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Vote Again? No Thanks

Editorial for Jan. 13, 2005

It's pretty clear there is a concerted campaign under way by Dino Rossi and his backers to try to convince the voters of Washington that we all need to go out and vote again in the governor's race.

We'll decline that offer, thank you very much. First of all, who really wants to go through that again? Every four years is more than enough as it is. If there were to be another vote, there is no guarantee the results would be any different. In fact, we might again have a race decided by a couple hundred votes either way. Then, the losing side would probably call for yet another vote. Where would it stop? Maybe we could just schedule elections every three months until someone wins by at least five percent.

Those calling for a new election say the proposed new race would be just between the top two finishers: Christine Gregoire for the Democrats and Dino Rossi for the Republicans. But how could other candidates be barred from getting into a reopened race? We can't recall any election without a primary first, nor an election where all but two individuals were barred from competing. That in itself would be inherently unfair.

So it's disappointing to see that all three members of the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners took the time last week to get on board with the Rossi camp's calls for a new election. On Jan. 5, the commissioners drafted a letter to Secretary of State Sam Reed, calling for a new election in the governor's race.

Our commissioners, all of whom are Republicans, should ask themselves one question: If Rossi was the one who was up by 129 votes, would they be drafting letters to the Secretary of State calling for a new vote? Frankly, we don't believe it for a minute.

It is absurd to ask the state's taxpayers to fund another election because one side doesn't like the outcome.

But if we're going to open the door to having a re-vote in Washington, how about let's go back and re-vote Ohio 2004 in the presidential race. There's a lot of squawking about how there were irregularities there as well. Maybe we can fix 'em both at once! Can the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners write a letter in support of that re-vote too, since they are expressing concern in restoring "voter confidence in the integrity of ... (the) electoral process"?

While we're at the task of changing outcomes, can we replay some of the football games where a certain team lost only because an official blew a call? But only for the teams I like, not for the teams you like!

This year's governor's race was incredibly close, to be sure. In effect, we might as well have had a coin flip. But even in a coin flip, someone loses, and someone wins. In this case, Christine Gregoire won. And the closer the contest, the more it hurts to lose. Just ask Al Gore. Or the Michigan Wolverines after this year's Rose Bowl.

Mr. Rossi ran a solid campaign. He has shown himself to be a strong candidate, and would be much better off to turn his attention to the future. Rossi could run against U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2006, or set up a rematch with Gregoire in 2008.

Regardless, the 2004 governor's race is over -- and like it or not, we have a winner.

JB

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