As the hand count continues in the governor's race, everyone should exercise patience and respect for a tedious but important process. The law provides for a hand recount if either...

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As the hand count continues in the governor’s race, everyone should exercise patience and respect for a tedious but important process.

The law provides for a hand recount if either side is willing to pay for it. The state Democratic Party paid $730,000 as a down payment, and so far, several counties collectively have discovered a few hundred previously uncounted ballots. With only a few exceptions, votes are being added to the total.
In that way, Democrats have a point: With only 42 votes separating the candidates in the first recount, votes were overlooked. Ballots not counted last time are being included, and that is a good thing.

This editorial page does not support revisiting ballots earlier rejected by county canvassing boards, as Democrats have asked the courts to approve. Decisions were made according to the rules. Those ballots should not be reopened. Regular hand counting, however — the good, the bad and the ugly — is the process spelled out in the law.

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In Whatcom County, election workers found seven unopened, uncounted ballots. In Mason County, 21 ballots have been added. Kitsap County’s tally increased by 154.

Slow and maddening to be sure. But this is what a close election with an old-fashioned hand count looks like.