A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.

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Where’s your vote?

In the hands of the GOP,

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your ballot is discounted

Editor, The Times:

I have voted in every election in Washington where I was legally eligible. I would like to believe that in every one of those elections my vote was counted. However, in the most recent election, I have learned that my vote was not counted (List of rejected King County ballots, Times Web site).

Now the state Republican Party chair, Chris Vance, has said, “None of these ballots should be counted” (“King County board votes to move forward with 573 ballots,” Local News, Dec. 15).

How dare he say such a thing! This is my vote he’s talking about. As an American citizen and a citizen of the state of Washington, I have every right to have my vote counted. King County made a mistake in not counting my vote the first time. Now that they recognize their mistake, it is their duty to fix it by counting my vote. No amount of bullying by any public official should stop that.

If my vote was not counted, how can I trust that the outcome was legitimate? If these legal votes are not counted, what does that say about democracy in America?

— Brian Ecker, Seattle

Lost and found

As Democrats gain,

their credibility
is diminished

King County is determined to hand this election to Christine Gregoire (“New look at 573 ballots may close Gregoire gap,” page one, Dec. 16). Can you say election fraud? Can you say Banana Republic? We’ll keep going until we create enough votes to keep a Democrat in the governor’s mansion.

Gregoire said she didn’t want to be governor unless she was sure she’d won fairly, so she could lead without question. Too late, you’ll always be “in question” if you steal this election.

Five days before the initial certification, based on projections, Republican Dino Rossi was predicted to win by 10,000 votes. Three days later, King County “found” 10,000 votes for Gregoire. After the first recount, Rossi’s lead increased to 360, and again King County did its best to “make up” the difference. They miscounted and Rossi still led by 42 votes.

So here we are, Washington, the laughingstock of the nation. This stuff is supposed to happen in the Third World, not in the American state named for the father of our country. It’s disgraceful.

— John Sainz, Everett

The rejection is incalculable

I am one of the 573 voters whose votes, according to King County election officials, have mistakenly not been counted.

I have been registered here for several years. I have voted in previous elections without any problem. I followed the instructions on my absentee ballot to the letter. I mailed my ballot on time.

Despite this, the Washington Republican Party is going to sue to delay (hoping to prevent) my ballot from being counted.

If my perfectly valid vote and the 572 others are not counted, then the next governor of Washington will have to be considered illegitimate.

— Mat Harrington, Seattle

Sleight of hand count

Seeing as I how tend to lose/misplace things, then find them, I have some suggestions as to where King County might find some more “lost” votes:

The closet, on top of the refrigerator behind the chips and cereal, in the door handle, between the couch cushions, under the couch cushions, next to the dog’s leash on the floor, in the change jar, under the bed, under the junk mail pile, next to the bathroom sink, on the coffee table and, my personal favorite, in the pocket of your pants that you left on the floor next to the nightstand. (OK, so that last one’s just me. Sorry, honey!)

Of course, before I look in these places, I tend to hope that my keys or wallet or company access card will just magically appear. They never do. But apparently votes do.

If King County ever gets a moment, would they mind telling a simple, sometimes forgetful guy like me the secret to finding and pulling things out of thin air? Thanks much.

— Peter Fessler, Seattle

Withholding the last straw

State Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance is worried that if the recount of gubernatorial ballots includes a “look at every ballot that was rejected the first time,” it will “destroy our election process.”

If counting all the votes means destroying our election process, then let’s tear it down.

— Xavier Callahan, Seattle

Nothing doing a revote

The current recount of the debacle we called an election is getting to be an even bigger farce. As the counties turn in their new counts, they add Dino Rossi’s previous 42-vote lead to the new tabulation.

Don’t they know this is a recount and the vote tally started from zero?

If Rossi gains 100 votes in the recount and Christine Gregorie gains 20 votes, Rossi has a lead of 80 votes, not 122 (80 from the recount plus 42 from the previous count, equals 122).

With all the unfound ballots now appearing, the dots not shaded dark enough, or the signature on file from the 30-year-old that does not match the individual’s signature written by the now-60-year-old, wouldn’t it be easier and less expensive to do a new election?

And if there are really this many ballots that are not being counted, how would all the other initiatives and referendums fare in a recount?

— Dale Hoover, Redmond

King reduced to a fraud

So 561 votes were “discovered” in the Democratic stronghold of King County. And for some inexplicable reason, these votes will be added to the recount, even though the Washington state Supreme Court just decided that “ballots are to be ‘retabulated’ only if they have been previously counted or tallied.”

These votes were not previously missing; they were rejected because their signatures did not match or were not on file. And now, just because a councilman’s ballot was among those rejected, these 561 rejected votes will be added to the vote count (“How councilman’s finding led to detection of goofs,” Local News, Dec. 15).

I really don’t understand. How is this not fraud?

— Christina Chronister, Duvall

Kiss it goodbye

What’s up with the King County Records and Elections Department? Three years ago it failed to send out all the absentee ballots. Even King County Council President Cynthia Sullivan didn’t get one.

This year the same department failed to validate 595 signatures because of a computer “error.” Even current King County Council President Larry Phillips’ ballot was rejected. If council presidents can’t get their votes counted, where does that leave the rest of us?

Thank you, Christine Gregoire, for challenging the system and forcing us to examine the sloppy ballot-handling in our own backyard.

— Janice Van Cleve, Seattle

The negated civil servants

Two out of five is a high incidence of error in my family’s experience with casting a vote in the recent election. We were proactive in trying to rectify errors in the flawed King County voting records prior to the election.

My son’s Zip Code was entered incorrectly in the computer (verified by his scanned original absentee ballot request). We called to find out why he didn’t receive his absentee ballot.

My daughter avoided the provisional ballot “bullet” as well. She phoned ahead to locate her polling site when she did not receive a notification of a change.

Now there is a desperate attempt (by Dino Rossi supporters) to halt the count of legally cast ballots in King County. Why should our election officials be hindered in correcting clerical errors that prevented legal votes from being counted?

Hopefully, Secretary of State Sam Reed’s crew will not be bullied into further disenfranchising legally registered voters!

— Patty Hebert-Agnew, Bellevue

Honesty on the

Grand Old Party scale

You gotta love these Republicans. A 99.94 percent correct vote count in King County is either fraud or gross incompetence by the (Democrat) election officials. A pointless and ill-planned war in Iraq, based on “faulty intelligence,” costing $220 billion, and resulting in the deaths of more than 1,200 Americans, (not to mention 100,000 Iraqis) is an honest mistake.

— Rich Kiker, Woodinville

It’s not a Vance world

State Republican Party chairman Chris Vance should be embarrassed about his hypocrisy regarding the recount in King County.

So far during the hand count, as of Thursday morning, vote-counting mistakes have been found and corrected in 28 of the 35 counties that have finished. Kitsap County found more than 150 additional votes.

Why hasn’t Vance been screaming about these corrections? Perhaps it is because they have added 79 votes to Dino Rossi’s margin.

Apparently in Vance’s world, it is OK to correct voting mistakes, unless those mistakes come from King County. Sorry, Mr. Vance, you can’t have it both ways.

— Dennis Higgins, Kent

More for us

in the underworld

This is getting more exciting every day. More and more ballots are being found in King County. The biggest surprise of all would be if they found Jimmy Hoffa. Anything is possible.

— Kate Brand, Lynnwood

Portable business

Success is anchored

Kevin Daniels had an interesting promotional piece for the redevelopment of Terminal 46 (“Creating a visionary future for Terminal 46 and Seattle’s southern downtown,” guest commentary, Dec. 12). As best I can tell, many of the numbers he referenced as justification for eliminating the current container uses at that terminal were wrong.

But the underlying flaw in his argument is the assumption that moving economic activity from one part of town to another represents some sort of economic benefit.

Moving the Sonics from the north end of downtown to the south end doesn’t help the city, county, or the state.

Building condos west of Safeco Field doesn’t offer any incremental benefit over building them north of Qwest Stadium.

If you tilt a pan of water, it gets deeper at one end, but you don’t have any more water.

On the other hand, there is no available deep-water dock adjacent to a major rail yard that could replace Terminal 46.

If you push the container business out of town — out of the county — it’s gone forever.

— Alec Fisken, commissioner, Port of Seattle

A Christmas quarrel

Ma humbug

My sincere apologies to Hank Lewis (“Santa’s secret: Chucking her list,” Northwest Voices, Dec. 15), who wrote that he was offended by my theory that Santa is a girl.

Of course, Mr. Lewis is right in thinking that men can also be thoughtful, generous, patient and intuitive while meeting deadlines and multitasking. However, I still maintain the chance of all of those fine characteristics being embodied in a male, my husband excepted, of course, is remote.

In addition to Mr. Lewis, I’m now in deep trouble with my grown son, who claims the same admirable traits. However, he admits that, OK, he learned these traits from a woman.

Mea culpa, mea culpa.

— Marjorie Anderson, Bainbridge Island

A rude awakening

Let me propose this: Santa puts in a regular overtime day without coffee, lunch and smoke breaks. Santa has superb navigational skills, working well with wildlife and short persons alike. Santa isn’t constantly preoccupied with how big his butt looks in his outfit.

Santa goes to work even on days he doesn’t “feel like it.” Santa spends more time getting the job done than yakking on the phone or sprawled on the couch watching the soaps.

Even more to the point, Santa actually builds what he needs, instead of taking some man’s credit card to rush to the mall to buy it.

Clearly, Santa keeps forging ahead rather than wallowing in self-sympathy and self-congratulation.

Santa’s a dude, ladies. Sorry.

— Roger Hanson, Seattle