Several state races on election night 2012 looked a lot like the 2004 race for governor with the races for governor, Initiative 1240 for charter schools and secretary of state being too close to call.
These races ultimately wouldn’t be decided until later in the week.
On election night 2004, then Attorney General Chris Gregoire led state Sen. Dino Rossi by 7,000 votes. By the time all the ballots had been counted (the first time) two weeks later on Nov. 17, Rossi led Gregoire by 261.
A few recounts later, Gregoire was ultimately declared the winner by a mere 133 votes. A legal challenge would uphold Gregoire’s victory.
Because Washington requires ballots only to be postmarked, not delivered, by Election Day, it’s difficult to declare winners on election night.
Instead of an election day, we have an election month. A month of campaigning, followed by a month of waiting. The problem with holding a month-long election is the public cynicism and distrust it unnecessarily breeds in the state’s election results as vote leaders flip days and weeks after the election.