Election trial dispatches
Seattle Times chief political reporter
POSTED 9:59 AM Monday
Bridges: Overturning election would have meant "judicial egotism"
"An election such as this should not be overturned because one judge picks a number and applies a proportional deduction analysis," Bridges said. "To do so within the context of the facts of this case would constitute the ultimate act of judicial egotism and judicial activism."
POSTED 9:57 AM Monday
Bridges: No clear and convincing evidence
Judge Bridges said Republicans did not meet the burden of showing "clear and convincing" proof.
Bridges said there was evidence of irregularities, "as there appears to be in every election," but "not substantial evidence, by clear and convincing evidence, that improper conduct or irregularities procured Ms. Gregoire's election to the office of governor."
POSTED 9:49 AM Monday
Bridges accepts 1,678 illegal votes — in part
"There is no evidence that ballots were changed, the ballot box stuffed or that lawful votes were removed from either candidate's ballot box," Bridges said.
Bridges said he determined that there were 1,678 illegal votes cast in the election, including 175 mishandled provisional ballots that election officials could not connect to properly registered voters.
But he said Republicans had provided no real proof that illegal votes benefited Gregoire.
"There is no evidence in this record that Ms. Gregoire received any illegal votes," he said.
POSTED 9:37 AM Monday
Bridges knocks down fraud claim
Bridges is making it clear he does not agree with the Republican allegation of fraud in King County.
"The problems in King County are associated with and result from a lack of communication, lack of taking responsibility for action, a lower level of accountability and a difficulty documenting procedures," Bridges said of the county's well-documented problems.
There is no evidence that the problems in King County had anything to do with "intentional misconduct or someone's desire to manipulate the election" or "partisan bias," the phrase Republicans used to allege wrongdoing.
"There is no evidence before the court to question ballot security as to those ballots actually counted," Bridges said, knocking down another Republican claim.
Bridges then said he would not accept Republicans' statistical analysis to show how felons voted, saying their approach to so-called proportional deduction is not scientifically sound.
POSTED 9:31 AM Monday
Bridges addresses provisional ballots
Judge John Bridges addressed hundreds of mishandled provisional votes, saying: "No evidence exists as to which candidate may have received a vote from the provisional ballots not associated with a registered voter."
Republicans had alleged those constituted illegal votes.
POSTED 9:28 AM Monday
Bridges discounts felon-voter evidence
Judge John Bridges said that depositions Democrats collected from five felons showed that four had voted for Republican Dino Rossi and one for Ruth Bennett, the Libertarian candidate. Those votes, Bridges said, should be subtracted from Rossi's and Bennett's totals.
Bridges said that for hundreds of other alleged felon voters, no evidence was presented to show whether the felons cast votes in the governor's race, or which candidate they voted for.
He has not yet said whether he will use the Republicans' proposed method of analyzing illegal votes, called proportional deduction, to estimate how felons voted.
POSTED 9:12 AM Monday
Judge Bridges critiques election process before ruling
"I want to note for you, lady and gentleman, nothing I say this morning should be interpreted as a criticism of either you or your clients," Bridges said before announcing his decision.
And he laid out what he would not do.
"I have been asked in closing arguments to send a message. I'm going to decline that invitation. This court is not in a position to fix deficiencies in the election process that this court heard about over the past nine days."
But Bridges said that can be done by voters. And he criticized the culture within King County's elections office, which he said led to the problems with the election.
"It's inertia, it's selfishness, it's taking our paycheck but not doing the work."
POSTED 9:01 AM Monday
Judge to rule on election lawsuit today
Court is set to begin at 9 a.m. for Judge John Bridges to announce his decision in the governor's election lawsuit. The auditorium that serves as Bridges' temporary courtroom is nearly full, with party officials, media and court-watchers filling the seats.
Bridges said he will issue an oral decision from the bench.
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.