The Great Governor's Race
President Bush outlined his agenda for the new year yesterday. Here in Washington State, we still don't have a Governor, and two very different candidates are worrying more about a recount process than about thier agendas.
The story: the heat is just about as dead-even as you can get. Millions of votes, and the first recount put the candidates 42 votes apart. That's way under the margin of error for almost any distributed human process, particularly as decentralized a process as counting votes in every corner of the state.
We're recounting - this time by hand. As of this very moment (7:02 AM on the 21st of December), the Seattle Times shows the recount as 49 votes different. It's probably going to cost around a million dollars to complete the recount (which could be paid for by the challenging Democratic party or by the taxpayers, depending on the outcome). There are no rumors of fraud...it appears to ba an honest recount. It appears to be an honest attempt to force a system to perform beyond its capabilities.
There is a movement afoot to hold another election if this recount stays as close. That's another million or so dollars. And won't come out the same -- time will have caused some voters to change thier minds. I'm shivering as I picture another whole series of horrible TV ads while the governor's office sits empty.
Its a good thing we want fairness enough to count and recount and recount...a good thing American's have always been idealistic. Let's stay that way. But this vote is close enough and the counters and recounters human enough that it's probably not possible to actually pick a winner fairly.
The vote is close enough that it tells its own story. We're split. Lets flip a coin, save a few bucks we don't have, and get on with the process of governing.