The long-awaited trial in the Washington gubernatorial election contest opens today and is expected to last two weeks. The Petitioners’ Trial Brief, which summarizes the Republicans’ case for setting aside the election of Democrat Christine Gregoire, is posted here. The trial will be carried live by the state government cable channel, with online streaming video here, starting at 8:30 am Pacific each morning.
Trial Judge John Bridges has set a high bar for the Republicans to overturn the election. I won’t predict how he’ll rule or what the state supreme court would do in the inevitable appeal. I will only observe that an unfavorable ruling would be difficult for many Washingtonians to understand. A public opinion poll released last week, after months of damaging revelations about ballot-counting irregularties in Seattle’s King County, shows that Washington voters believe 57% to 37% that Republican Dino Rossi was the legitimate winner of the election. Rossi’s favorable rating is 56% to Gregoire’s 32%.