Friday, June 03, 2005

Voting Twice - "To Remember a Loved One"

Drudge has a report out of Seattle that two people in King County, Washington have been prosecuted for voting for their deceased spouses. They signed and sent in the absentee ballots in the jurisdiction which has been a place of particular focus in the Republican effort to overturn what appears to be a gubernatorial election result procured by fraud. The prosecutor claims that there may be several more individuals charged with similar offenses, which may just be the tip on what is a much larger iceberg of fraud. And the battle for the Governor's mansion is not yet over.

For those who don't recall what happened, Republican Dino Rossi appeared to have won the Washington State House over Democrat Christine Gregoire by the narrowest of margins. But, as we all know, a narrow win for a Republican is a suspect result, while an equally slim win by a Democrat is a legitimate victory. And the corollary to that unwritten rule is that the same kind of Republican win is simply a budding Democratic victory waiting in the wings after litigation, and the surprise materialization of a load of ballots that were previously unaccounted for. And if those ballots weren't enough to do it, even more ballots will show up. So that's what happened. Several court challenges and many hundreds more suspect ballots later, Gregoire had finished with a little more than a hundred votes beyond Rossi.

I predicted (here and here too) that just as soon as Gregoire's total peaked beyond Rossi's, that same would be the end of the recounts. And it was. Rather than trying to get an accurate count, because we know that it is more important to the Democrats that "every vote count" rather than every legal vote count as the latter standard makes election fraud all the more difficult, they were content with the appearance of a win. And stopping the recount once their total comes ahead implies that anytime a Democrat comes ahead of a Republican, the will of the voter has been determined and no other heretofore undiscovered ballots need to magically materialize. And note well that this was the case in Washington. The mystery ballots stopped cropping up once Gregoire declared herself the winner. Note also that the ballots were turning up in King County, where the bulk of the Democrats' votes are. You didn't see them appearing in the eastern part of the state which tends to be much more red. So the snide mantra about counting every vote is only as good as the Democrats are behind in that count.

But now the tactic is under review. The Republicans are taking the matter to court, requesting that the election be invalidated because of widespread mischief and illegal ballots cast. The Democrats' motion to dismiss the Republicans' case was denied last week, so now they must present evidence as to the validity of the election and ballots counted.

Revotes are rare if not unheard of, folks. And if this one is granted, which it might be, the Democrats will have had their own sword used against them.

But this begs a larger point. Good people don't play games with elections. Good people don't commit fraud. Good people don't seek to throw fraudulent ballots into the mix to cancel out legal votes. And good people don't litigate in order to stretch the meaning of what a vote is or whether legal and possibly illegal votes should be counted together. Elections don't belong in courts, and neither does fraud belong in elections or in a party's list of approved tactics like this. But until this generation of bratty and lawless baby boomer Democrats is out of the political picture, the election lawyers will remain well paid, and transitions of power delayed.

But one thing is for certain. Any politician who relies on dirty tricks to win an election will not play clean after they take office. The leopard doesn't change its stripes.

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