Letters to the Editor

Elections 2004: Court did right by voters

Edward Drum (Letters, Jan. 8) accuses Christine Gregoire of conflict of interest because she was the state attorney general when she was elected governor. He said the “examples of corruption” he found in the election “happened under (her) stewardship.”

Is he unaware that the secretary of state, not the attorney general, is in charge of elections? This means that if there was corruption in the election, it happened under Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed’s stewardship, not Attorney General Gregoire’s.

Mr. Drum accuses the Washington Supreme Court of “changing the rules” to help Ms. Gregoire win the hand recount for governor, but he doesn’t say which rules the court changed. Ms. Gregoire won after the Supreme Court added 723 King County ballots to the recount; 573 that had earlier been thrown out because election officials failed to scan the voters’ signatures into the computer and 150 overlooked ballots found in a warehouse. Republicans objected to counting these votes, but state law permits canvassing boards to fix errors made by elections staff.

When Republican lawyer Harry Korrell told the Supreme Court that counting these votes would cause irreparable harm, the justices asked him who would suffer the harm. Justice Susan Owens went straight to the heart of the matter when she said, “You’re looking at it from the point of view of the winner or the loser. Shouldn’t we be looking at it from the point of view of the voter?”

Trudy Sundberg

Oak Harbor

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