The Margin of Victory

A few days ago we linked to Stefan Sharkansky’s blog Sound Politics, which is covering the recount in the Washington governor’s race. Reader Mike Barton pointed out that Sharkansky has been investigating, with rather astonishing results:

Crunching the data in the King [Ukraine] County voter registration file, I came across precinct SEA 37-1823, or simply Precinct 1823, located in downtown Seattle between Elliot Bay and I-5 near the James St. exit.
Precinct 1823 has 763 registered “Active” voters. 527 of them list as their residence address 500 4th Ave — the King County Administration Building. 241 of these voters specifically note their apartment number as #553, which is the room number of the … King [Ukraine] County Records and Elections office.
Over 300 of these alleged “voters” give 500 4th Ave. (with or without the Elections office room number) as both their residence and mailing addresses. Several of the other Elections Office residents give overseas mailing addresses, such as Anuj Rathi of Mumbai, India, Rayko Suzuki of Tokyo, Japan, and Pascal Engi of Bern, Switzerland.
Another 48 of the Precinct 1823 “voters” give as their residence address 511 3rd Ave, which appears to be some sort of private mailbox service.
And then there are the two Messrs. Harder — Mike Harder of 509 3rd Ave. Apt. 507, who registered to vote on April 28, 2004 and Michael D. Harder of 509 3rd Ave. Apt. 507, who registered to vote on July 20, 2004. Both Messrs. Harder are flagged as permanent absentee voters.
465 (61%) of the Precinct 1823 voters registered during 2004 and nearly all of them “live” at 500 4th Ave. By contrast, only 13% of all of King County voters registered in 2004.
3 members of the List of 573 Magical Mystery Voters are from Precinct 1823, 2 of whom “live” at the Elections Office.
In the machine recount, Precinct 1823 gave 203 votes to Gregoire and 87 votes to Rossi, for a net Gregoire lead of 116 votes. The only way for Christine Gregoire to win the governor’s race is to carry Precinct 1823 in a landslide.
UPDATE: Elections Superintendent Bill Huennekens explained that the residents of the Elections office are “homeless individuals”, and that there is a special section of the administrative code which allows for that. He sees nothing unusual in the fact that some of these so-called homeless individuals also give mailing addresses elsewhere. I asked him what the county did to verify the identities of individuals who list the elections office as their residence and he said that they can’t be treated any differently from anybody else. I take that to mean, that anybody on the planet who wants to vote (or vote again) can simply claim to be a resident of the King County Elections office.

Count every vote!
UPDATE: The Washington Supreme Court has ruled in the Democrats’ favor on the 573 ballots that were mysteriously found in a warehouse some weeks after the election.
Count every vote!

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