As a veteran with a family member currently being deployed to Iraq, I found this lawsuit to be an appalling political stunt. I admit to being an active supporter of Dino Rossi, but this should concern any fair minded patriotic voter. Christine Gregoire and the State Democratic Party, if successful, would have disenfranchised the thousands of military voters whose ballots have already been mailed out. Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz referred to the ballots as “illegal.” If this lawsuit had been successful, any ballot reading ‚ÄòG.O.P.‚Äô would be thrown out. No matter what kind of spin they put on how ballots should and should not be counted, these military ballots could not have legally been counted.
Today’s ruling is especially important to the 1600 members of the 81st Brigade of the Washington National Guard, the Governor’s own troops, who are on their way to Iraq. The delayed filing of this lawsuit was intentional. It was an attempt to block the votes of those who are serving in our military and have a somewhat lower tendency than the general population to vote for Democrats. It is particularly reprehensible in targeting the citizen soldiers of the 81st, who, until their recent activation, were under Christine Gregoire’s command.
I really don’t think these brave young service members consider their political party when they are out on patrol. They do consider themselves Americans and are certainly Americans who deserve the right to have their votes counted. I am proud to be Deputy Mayor of Lakewood, literally the gateway to Ft. Lewis, McChord AFB and Camp Murray. I hope I would be equally outraged if the Republican Party threatened the votes of deployed service members. Given my personal history and my interactions with these brave young men and women of our community, I am sure I would be. Some things should be off limits.
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