This election was the closest in state history. In the first count, Dino Rossi won by 261 votes. Under state law, this is considered "too close to call" and a recount is required. After this first recount, Rossi's lead was shortened to 42 votes. Because this was even closer, Gregoire and other Democrats raised approximately $800,000 to hold a statewide manual recount. She won this by only 129 votes, out of a total of 2.8 million.
To ensure fairness and accuracy in the hand recount, teams of Republican and Democratic counters worked together in the counting. They were watched over by observers, who were free to stop the count if they had a question or concern.
Rossi has threatened on several occasions to file a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court. He also has asked Gregoire to agree to a runoff election.
"This ain't golf," Gregoire's spokesman said. "No mulligans allowed here, folks."
By John Amato — December 22, 2004