Manual Recounts Are A Bad Idea

In Washington State, the battle for governor still isn’t over. Republican Dino Rossi beat Democrat Christine Gregoire in the original count by 261 votes and the machine recount by 42 votes.

Predictably, the Democrats want to keep going and do a manual recount, while Republicans want Gregoire to go ahead and concede the race.

Jerome Armstrong over at MyDD notes that some Freepers are complaining about the hand recount and says…

“According to their logic, machines are more trustworthy than humans, therefore, to follow the law, and have a handcount after the lawful machine recount, is theft.

What is it with the love of machines over people by Republicans.”

Well, the law is the law, and if she meets the qualifications for a recount and she wants it, she should get it.

However, machines are more trustworthy than people when it comes to counting votes because they count everybody’s vote, whether they’re a Democrat or Republican, the same way.

When you bring human beings into it, especially partisans who will start the recount knowing that they only have to erase a 42 vote margin to win, there’s absolutely no way to have any sort of confidence that the results are genuine.

Given what we saw during the unconstitutional manual recounts in Florida, with partisans counting “dimpled chads” and even ballots that had no selection in the Presidential race as legitimate votes, I think we’d be better off getting away from manual recounts entirely except when there’s no other choice.

And recounting the same votes over and over again? No votes should be recounted more than once. Because how could any candidate ever be considered legitimate if let’s say they lost the first count, lost the second count, and then won on the third count of the same ballots? How could anyone ever trust a result like that?

There used to be a time when candidates gracefully bowed out when they lost rather than risk damaging people’s faith in the system and many still do. But in these days and times, we’re also seeing a lot more “Al Gores” who don’t have that sort of class. So states should take that into account and rewrite their election rules so these endless challenges, recounts, and legal wrangling aren’t allowed to go on and on and damage the legitimacy of our elected officials.

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