankly, if they're willing to spend $10 for my signature, I'll be glad to sign for them all day. The fact that there is no signature on file also concerns me-- I would think that the state should be requiring voters to sign something at least once before they get their first absentee ballot. Otherwise, there would be no way to identify the nurse that gathers up 60 ballots from the nursing home and "helps" them all vote.

3/09/2005 12:01:00 PM  

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