The Seattle Times admits Stefan Sharkansky to the precincts of its editorial page for a column that deserves some kind of an award: “A citizens’ revolution for clean elections, new media.” Sharkansky writes:
Christine Gregoire has said that our recent election was “a model to the rest of the nation and the world.” If what she meant is that the King County Elections Office is her model of how she plans to run the state of Washington, then we should all be worried.
Is it really “good enough for government work” to count 3,500 or 2,000 more ballots than there were voters? The airlines figured out years ago how to match the number of boarding passes with the number of people sitting in the airplane. Why can’t our elections officials match the number of ballots cast with the number of voters who supposedly cast them?
I think most Washingtonians agree that it isn’t good enough for government work to decide an election by a box load of funny votes. It is not the American way for a tainted victory of 129 votes, marred by thousands of illegitimate votes, including double voters, felon voters, cemetery voters and unidentified voters, to take the place of a legitimate decision of the electorate.
The only fair solution is to have a new, clean election so we all can know that whoever lives in our governor’s mansion has a genuine mandate from a majority of the eligible voters. Once we have a legitimate governor, the next step is for an overhaul of our elections system.
Our democracy is not built on “elections” that are artificial contests with arbitrary rules and procedures. Our democracy is built on the principle that government is subservient to the will of the people. Elections are merely a tool for measuring the will of the people.
When an election turns into a game of counting mysteriously discovered pieces of paper, you might as well just let the candidates pick a winner by playing a game of rock, scissors, paper.
Sharkansky is the founder of the Sound Politics blog, where he broke the stories of voting irregularities on which his column is based.