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Monday, May 02, 2005

WA-Gov: Judge Allows Proportional Analysis

Posted by Bob Brigham


WENATCHEE, Wash. - The Republicans won an important victory Monday in their legal challenge to the election of Gov. Christine Gregoire when a judge allowed them to use a type of statistical analysis to try to prove illegal votes swayed the race.

Republican Dino Rossi is trying to have the election results from November declared invalid. Rossi won the first count and a machine recount, but his Democratic opponent won by 129 votes in a hand recount of 2.9 million ballots. [...]

Superior Court Judge John Bridges gave the GOP the go-ahead to apply "proportional analysis" to the illegal votes.

Using proportional analysis, they want the court to subtract illegal votes from both candidates' totals according to precinct voting patterns. For example, if 10 illegal votes came from a precinct that voted 60 percent for Gregoire and 40 percent for Rossi, six votes would be deducted from Gregoire's total and four from Rossi's.

Democrats said the method amounts to statistical guessing. At the same time, they have been collecting evidence of illegal votes in GOP-leaning counties, and plan to use the same proportional analysis in court.

The trial is scheduled to begin in three weeks and is certain to be followed by appeals.

It seems the GOP is in favor of Activist Judges if the decisions help further right-wing power grabs. Washington has a governor, but the GOP desire for absolute power means that a democratically elected Democrats should be dumped by an Activist Judge so the GOP can get a do-over for a race they lost.

Posted at 04:05 PM in Washington | Technorati


I can understand using this kind of methodology for the census. But it doesn't sit well with me for vote-counting - the reason being that no one has an equal protection claim to get counted in the census, but you do have an equal protection claim to make sure your vote counts.

While I hate to bend even an inch for the Republicans, it is a hard situation - how do you balance between counting illegal votes and not counting legal votes? However, I think you have to lean toward the latter in the final analysis - just as it's more important to let 10 guilty men go free than convinct one innocent man, I say it's more important to make sure you count all legal ballots than it is to make sure you weed out all illegal ones.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 2, 2005 06:24 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment