Count all the votes
Wednesday 15 December @ 20:40:27
by Jim Hightower
When is an election over? When the votes are counted, right?
Thus, Republican Dino Rossi says he’s the new governor of Washington State. Not only were the votes counted, but also recounted by electronic machines, and Dino promptly declared himself the victor by a whopping margin of 42 votes. Yes, 42 votes out of 2.8 million votes cast on November 2nd, and the tiniest margin of any gubernatorial election in U.S. history. Still, Rossi proclaimed himself governor-elect, had a victory party with supporters and departed for a seven-day Caribbean cruise.
But wait, says the Democrat candidate, Christine Gregoire, the vote is not over
until every vote is counted ... and counted accurately. Democracy demands no less
than that for elections to be legitimate, and in the Washington state case, that
accuracy is very much in question. Counties report that some of their recounts
don’t match the number of physical ballots, that they have had computer
glitiches, that some precincts were double-counted, etc.
Gregoire is calling for a hand count of all 2.8 million votes as the only way
the vote can truly be verified, and her supporters have raised the money to pay
for this thorough recount in every county.
Oh, no wails Rossi, we can’t have this! Now back from the Caribbean, he
says that he’s “tanned, rested, and ready,” already picking
out new drapes and carpet for the governor's office—so he and his partisans
have demanded that Gregoire be a good sport and go away.
Go away? What about the right of every voter to trust that their ballot was counted
as cast? The 42-vote margin is .0014 precent of the total vote—well within
the margin of error for computerized counting machines. Sure, a hand count will
take a few weeks, but what’s that compared to getting a governor who’s
It’s time for all of us to take a stand somewhere for the integrity of the
vote. To do it in Washington state, call: 206-328-2969. ||
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of "Let's Stop Beating Around
the Bush," on sale from Viking Press. For more information, visit JimHightower.com.