Thursday, January 13, 2005

Gregoire wins governorship in the state of Washington (where I live) by 129 votes out of 2.9 million counted.

That's close. Of course Republican Dino Rossi is mad and challenging the situation. Reminds one of "Bush Gore" Florida in 2000?

Beyond the surface issues, that fill newspapers with political talk, are several things which come to my mind.

Amazing that so many elections, these days, are this close! Every vote counts, I guess.

There is usually a margin of error, maybe 1% anyway.

Voting has many archaic things like the Electoral College, nantionally, that put Bush in for 2000 while Gore took the popular vote. Here in Washington State, Rossi won the Machine recount by 49? votes, but Gregoire ordered (and paid for) a hand recount. Hand count is the final say according to Washington State Constitution; another old tradition, like the Electoral College.

A big issue is the problem of "winner take all competition," especially when it is this close. If half the state wants "brand B," maybe governorships, and the US Presidency, should be shared positions.

Our system of checks and balances does take this problem into account. Often each party gets a little bit of its way when the President is of one party while the legislative majority is of another.

People will be arguing about this close race for years. Last I counted, I still had ten fingers on my hands, but still don't know if the thumb qualifies. Hand recount?

Speaking of old voting traditions, Whatcom County, where I live, has decided to go all absentee ballot. Vote by mail.

A good idea. No more polling stations, except for some handicap places, to maintain. No more need to buy new voting machines. Less worry about the advent of touch screen voting with no paper trail.

Just forget polling place voting all together. Vote by mail. The absentee ballot can still provide a paper trail.

Whatcom County has made a wise move.

1 comment:

buff said...

That was quite a squeaker, Robert. NOw that's a great tribute to "every vote counting." Glad the new governor won.
Hoping the New Year is bright for you. Take care.
Great blog posts by the way. I really enjoy reading them. Take care.