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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Washington Governor Race Over

The Seattle Times:

Judge John Bridges yesterday upheld the election of Gov. Christine Gregoire, thoroughly rejecting Republican claims of wrongdoing and leading Dino Rossi to forgo what the judge thought was an inevitable appeal to the state Supreme Court. GOP candidate Rossi said the 'political makeup' of the high court would have made it almost impossible to get Bridges' decision overturned. At a news conference hours after Bridges' ruling, Rossi said, 'I am ending this election contest.' That brought to a close seven months of legal and political wrangling over the closest governor's election in the nation's history. There were two recounts, five lawsuits, millions of dollars spent by both political parties and a historic two-week trial here to determine who the legitimate winner was.
I am not positive that there was fraud, per se, by any election workers or by the Democratic Party in this election, but I do think that the standards for elections in Washington need to be looked at seriously. Hopefully, Rossi can become a champion of this cause and get some things done. Sound Politics is the go to blog for a detailed coverage of this issue. Stefan Sharkansky has a couple of posts up about the outcome already, with the promise of more to come. This bit from the article strikes me as interesting though:
Bridges said he was guided by the theory that judges should try to stay out of elections. "The judiciary should exercise restraint in interfering with the election process, which is reserved for the people in the state constitution," Bridges said. "Unless an election is clearly invalid, when the people have spoken, their verdict should not be disturbed by the courts," he said.
While it is clear the the errors in this election far outweighed Gregoire's margin of victory, I have mentioned previously that the results are close enough that anyone who believes in Democracy must believe that either candidate would be an acceptable Governor. While the errors in the process need to be corrected, it would be overwrought to complain that the outcome is in any way disasterous.


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