Revote demanded

Motorists in Oak Harbor Saturday morning were greeted by a crowd of sign-waving demonstrators demanding a revote in the Washington gubernatorial election.

At 10 a.m. when the rally began, about 35 people lined the west side of Highway 20 in front of Jack in the Box restaurant.

Andy Valrosa, chairman of the Island County Republican Party, estimated that some 75 people took the opportunity to demonstrate during the rally which was partly conducted in a steady rainfall.

Valrosa had earlier invited the entire community to the demonstration — not just Republicans, who are trying to convince the Legislature to order another vote in a race that has already gone through three official counts. Democrat Christine Gregoire was finally declared the winner by 129 votes over Republican Dino Rossi.

At least one Democrat took Valrosa up on his challenge, but Walt Mistler was standing alone on the east side of the highway until half a dozen Republicans scuttled over to share his traffic island.

Mistler didn’t want a revote. “Get over it,” one side of his sign stated. “Rossi lost,” said the other side.

Mistler said he was there to represent “the slim majority … I was hoping it’d snow and I’d be the only one out here,” he added.

But there were plenty of Republicans on hand to offer a different point of view. “I’m a Republican but it wouldn’t matter,” said Chris Lanz, explaining her presence at the rally. “I’d be out if there was questionable activity in any election.”

Republican have keyed on King County in complaining about how the votes were tallied. King County’s problems have been widely publicized, including having counted more ballots than they have voters, and having counted the ballots of several dead people. In addition, ballots not counted in the first count and ensuing recount were later counted in the hand recount.

Ty Welch said King County was allowed to count differently from other counties.

“Don’t change the rules,” he said.

“When dead people vote it stinks,” said Burt Green, who was standing on Mistler’s side of the highway. “And when more voted in King County than are registered, something’s wrong.”

But the Legislature, controlled by Democrats, went ahead and approved the election results early this week and Gregoire is scheduled to be sworn in as governor today.

Republicans have gone to court hoping to have election results thrown out.

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