GOP's selective interest in election reform

Seeking to take back a governorship, the party gets no help from a judge in Washington state.

By Page Rockwell
Published June 6, 2005 8:01PM (EDT)

Washington state Republicans who hoped to have the results of the 2004 governor's race overturned got some bad news on Monday, when a state Superior Court judge upheld Democrat Christine Gregoire's election as governor. Two weeks ago, Judge John Bridges ruled that the GOP could not claim voter fraud in its challenge of the election results. With fraud out of the picture, the Republican challengers had to try to prove that Gregoire unfairly benefited from illegal votes or action, and apparently they couldn't. Bridges tossed out the challenge altogether on Monday, saying, "The burden of proof is not met."

No one disputes that the state's election suffered from some run-of-the-mill voting irregularities, but Republicans' attempts to characterize those errors as "sinister" didn't persuade Bridges, who added, "This court is not in a position to correct those ... deficiencies."

According to Reuters, Bridges dismissed the case with prejudice, which means that the GOP cannot refile the suit. Still, the party's sudden keen interest in election law is unlikely to end here; Republican candidate Dino Rossi is expected to appeal.

Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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