portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts oregon & cascadia

election fraud | imperialism & war

The Fascist war for Governorship of Washington State

Monday the verdict of whether the election in Washington sate for governor will be over turned. Remember several months ago the fascist tried to implant in the corporate media propaganda that Washington State was divided west and east. This is their major plan is to get a foot hold in the Pacific Northwest either via the governorship or divide and conquer.
Dems Rest Case in Washington Vote Trial


Saturday June 4, 2005 12:01 AM

AP Photo WAET803

By REBECCA COOK

Associated Press Writer

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) - Democrats defending the disputed 2004 governor's election rested their case Friday in a trial challenging the results of a race won by just 129 votes.

Democratic attorneys submitted depositions and documents from counties across the state to support their claims that election errors happened everywhere. Their exhibits included a thank-you card from President Bush to an ex-convict, a staunch Republican who allegedly voted illegally in the 2004 election - intended to show that not all felons vote Democrat.

GOP attorneys planned to question rebuttal witnesses later Friday, and then both sides planned to make their closing arguments.

Republicans challenging Gov. Christine Gregoire's victory have focused on errors in the Democratic stronghold of King County, the state's most populous.

They contend the errors indicate fraud and want the election overturned to allow a new contest between Gregoire and Republican candidate Dino Rossi.

Judge John Bridges said he plans to rule Monday on whether to nullify the election. Both sides say they will appeal to the state Supreme Court if they lose.

On the witness stand Friday morning, lead GOP election observer Dan Brady testified about lax security for ballots in King County - for example, a ballot vault that was usually open and unguarded. He also said observers couldn't see ballots at every step of the counting and recounting.

Later, Democratic attorney Kevin Hamilton asked Brady several times about GOP State Chairman Chris Vance's Nov. 9 statement that there was no fraud in King County.

``I don't recall these statements,'' Brady said.

Hamilton then played part of a Nov. 9 televised town hall meeting in Seattle, in which Vance said about King County election workers: ``These are dedicated professionals. ... I know there is no fraud, there is nothing nefarious going on here in Washington state.''

Republican attorney Rob Maguire asked if Brady thought Vance had since changed his view. ``I believe he has,'' Brady replied.

Gregoire, who was the state's attorney general at the time of the election last fall, lost the first count and a machine recount, then won a final, hand recount. It was the slimmest winning margin, by percentage, in any gubernatorial election in U.S. history. Rossi and the state Republican Party sued to overturn the election and want a new election this fall.

^---

On the Net:

Trial video:  http://www.tvw.org


 http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5051076,00.html
the Dominionist-Corporatist Coup d' etat for WA 03.Jun.2005 18:25

_._

They wish to do to Washington what they did with California using Arnold.


Blast from the recent past:



Sunday, February 20, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

Changing numbers call state's election accuracy to question

By Eric Pryne

Seattle Times staff reporter


Idea of closer scrutiny met with mixed reaction

As she watched hundreds of votes appear and disappear in the dramatic recounts of last year's governor's race, Michelle Anderson wondered why the numbers were changing so much.

"It surprised me," the independent voter from Lake Stevens said.

"Look at our banking system. I can go anywhere in the world and withdraw money at an ATM, and it balances out to the penny."

The shifting recount totals have taken a back seat in the titanic struggle over the governorship as Democrats and Republicans wrangle in a Wenatchee courtroom over provisional ballots, dead voters and felons.

Still, for many people the numbers were the first indication that the accuracy of Washington elections and maybe elections in general is not what they had imagined. Doubts persist, as state lawmakers debate election-reform proposals and King County officials review their own procedures.

Why weren't all the votes counted right the first time? Have elections always been this inaccurate?

The answer depends on how you define accuracy.

Secretary of State Sam Reed assured voters before the recounts began in November that past recounts had shown Washington elections were 99.99 percent accurate.

His office measures accuracy by looking at how much the margin between candidates changes between an initial vote count and recounts. By that standard, this election was no less accurate than earlier ones, even though the outcome changed.

But by another measure total changes in raw numbers of votes the initial count in this election was much further off than in statewide recounts of the not-so-distant past.
During the first recount of the governor's race, when the ballots were tabulated a second time by machines, election workers added and subtracted more than 2,600 votes to the totals for Democrat Christine Gregoire, Republican Dino Rossi and Libertarian Ruth Bennett. During machine recounts in 1990 and 1991, workers added and subtracted just 450 and 691, respectively.

Some find that trend disturbing. "The initial count should be more accurate," says Don Whiting, former assistant secretary of state.

State and county elections officials say the numbers were up in the 2004 election because workers did a better job of detecting and fixing mistakes voters made on their ballots mistakes that prevented those votes from being read properly by machines.

In a sense, they suggest, they've traded one kind of accuracy for another.

"We in effect bend over backward for the voter," said John Pearson, deputy state-elections superintendent. "There is a trade-off in terms of the numbers not balancing every time [in recounts]. I think the trade-off is worth it."

Chads and ovals
Vote totals change in recounts for two reasons: Vote-counters catch mistakes voters made that weren't caught the first time through. And vote-counters catch mistakes they've made themselves.

During the first recount last November, for instance, Cowlitz County discovered it had counted 99 ballots twice in the initial count. Snohomish County found 224 uncounted ballots in a locker.

Processing errors like those are nothing new: In 2000, Douglas County discovered during recounts for the U.S. Senate and secretary of state that in the first tally it had accidentally double-counted more than 700 ballots 6 percent of the total county vote.

Proportionately, it was a bigger mistake than any county made in 2004. But it didn't attract a lot of attention because it didn't make a difference. The races weren't as tight.

Pearson and other election officials say processing errors weren't responsible for most of the thousands of votes that were added and subtracted during the recounts last year.

Technology was.

Since the early 1990s, "optical-scan" ballots, which voters mark with a pencil or pen, have replaced punch-card ballots in most Washington counties. It's part of a national trend that has been accelerated by the 2000 presidential-election debacle in Florida. Congress concluded in 2002 that punch cards are more error-prone than other voting systems, and ordered all states to eliminate them by 2006.

But, while optical-scan ballots are considered more reliable, vote totals in Washington recounts began to fluctuate much more dramatically after the new systems had largely supplanted punch cards.

Fourteen counties still used punch cards last fall. On average, their vote totals changed much less between the initial count and the recounts than in the counties that used optical scan.

When Spokane County used punch cards in 2000, its vote totals in the U.S. Senate recount increased by just 28. When it used optical-scan ballots last year, the first recount produced 261 more votes.

Elections officials say the numbers jumped because people interact differently with the two types of ballots.

Voters don't have many options when they mark punch-card ballots, says Snohomish County Auditor Bob Terwilliger, and election workers don't have much to look for when they inspect them.

"You either have that chad punched out or you don't," he says, referring to the tiny pieces of paper voters detach from punch cards to mark their choices.

An optical-scan ballot, in contrast, "opens up all kinds of opportunities for voters to get creative in marking their ballots," Pearson says.

Some check or underline or circle the name of a candidate or party on the ballot, rather than filling in the oval or other space the scanner scans. Some don't fill in the oval darkly enough. Some fill in two ovals one for a candidate, one for a write-in then print the name of that same candidate on the write-in line.

Machines won't count any of those votes.

Adams County's scanner reads only marks made in pencil; auditor Nancy McBroom says some voters last fall especially those voting by mail filled out their ballots in ink. Others changed their votes, but didn't erase their first marks completely enough to satisfy the machine.

Many of those mistakes were corrected before the ballots were counted the first time McBroom says her staff duplicated or re-marked about one in every 10 ballots.

But other errors slipped through undetected, or weren't fixed completely before the first count. "There are so many more things to look for" with optical scan, Pearson says.

The beauty of the system is that if there's a recount, it's often fairly easy to discern a voter's intent and count the vote. One consequence: the numbers change more.

Voters may have made even more mistakes with punch cards mistakes that didn't turn up in recounts because they were more difficult to detect, let alone fix.

Ballots without votes
After the 2000 election, researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explored how different voting systems might enable or interfere with voters' ability to state their preferences. Their measuring stick: the number of ballots in presidential elections that didn't record a vote for any presidential candidate.

Numbers varied widely across the nation by ballot type, researchers found not something you'd expect if all such "undervotes" were intentional. In 2000, 3 percent of the punch-card ballots, but just 1.2 percent of the optical-scan ballots, didn't contain a vote for the nation's top office.

The same pattern emerged in Washington last year. On average, punch-card counties recorded more undervotes for president than did optical-scan counties.

Yakima County used punch cards in 2000, then optical-scan and electronic voting last year. The county's undervote for president dropped from nearly 4.7 percent to less than 1.2 percent.

"A punch-card ballot is much less user-friendly," says Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman, who supervises elections in one of the larger counties that still uses them.

That's become increasingly evident as more people vote by mail, many elections officials say. At polling places, it's easy to punch out the right chad; there's a template that aligns candidates' names with the corresponding chads.

At home, it's more complex: In all but one Washington county Franklin County the cards don't contain candidates' names. Voters must look in a separate, printed guide to learn which chad is a vote for which candidate.

Sometimes they get it wrong.

Sometimes voters poke holes in punch cards above, below or beside chads. When election workers inspect those ballots, "you don't know what their intent was," says Yakima County assistant auditor Lynda Sissom.

With optical-scan ballots, elections officials agree, determining intent isn't such a mystery.

Paul Miller, director of election information in the Secretary of State's office, tells of confused punch-card voters mistakenly punching out, say, Chad 98 when they intended to vote for or against Initiative 98.

"The system's never going to pick that up," he says.

"The voters may make a mistake," adds Pam Floyd, assistant elections director for voter services, "but it's harder to know that they've made a mistake."

Anderson, the Lake Stevens voter, wonders whether ballots that aren't filled out correctly should be counted at all. Some states do reject them, Pearson says.

"But we are a 'voter-intent' state," he adds. "If you can figure out what the voter intended to do, you count that vote."

Is 100% accuracy possible?
Voters and vote-counters have always made mistakes. They always will, Pearson says: If there were another recount, the numbers could change again.

"It's a massive organizational challenge," says University of Washington communications professor Philip Howard.

After the November elections, Howard led a team that used the Caltech-MIT data to calculate the reliability of voting systems used by different states. The team then compared that number with the vote difference between candidates in high-profile races.

Researchers found that the margin of error for the voting systems was greater than the winners' victory margins in seven close contests: the presidential races in Iowa, New Hampshire and New Mexico, Senate contests in Florida, Kentucky and South Dakota and Washington's governor's race.

In each case, Howard says, the certified winner theoretically could be the loser. Runoff elections may be the best solution when the outcome is that close, he suggests.

"It doesn't matter how many times you count," Howard says. "You always get a different number."

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or  epryne@seattletimes.com

Copyright 2005 The Seattle Times Company
 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002185379_accuracy20m.html
___

February 21, 2005

Eastern Washington - Possible 51st U.S. state?

By RACHEL LA CORTE
Associated Press Writer

OLYMPIA, Wash. - If Sen. Bob Morton has his way, he'll soon be a resident and lawmaker in the 51st state of the United States. To Morton, the Cascade Mountains are more than just the dividing line between wet and dry Washington.

They are the indisputable wall between political ideologies that only became more apparent during the recent contested governor's race.

The Republican from Orient is the prime sponsor on a joint memorial in the Senate that asks President Bush to create a new state east of the Cascades that would comprise 20 of the current state's 39 counties. Nine other Republican senators have signed on in support. Similar measures have been introduced in past years without success.

"It's not sour grapes," Morton said. "It's common sense. People who think alike should be united."

Morton said Eastern Washington has its own distinct culture, lifestyle and agriculture-driven economy. And he says growth development restrictions and other regulations imposed by Olympia put a stranglehold on his area.

But even if the measure passes the Senate and House and is signed by the governor, the U.S. Constitution says that Congress, not the president alone, has the power to create a new state.

Morton acknowledged the challenge of anything coming of the measure, but said "it's worth every effort."

Other Republicans also noted that because about one-third of the state's voters reside in Washington's largest, and overwhelmingly Democratic, county - King County - that their constituents' voices are overshadowed by their western neighbors.

Bitterness over the red-blue divide in the state only increased in November's governor's race. Eastern Washington overwhelmingly voted in support of Republican candidate Dino Rossi, only to see Democrat Christine Gregoire pull ahead after a third count.

"Look at the election results. We elected Rossi. King County elected Gregoire," said Sen. Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley.

The measure will have a public hearing before the Government Operations and Elections Committee Tuesday morning.

Committee Chair Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyalllup, said he has no plans on moving the measure out of committee. He said he decided to hold a public hearing because it was "an opportunity to learn from each other."

"This is purely an opportunity for us to engage in a conversation about why they do perceive Western Washington the way they do," he said. "I hope something positive comes from this. In no way am I really serious about dividing the state of Washington."

But McCaslin said that there's no way to escape domination from the west coast without becoming a whole new state.

"I believe from my heart, mind and soul that Eastern Washington could survive beautifully without Western Washington," he said. "And I hope Western Washington feels just as I do, that we'd love to be on our own."

One Democrat from Western Washington does, and he's the lone member of his party listed as a sponsor on the measure.

Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, said he believes Western Washington would benefit from a split in the state.

"I feel east and west have common cause here," he said.

While recognizing the political divide that angers the east side, Kline said financially, Western Washington would be better off without them because he said that side of the state gets more than its share of tax revenue.

"I would like as much as possible for revenue generated in Western Washington to stay in Western Washington," he said. But other Democrats disagree.

"I like the fact that we have the diversity of the west side and east side and the urban and rural. That makes it a stronger state," said Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane. "The ideological differences that (Morton's) talking about are present everywhere, within every county, within every neighborhood." Brown also noted she'd lose some status. She said Morton was "trying to turn me from majority leader to minority leader."

"Because that's what I would be in the new state," she said.

Sen. Dan Swecker, a Republican from Rochester who has signed on in support even though he represents Western Washington, said the measure is "a little bit tongue-in-cheek."

"I think people need to remember that the biggest divide is not the east-west divide, it's the rural-urban divide," he said.

As proof of more anger of rural residents against urban Seattle, another bill before the Legislature would create Cascade County from all parts of King County that fall outside Seattle.

Swecker said bills like these reflect the frustration of voters who feel their voices are overshadowed by those in the big cities, regardless of whether they're east or west of the mountains.

"One size does not fit all," he said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 http://www.katu.com/stories/75135.html
_____

Saturday, February 19, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

Breaking up is hard to do

Editorial
Washington's sons and daughters need family mediation. Next week, a state Senate committee will hold a hearing on breaking the state in two.

The squeaky-tight gubernatorial race, its election irregularities and the ensuing not-so-civil discourse underline stark differences in our great state. Residents' disparate ideologies, economic fortunes and social philosophies seem to break down along rural and urban lines. Tuesday, the family will have it out. The Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would ask Congress to recognize Eastern Washington as the 51st state.

Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire won eight counties, all in Western Washington, while Republican opponent Dino Rossi won the other 31, including every one that would comprise the state of "Eastern Washington." The western border counties would be Okanogan, Chelan, Kittitas, Yakima and Klickitat. The U.S. Constitution requires the assent of the Legislature of a state from which a new state springs. Thus, Senate Joint Resolution 8009.

"Dead serious" is how co-sponsor Joyce Mulliken, R-Ephrata, describes the effort endorsed by 10 other senators. It doesn't help now that Democrats control both legislative houses and the governor's mansion, they are having a field day proposing tax increases and new burdens for business.

"Our government would have a much more friendly business climate and less regulation," Mulliken says.

Go, girl, says Sen. Adam Kline, the liberal Seattle Democrat to sign on the bill. "Western Washington has quite a bit to gain. We're a net subsidizer of Eastern Washington," especially in transportation dollars.

Kids. Kids. Let's not be rash. Let's talk. The family meeting starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Such a conversation could be good for the soul of Washington state, whose diversity of terrain, resources and industry from dot-com enterprises to apple orchards is its strength.

We think Washington should stay together, although its residents and elected leaders could do a much better job of trying to understand each other.

Let's hope Tuesday's hearing resembles a vigorous family discussion, not Divorce Court.

Copyright 2005 The Seattle Times Company

 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/2002184398_stateed19.html

_____
Monday, February 21, 2005 Last updated 1:59 p.m. PT

Some GOP senators want Eastern Washington as a state unto itself

By RACHEL LA CORTE
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- If Sen. Bob Morton has his way, he'll soon be a resident and lawmaker in the 51st state of the United States.

To Morton, the Cascade Mountains are more than just the dividing line between wet and dry Washington. They are the indisputable wall between political ideologies that only became more apparent during the recent contested governor's race.

The Republican from Orient is the prime sponsor on a joint memorial in the Senate that asks President Bush to create a new state east of the Cascades that would comprise 20 of the current state's 39 counties. Nine other Republican senators have signed on in support. Similar measures have been introduced in past years without success.

"It's not sour grapes," Morton said. "It's common sense. People who think alike should be united."

Morton said Eastern Washington has its own distinct culture, lifestyle and agriculture-driven economy. And he says growth development restrictions and other regulations imposed by Olympia put a stranglehold on his area.
But even if the measure passes the Senate and House and is signed by the governor, the U.S. Constitution says that Congress, not the president alone, has the power to create a new state.

Morton acknowledged the challenge of anything coming of the measure, but said "it's worth every effort."

Other Republicans also noted that because about one-third of the state's voters reside in Washington's largest, and overwhelmingly Democratic, county - King County - that their constituents' voices are overshadowed by their western neighbors.

Bitterness over the red-blue divide in the state only increased in November's governor's race. Eastern Washington overwhelmingly voted in support of Republican candidate Dino Rossi, only to see Democrat Christine Gregoire pull ahead after a third count.

"Look at the election results. We elected Rossi. King County elected Gregoire," said Sen. Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley.

The measure will have a public hearing before the Government Operations and Elections Committee Tuesday morning.

Committee Chair Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyalllup, said he has no plans on moving the measure out of committee. He said he decided to hold a public hearing because it was "an opportunity to learn from each other."

"This is purely an opportunity for us to engage in a conversation about why they do perceive Western Washington the way they do," he said. "I hope something positive comes from this. In no way am I really serious about dividing the state of Washington."

But McCaslin said that there's no way to escape domination from the west coast without becoming a whole new state.

"I believe from my heart, mind and soul that Eastern Washington could survive beautifully without Western Washington," he said. "And I hope Western Washington feels just as I do, that we'd love to be on our own."

One Democrat from Western Washington does, and he's the lone member of his party listed as a sponsor on the measure.

Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, said he believes Western Washington would benefit from a split in the state.

"I feel east and west have common cause here," he said.

While recognizing the political divide that angers the east side, Kline said financially, Western Washington would be better off without them because he said that side of the state gets more than its share of tax revenue.

"I would like as much as possible for revenue generated in Western Washington to stay in Western Washington," he said.

But other Democrats disagree.

"I like the fact that we have the diversity of the west side and east side and the urban and rural. That makes it a stronger state," said Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane. "The ideological differences that (Morton's) talking about are present everywhere, within every county, within every neighborhood."

Brown also noted she'd lose some status. She said Morton was "trying to turn me from majority leader to minority leader."

"Because that's what I would be in the new state," she said.

Sen. Dan Swecker, a Republican from Rochester who has signed on in support even though he represents Western Washington, said the measure is "a little bit tongue-in-cheek."

"I think people need to remember that the biggest divide is not the east-west divide, it's the rural-urban divide," he said.

As proof of more anger of rural residents against urban Seattle, another bill before the Legislature would create Cascade County from all parts of King County that fall outside Seattle.

Swecker said bills like these reflect the frustration of voters who feel their voices are overshadowed by those in the big cities, regardless of whether they're east or west of the mountains.

"One size does not fit all," he said.

---

The measure to create a new state is SJM 8009. The bill to create a new county off King County is House Bill 2074.

---

On the Net:

Legislature:  http://www.leg.wa.gov

---

Associated Press Writer David Ammons in Olympia contributed to this report.

 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=WA%20XGR%20Eastern%20Washington%20State%3F