The illegal felon vote in Washington

Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire won more votes from urbanites in the 2004 election while Dino Rossi, her Republican opponent, got more rural votes. Gregoire had probably more women's votes and Rossi more from men.

OK, but which candidate captured the hearts of the convicted felons who broke the law by voting?

Republicans said in court papers yesterday that at least 1,108 felons voted illegally, as did at least 55 other voters -- a total more than eight times as large as Gregoire's 129-vote margin of victory over Rossi in a hand recount.

But Democratic Party lawyers argue that for the Republicans to win their lawsuit to overturn Gregoire's election, they must prove that those voters substantially favored the Democratic governor -- which might require dragging individual felons into court to say for whom they voted.

That's ridiculous, replied Mary Lane, Rossi's spokeswoman. "Are they seriously talking about bringing in a bunch of criminals and putting them on the stand? I mean, that's absurd. They're criminals!"


Lawyers for the two political parties disagree about what that requires.

Lane said the Republicans, despite Bridges' comments, still contend that the number of illegal votes should, on its face, require a new election because it makes it impossible to determine who really won.

"We believe that anything over 129 (illegal votes) should be sufficient to say that the judge can decide to go on a proportionality argument," Lane added, meaning that the Republicans should be allowed to argue that illegal votes from King County, for example, presumably favored Gregoire by the same proportion as lawful King County votes did.

Since 884 of the 1,108 felons voted illegally in King County, which Gregoire carried with 58 percent of the votes to Rossi's 40 percent, "that is not good news for Christine Gregoire," Lane said.


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