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Originally published April 4, 2005 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 4, 2005 at 6:31 PM

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Republicans request investigation in governor's race

Some members of the Metropolitan King County Council today requested a federal investigation of last November's election, while Democrats proposed an outside audit.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Republican members of the Metropolitan King County Council today requested a federal investigation of last November's election, and Democrats on the council proposed an outside audit of the Records and Elections Division.

Those proposals were part of the council's reaction to news that election workers found 93 valid absentee ballots that weren't counted in the tight governor's race.

The ballots were found during a weeklong search through more than half a million boxes containing the envelopes of absentee ballots and provisional ballots that had been counted.

Councilmen Reagan Dunn, R-Bellevue, and Steve Hammond, R-Enumclaw, also called on Elections Director Dean Logan to resign. Dunn told Logan in a letter that his department had made "repeated and inexcusable mistakes" over the past several months.

But King County Executive Ron Sims, a Democrat and the man who appointed Logan 19 months ago, stood behind his beleaguered election chief.

"These unopened and uncounted ballots are the result of the systemic problems he is working to fix," Sims said in a statement. "It is important to let him finish the job he has begun."

The council passed a bipartisan motion yesterday that calls on Sims and his elections staff to present a plan for beefing up staff training and consolidating the county's scattered election facilities into a single site.

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