Finally, a quote from former Washington Governor Dan Evans:
with the advances in our procedures and training, the system we just used (combination hand/machine count) is more accurate than a pure hand count would be. But, if we are forced to endure a third count, then the state law, based as it is on outdated concepts, requires the next count to be a hand count. With a pure hand count, we lose the main thing computers do better than humans — count.Update, Dec. 16th: Elections Dept changes its own rules to benefit Gregoire. That's in addition to counting hundreds of ballots that were magically "discovered" after being unsecured for a month and a half.
... Simply put, a hand count will produce more errors.
Update, Dec. 17th: 37 out of 39 counties have manged to recount again with a net change of a single vote for Rossi. We wait to see if King and Spokane counties can match that accuracy.
Update, Dec. 21: After labeling Rossi's 261 vote lead a "tie" and his 42 vote lead a "tie" Democrats have claimed victory after King County unofficially reported an 8 vote lead manufactured for Gregoire.
Update, Dec. 24: Democrats, having convinced the Washington State Supreme Court to change election law after 38 out of 39 counties had completed their second recount, begin to demand that the count be ended immediately and the changed law not be applied to the other 38 counties (31 of which voted for Rossi).
Additional Observant Observation: this all would have been over on election night if we used a form of the Electoral College.
Update, Dec. 30: After 38 counties refuse to apply revised election laws, Rossi suggests runoff. Revote ordered in North Carolina.
Update, Jan. 9: Rossi contests election, voting and counting errors exceed margin of victory from all three counts combined.