Ensure confidence in election results

Currently there is a very tight race in the 44th Legislative District between Mike Hope and Liz Loomis. As of Friday, Mike Hope was ahead by 100 votes. Because the final difference will most likely be less than one-half of 1 percent, there will be an automatic recount. Additionally, since the final difference is less than 150 votes, it will be a hand recount. At this point, voters’ confidence in the election process begins to decline given the concerns over the 2004 governor’s race in this state and the ongoing inconsistencies in the Minnesota Senate race.

How do we allay the fears of the voting public? The Snohomish County auditor should conduct a search of the areas where the ballots in this election have traveled. Every drawer, behind every desk, in every nook and cranny should be searched. When the auditor is satisfied with the search, she should certify, in writing, that all the votes have been found and no new votes will be added. Then the auditor should certify how many votes will be recounted in the hand recount. Both candidates and both political parties should agree to the final number of votes to be recounted.

If this were to happen, I believe that the voters of the 44th District would have greater confidence in the Snohomish County auditor and the voting process in Snohomish County. If this does not happen and additional votes “turn up” in the recount process, we will have lost the opportunity to ensure the integrity of the voting process.

Doug Roulstone


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