Monday, January 24, 2005

Whistling In The Dark of Washington State's Election

A day after the revelation--in a competing Seattle newspaper--that 129 felons had cast illegal ballots in King (Seattle) and Pierce (Tacoma) counties, the Seattle PI offers its version of Konstitutional Law by Dummies:

Allegations of dead voters and election fraud elicit gasps from outraged voters and pundits, but they won't really matter in the legal challenge to the Washington governor's election.

As legal arguments unfolded in court last week, it became clear the case will turn instead on a close reading of the state constitution. Who has jurisdiction over election challenges -- the courts or the Legislature? What is an "illegal vote"? What kind of proof does the constitution require to nullify an election?

Which is merely the latest Dem Talking Point. The state Constitution clearly gives the legislature the authority to legislate the procedures to be followed in contesting an election--and it has spelled out in statutes that it is the courts that are to hear the evidence in such contests, and that the courts shall rule.

Pretty clearly the Democrats in the state know they will lose that court challenge, and are enlisting their allies in the media to obfuscate the constitutional issues:

Republican Dino Rossi challenged Gregoire's 129-vote victory in the closest, most drawn-out, craziest election Washington state has ever seen. Rossi, a real estate agent and former state senator, won the original count by 261 votes -- an apparent underdog victory against Gregoire, a three-term attorney general. A machine recount whittled his lead to 42. Finally, a hand recount of 2.9 million ballots made Gregoire the winner Dec. 23.

Republicans contend that election workers' errors, especially in the Democratic stronghold of King County, irrevocably tainted the results by allowing illegal votes to be counted.

Democrats argue that while mistakes were made, the hand recount was accurate and Gregoire is the legitimate governor.

Before the case even gets to questions about illegal votes, however, Democrats hope to get it dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.

Democrats argue the election challenge should go to the Legislature, not the courts.

Hope? They should be praying they can find an illiterate judge to so rule, because that's not the law.

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