recallreed blog

This blog is established to recall Washington State Secretary of State Sam Reed for failure to perform his duty. You may comment and submit information on-line. If you would like to help, contact Linda Jordan, State Coordinator, at recall@comcast.net. People are encouraged to download, print and share the petition text with others but petitions for signature gathering can not be printed until the Attorney General writes the ballot synopsis and the sufficiency of the charges are upheld in Court.

Monday, June 06, 2005

EFFWA.ORG ISSUES STATEMENT ON WA GOV ELECTION TRIAL

http://orbusmax.blogspot.com/2005/06/effwa.html

Monday, June 06, 2005
EFFWA.ORG ISSUES STATEMENT ON WA GOV ELECTION TRIAL

Statement from Bob Williams

President, Evergreen Freedom Foundation

Concerning Governor's Election Contest Ruling

"A court should only overturn an election when there is clear and compelling evidence that either fraud or gross incompetence and negligence occurred to such a degree that the apparent results cannot be trusted. While we disagree, apparently Judge Bridges believes the Rossi camp fell short of meeting that requirement.

"EFF strongly endorses Judge Bridge's opening comments. The Judge found that at least 1678 illegal votes were cast in the election, however the GOP failed to show that these illegal voters voted in the governor's race and for whom they voted.

"Judge Bridges said the court was not in a position to fix the deficiencies that were heard during the trial - that could only be rectified the voters. He said, 'the voters are in a position to demand of their legislative and executive bodies that remedial measures be instituted immediately.'

"EFF will take that charge very seriously.

"Listening to the testimony by county auditors of the errors in their counties during the 2004 election was appalling - it is hard to believe the fundamental disregard for election laws on reconciliation, certification, rovisional ballots, etc. and the covering up of massive discrepancies, particularly in King County.

"Election officials need to be held accountable with real consequences for violating the laws.

"Essentially Judge Bridges ruling renders the election contest statute meaningless. It is impossible to prove how illegal voters voted. Further, unless the law is changed it sets the state up for voting fraud, particularly ballot stuffing in the future. Once fraud occurs, then the losing candidate will have to prove the fraud by clear and cogent evidence and prove who the illegal voters voted for. That is an impossible standard given ballot secrecy laws.

"This trial demonstrated clearly an alarming ignorance of election law both by state officials who are tasked with implementing and enforcing it, and by local officials charged with the responsibility for carrying out the law. The level of incompetence and misfeseance in the Secretary of State's office is truly appalling.

"The cavalier manner of the King County elections department goes to the root of a corrupt culture where the law is flouted, clear warnings of impending disaster are ignored and legitimate errors are covered up rather than corrected. We also have seen a "circle the wagons" mentality on the part of many elections officials around the state who, while they profess fairness and transparency in the voting process, are even now moving in the direction of more closed doors and backroom procedures in their flight to a vote by mail system that is rife with opportunities for greater shenanigans in the future.

"EFF will continue to seek a federal grand jury investigation into the 2004 elections, not only in King County but elsewhere as well.

"It should be more than obvious to members of the State Legislature that the band-aid approach they took to election reform during the last session is not enough to address the systemic problems we face. "We need to have a complete re-registration of all voters in the state of Washington, with proof of identification and proof of citizenship, to weed out ineligible felon voters, the dead, and those who have registered to vote illegally.

"We must pass legislation requiring meaningful proof of identification both at the polls and when voting by absentee ballot. We have to provide proof of identification in Washington now when we go to by cold medicine. The least we can require is proof of identification before allowing people to vote.

"We need to make certain that the Secretary of State's office issues the 53 WACs it still hasn't issued on election procedures, training elections officials on their requirements and then enforce them in the next election cycle.

"EFF's position from the beginning has been that regardless of the election challenge outcome, Washington needs to engage in a complete reform of the elections process. Judge Bridges hinted that he agrees with us, particularly with his reference how Washington has gone overboard in its efforts to make voting as easy as possible without adequate safeguards.

"The Judge said, 'Extraordinary efforts are in place to make it easier to vote. But unfortunately I fear that it will be much more difficult to account for those votes in the future.'

"He is absolutely correct, and his argument should be kept in mind by all of those elections officials rushing head-long into instituting complete vote-by-mail systems in the future. It is a dangerous path.

"The evidence in this trial re-enforces our position that complete election reform in Washington is required sooner rather than later, and EFF will continue to work for that outcome."

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