For those of you not in Washington State, during the November election, Republican Dino Rossi was declared the victor by something like 240 votes. This triggered a mandatory recount under state law, which reduced his lead to 42 votes. The Democrats asked for a hand recount, and the hand recount declared Democrat Christine Gregoire Governor by a margin of 129 votes (out of 2.7 million cast). That means that by any stretch of the imagination, this election was a tie. The election might as well have been determined by the flip of a coin.
The Republican party is challenging the results of the election, this morning they had a press announcement where they touted 737 votes that they claimed were illegal.
They're using this as evidence of what they call a "fundamentally flawed" election process. On the other hand, when I look at those numbers, I see that they're saying that .02% of the votes (2 in 10,000) were flawed. To me, that is evidence of an extraordinarily well run election - it's an error rate of 1 in 5,000 votes!
I've recently been reading David Goldsten's blog at http://www.horsesass.org (named for his failed initiative to declare Tim Eyman a horses ass). Goldy's pretty liberal (ok, he's a flaming liberal), but he's made some excellent posts about Washington State politics recently (whether or not you agree with him).
Today, Goldy put up a really insightful post about very nature of elections, and especially close elections that I thought was worth pointing out.
Edit: Fixed link to Goldy's site, sorry about that (I should know better than to post without first checking links).