The Washington State Governor saga continues. Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed (the official responsible for the conduct of elections) has now stated that he supports the challenge in the courts by Republican candidate Dino Rossi. The November 2004 election is still not over.
The story so far. After more than 500 votes were "found" in the most heavily Democratic area of the State of Washington, the Republican lead of 261 in the initial count was overturned, first by a machine recount that gave Mr Rossi a lead of 42, then the hand recount that produced a lead of 129 for Democratic Party candidate Christine Gregoire.
The wild discrepancies between electoral districts when it came to the two recounts (some making virtually no changes at all, others boosting one or several candidates votes upwards, yet others reducing the number of accepted ballots) give rise to the suspicion that serious incompetence is at stake or that the result was fixed.
I can't help drawing parallels with the Ukraine, where similar discrepancies in December led to street protests and the eventual re-run of the election. Clearly, the gubernatorial election in Washington state is not considered by locals as epoch-making, which is no bad thing.
The silence of the heavily pro-Democrat media in New York and Washington D.C. is deafening, considering the coverage given to attempts by pressure groups to get the Presidential election result overturned by querying the score in Ohio.
The value of the Washington State election for governor in 2004 is that it has become a microcosm of all the problems facing election organisers in the U.S.A.. Add the problem of time differences and results being declared (sometimes falsely) whilst other people are still voting and one gets a U.S. Presidential election.