Unexpectedly Intriguing!
December 23, 2004

The latest news coming from the governor's race in Washington state is extremely disconcerting. As noted by Stefan Sharkansky of Sound Politics in his December 22, 2004 entry Ukranian Roulette, the near impossible has happened (emphasis mine):

47 votes were "corrected" and awarded to Christine Gregoire
12 votes were "corrected" and taken from Dino Rossi.

Net result Gregoire: +59!

This is analogous to flipping a coin 59 times and getting tails every single time. In this case, the coin was biased towards tails to begin with. Nevertheless, the probability of this happening, I calculate, is 3.1x10-14.

What I find particularly chilling in this development is that it appears to me that the King County Democratic Party strategy appears to have been expanded from just turning up ballots in favor of Christine Gregoire to also include suppressing ballots previously counted for Dino Rossi. No matter how you slice it, this is not a good development, and the public's trust in the post-election process can only be further diminished from this point forward.

The immediate question though lies in the 735 uncounted ballots in Washington's King County, which the Washington State Supreme Court ruled should be included in the recount. After adjusting the Washington State Governor's Race Calculator with the new numbers (sourced from above, the Washington State Secretary of State's recount website had not yet been updated with the reported results), Rossi will need to win 50.75% of the uncounted vote in order to win by one vote. Gregoire, on the other hand, will need to win 49.39% of the uncounted vote to win by a margin of just one vote. Considering that the uncounted ballots are from King County, which supported Gregoire over Rossi by a 57.6% to 40.0% margin, the likely outcome strongly favors Gregoire.

I knew I should have asked for a copy of Hugh Hewitt's last book for Christmas....

P.S. See Pull on Superman's Cape for more up-to-date commentary. Along with Josef's Public Journal and Sound Politics (linked above), these are the indispensible sites of the recount.

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