Democrats in Washington state received a belated Christmas present from the King County elections department: A stack of ballots they had previously “overlooked.” The State Supreme Court put a ribbon and bow on it when they overturned a lower-court verdict that said it was too late to find and count new ballots. Both of Seattle’s daily newspapers went into turbo-spin (consuming their own considerable exhaust) wondering “who would win the election for governor now?”

I’m sure the suspense was unbearable. Seriously, however, King County has a reputation throughout Washington state for pulling a leftist victory out of their magic hat anytime a statewide election comes down to the wire. This time, the rest of us are actually learning how they’ve done it.

I was a Seattle resident back in the year 2000, and a funny thing happened on the way to Slade Gordon’s re-election to the United States Senate: he lost, after more ballots were “discovered.” That race was very close against Democratic challenger Maria Cantwell. King County elections suddenly “found” another 2,500 ballots at one of the local community colleges that – you guessed it – had previously been “overlooked.” Maria Cantwell won the election – thanks to those newly discovered ballots. Slade, who wanted to retire, refused to contest the election.

Unfortunately for Seattle’s leftist-dominated media, the pajama-clad bloggers are on this election and they’re putting the pieces together. Many of the disputed ballots came from precinct No. 1823, where over 500 of the registered voters actually live at the King County Elections offices. But the real fraud seems much more subtle. Here’s an eyewitness account of the manual recount:

Initially we were tallying clearly marked overvotes as overvotes and putting them back in the box with the rest of the ballots when we had completed counting a precinct. That changed about halfway through the count of absentee ballots when the canvas board ordered that all overvotes, no matter how clearly marked, be sent to the board for review …

The other sequence of events that raised questions involved our initial counts and the subsequent search for ballots to recycle. When this process started, we first sorted ballots from the polling places into precincts. Then it took just two days to count the some 300,000 ballots from the polls. The observers from both parties watched the data entry process and knew, by the end of the poll ballot count, that the hand count in King County was not going to change the outcome of the governor’s race unless something else was done.

As we began counting the absentee ballots, it was obvious that the Democrats’ counters had new directions and they were noticeably more aggressive in sending ballots to the canvas board. At the same time, someone in the Elections Department obviously initiated a search for ballots that could be recycled. Perhaps the timing was a coincidence, but I doubt it. That led to the “discovery” of the 700-plus ballots that the state supreme court allowed in with this Wednesday’s decision.

In the last few days of the operation, we were counting the poll ballots again for the second and, in some cases, third and fourth times. The boxes of the “poll” ballots that came to my table all had absentee ballots mixed in with them, which was not suppose to happen. On one hand, having seen what passes for inventory control at the Elections Department, I was not surprised that this, too, was a mess.

Yet it also does away with one of the audit trails and provides an excuse as to why the count in any particular precinct may differ from the original. By chance, I happened to get my own precinct poll votes to count. I had been a poll watcher on the original Election Day, and had recorded the poll vote from the tape that ran when the poll was closed. There was a significant difference between what was reported the evening of Nov. 2 for my precinct and what was in that precinct’s box on Dec. 19, when I counted the ballots.

Gregoire’s votes had gone up and Rossi’s had gone down. It was obvious that absentee ballots were mixed in with the poll ballots, so changes could be expected, but it raises the question of whether or not those Rossi poll votes are now in the box of absentee ballots for that precinct or “misplaced” in some closet in a warehouse somewhere.

I personally have no doubt that the two Democrats on the canvas board made a conscious effort to fix the election in Gregoire’s favor. I am also certain they were aided, perhaps unwittingly, in that effort by the incompetence of the top managers within the Elections Department.

It’s important to note that the earlier machine recount changed nothing: Dino Rossi won the initial count and the recount. The Democrats won when the process included a way to move ballots to the canvassing board. It’s composition? Two Democrats and one Republican. Now we know why the left in America loves hand recounts. That’s because they can spindle, fold and mutilate the public’s will on their way to election victory. President Putin would be proud.

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