So you thought the 2004 elections were over? Not in my state. More than a month after the polls closed, the Washington State governor’s race is still undecided, and you’re not going to believe how close the latest count is: TEN VOTES. The latest returns from the third recount (all by hand this time) have Democrat Christine Gregoire ahead of Republican Dino Rossi 1,373,051 to 1,373,041 with more than 99% of precincts reporting.
If this isn’t the closest election in the history of the United States, I’d like to hear what is. I mean, it’s the equivalent of winning a smaller state like Wyoming by ONE VOTE. We’re talking about a difference of .00073 percent. That’s 73 100,000ths of a percent, and much closer than when Bush allegedly won Florida by 400 some votes in 2000. That was a southern asswhoopin’ compared to this.
A lot of people in my state criticized Gregoire for asking for multiple recounts given that she came out behind by a hundred or so votes in both of the counts, but can you really blame her? You could count those votes a million times and you’d get a slightly different tally each time. When the numbers are that close, you’re really within the natural margin of error no matter what you do.
Given that, I wonder why every election in this country doesn’t have runoff provisions for such close calls. Several states do, but not all of them, and no federal elections have it either. It seems only fair to me that if two candidates are within, say, 1 percent of each other, there is a new election with only those two candidates on the ballot. Another alternative to that would be to vote for a “2nd place candidate” on each ballot so that people who vote independent can still affect the balance between the Republican and Democratic voting.
How can you even take office not knowing if you really won? Oh wait…