Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Jan. 31, 2023

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Letter: Election mistakes are possible

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Washington state law allows any candidate to request a recount. I voted for Marie Perez, but I also think Joe Kent should get a recount if he wants one. I think we’re fortunate to live in a state that has good recount laws, unlike some that make it difficult or impossible to get a recount, or states like Arizona that allowed a partisan private company to recount ballots.

In counting ballots humans make errors, so election workers can do their jobs to the best of their ability and mistakes still happen. A ballot-counting machine and the software that runs it can have technical problems — what machine has ever worked perfectly 100 percent of the time? In fact, The Columbian has reported that 5 percent of the mandatory recounts done since 2007 have changed the outcome of those races.

I think faith in our elections requires an open process that can be observed and verified. It also requires us to understand and accept that mistakes will be made and races can sometimes be overturned. Trying to shame a candidate, or telling them to shut up because they want to follow a process our state provides, doesn’t help our democracy or our community.

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