I don’t normally do political commentary in this blog – its’ a technical blog, not a political blog, and there are enough of those blogs out there anyway, but…
For those of you not in Washington State, during the November election, Republican Dino Rossi was declared the victor by something like 240 votes. This triggered a mandatory recount under state law, which reduced his lead to 42 votes. The Democrats asked for a hand recount, and the hand recount declared Democrat Christine Gregoire Governor by a margin of 129 votes (out of 2.7 million cast). That means that by any stretch of the imagination, this election was a tie. The election might as well have been determined by the flip of a coin.
The Republican party is challenging the results of the election, this morning they had a press announcement where they touted 737 votes that they claimed were illegal.
They’re using this as evidence of what they call a “fundamentally flawed” election process. On the other hand, when I look at those numbers, I see that they’re saying that .02% of the votes (2 in 10,000) were flawed. To me, that is evidence of an extraordinarily well run election – it’s an error rate of 1 in 5,000 votes!
I’ve recently been reading David Goldsten’s blog at http://www.horsesass.org (named for his failed initiative to declare Tim Eyman a horses ass). Goldy’s pretty liberal (ok, he’s a flaming liberal), but he’s made some excellent posts about Washington State politics recently (whether or not you agree with him).
Today, Goldy put up a really insightful post about very nature of elections, and especially close elections that I thought was worth pointing out.
Edit: Fixed link to Goldy’s site, sorry about that (I should know better than to post without first checking links).