The electric sign on I5 South just outside of Seattle should go dark now.

Gone are the crys of “Concede, Christine!” went unheeded, and now, are unneeded. By an official 10 vote margin, Democratic Gubenatorial candidate Christine Gregoire has won the Washington governors race. Sore loser Dino Rossi is now trying to cry foul, saying he’ll fight it in a court. But a thorough hand count by both Democrats and Republicans proved Gregiore’s win.

In another blow against Rossi, the Washington State Supreme Court said that almost 800 votes cast on election day, but that weren’t counted initially due to a basic clerical error, should be counted. You know Republicans and counting votes – that, too, has made them unhappy.

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Democrats Win Recount, Court Case in Wash. State

Wed Dec 22, 9:34 PM ET

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SEATTLE (Reuters) – Seven weeks after 2.8 million people voted to elect a governor for Washington state, the Democratic candidate took the lead by a 10-vote margin in an unprecedented hand recount, election officials said on Wednesday.

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Christine Gregoire, who had lost to Republican Dino Rossi in the first two machine recounts, could potentially extend her lead after the state’s Supreme Court decided on Wednesday to add more than 700 votes to the final tally.

King County, the largest county that includes Seattle and is a Democratic stronghold, discovered more than 700 ballots that had yet to be counted more than a month after the Nov. 2 election.

Republicans argued in court this week that those ballots were not valid and should not be included in the final tally.

“From day one, this has been about counting every legitimate ballot,” Gregoire said in a statement, “The court’s unanimous decision is not a boost for me or for Dino Rossi — it is a victory for the voters.”

Rossi, a real estate agent, was named governor-elect nearly a month after a second machine recount narrowed his lead over Gregoire from 261 votes to just 42 out of a total 2.8 million votes cast.

Election officials said that they would announce a final certified result for the election on Thursday, but Republicans had indicated that they would likely challenge the result.

Chris Vance, chairman of Washington state’s Republican Party, said the party would fight to include hundreds of votes that were wrongly rejected in other counties.

Neither side has conceded and an extended court battle over the election could mean that the governor’s seat will remain unresolved even after the January inauguration. Democratic Gov. Gary Locke, who decided not to run for re-election, would have to remain in office.

After the first two recounts, Democrats agreed to cover the cost of more than $700,000 for an unprecedented hand recount. Under election rules, the state will reimburse the money if the recount reverses the tally.

By walterh

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