Suddenly GOP intrigued by voter fraud

GOP tries to sue its way into Washington state governor's mansion

Published May 25, 2005 3:09PM (EDT)

Republican efforts in Washington state to sue their way into the governor's mansion took a legal hit Tuesday when a judge ruled Republicans would have to find another allegation besides voter fraud if they wanted the 2004 election results overturned.

As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports, "Republicans suffered a setback yesterday to their late-developing strategy to claim fraud in the governor's race when a judge said the fraud claim can't stand as a key to the party's legal challenge of Democrat Christine Gregoire's 129-vote victory.

Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges' decision is critical because under Washington law, a challenger most likely would need to establish fraud by one side in the case to get an election overturned simply on the basis that the number of improper votes exceeded the margin of victory. Without fraud, Republican candidate Dino Rossi faces the much more difficult task of showing that Gregoire owes her win to illegal votes or actions."

In an election where 2.8 million ballots were cast, Gregoire won the final recount by 129 votes.

By Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for Salon, is the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."

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