Share story

Nov. 2: Election Day. Three-term Democratic Attorney General Christine Gregoire finds herself in an unexpectedly tight race with Republican real estate agent Dino Rossi, a former state senator. Gregoire is up by 7,000 votes at the end of the night, with hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots yet to be counted.


Nov. 9: As absentee ballots are tallied, Rossi closes the gap and then pulls ahead by 2,123 votes.


Nov. 12: The state Democratic Party successfully sues King County to get the names of voters whose provisional ballots are in danger of being disqualified. Over Republican protests, Democrats turn in more than 400 signed affidavits from voters to verify their ballots.


Nov. 17: With all counties reporting, Rossi wins by 261 votes. State law triggers a machine recount.


Nov. 30: The secretary of state certifies the result of the machine recount, making Rossi the winner by 42 votes.


Dec. 2: Democrats declare they will seek an unprecedented hand recount of the 2.9 million ballots cast in the governor’s race.


Dec. 8: Counties begin recounting ballots by hand.


Dec. 13: King County announces it has discovered more than 500 ballots that were mistakenly rejected by election workers. By the end of the week the number tops 700.


Dec. 14: The state Supreme Court unanimously rejects the Democratic Party’s petition to force counties to reconsider about 3,000 invalidated ballots — including the 700-plus from King County — in the hand recount.


Dec. 17: Republicans seek and get a temporary restraining order blocking King County from counting the newly discovered ballots. With every county reporting but King, the state’s largest, Rossi holds a 49-vote lead in the hand recount.


Dec. 22: King County’s unofficial results tip the race to Gregoire, giving her a 10-point margin of victory over Rossi. The Supreme Court rules that King County may reconsider the 700-plus mistakenly rejected ballots.


Dec. 23: Gregoire wins the recount by a margin of 129 votes, after King County counts the newly discovered ballots and certifies its final results.


Dec. 29: Rossi calls for a new election, saying problems with the recount cast a cloud of doubt over Gregoire’s legitimacy as governor.


Dec. 30: Secretary of State Sam Reed certifies the election, declaring Gregoire governor-elect.


Jan. 12: Inauguration Day. Legislature scheduled to issue certificates of election to new office holders.


Jan. 22: Deadline for any registered voter to file a lawsuit challenging the results of the election.