King County shows gap in voters - Officials stress that report is preliminary

The Olympian

SEATTLE -- The day after King County released a list of nearly 900,000 voters who cast ballots Nov. 2, Republicans prodded election officials to explain why the list appeared to have about 3,500 fewer names than the number of votes that were actually tallied.

In a response that all but said "Settle down!" county officials stressed the list was preliminary, noting that records of voters who cast certain write-in ballots and people who wanted their addresses kept confidential still had to be reconciled with election data.
King County Election Director Dean Logan said a full, updated list is expected to be complete by the end of next week -- what might seem like an eternity to Republican Dino Rossi and GOP leaders who are mulling whether to contest the hand recount that made Democrat Christine Gregoire governor-elect by a mere 129 votes out of almost 2.9 million cast.

"We want those names now," Rossi told a news conference at his Bellevue headquarters about a half hour before Gregoire's victory speech. "You can't certify an election with 3,500 mystery voters."

Yet Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, did just that Thursday morning.

After officially declaring Gregoire the winner, Reed said he was surprised by the King County discrepancy, but not concerned enough to withhold certification.

"We have no reason to believe the votes were not properly cast," he said.

In all, King County tallied 899,199 votes Nov. 2, while the preliminary list the county gave Republicans and others who had requested it credited only 895,660 people with voting.



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