Election Day is Nov. 8, but legal challenges already begin with the first round of the recount.
The recount’s purpose is to ensure that the votes of Nov. 6 are counted accurately.
It could take months, but the challenge could wind up with a major decision by the state Supreme Court involving issues such as who should be responsible for a failed recount or whether a ballot should be counted if it appeared to be tampered with.
Voter fraud, as defined by the state, is “any action or inaction that would tend to affect a voter’s ability to cast an effective vote.”
Law enforcement says the problem lies within the state.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department has said the problem is with the equipment that was used to recount the ballots.
The U.S. Department of Justice, which is working with Elections Washington’s state attorney, is working with election officials to determine who is responsible for the failed recount, which had been planned for Tuesday night to head off what would have been a contentious statewide recount.
Voter ID laws, which the DOJ says are “vague” could mean a failure to count the votes of tens of thousands of people.
“We are committed to finding the extent of this problem and working with local election officials to identify the best course of corrective action,” said the DOJ’s John R. LaCour in a statement Monday.
The agency says it is “working closely with election officials to ascertain the extent of any systemic error that may have occurred on the November 6th and 7th Washington County ballots, as well as to establish the best system for ensuring that the integrity of the election is assured.”
Law enforcement believes the problem is in the equipment that was used to run the recount. The equipment that would have been used did not contain a paper trail that would show how the votes were tabulated.
Roughly 3 million votes were being tabulated as of Friday, and law enforcement says in an e-mail that no evidence of vote tampering has been found.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department said the equipment used did not contain a paper trail that would show how the votes were tabulated.
“We do not believe there was any vote tampering at the level alleged by (the state),” said the department.
The county has said it believes the problem lies with the equipment that was used