Things got underway quickly this morning, with a review of the Democrats' motion to exclude evidence in support of a claim of fraud. The Rossi attorneys explained their freshly-written brief by citing Section 6D.1 of the original complaint, which notes many more ballots cast than voters credited for them. It's emblematic of their perspective so far, that the very existence of a discrepancy is de facto evidence of fraud, but that's the way they're presenting it. As for the notion that they must follow RCW 29A 68.100, regarding the proper presentation of illegal votes, Rossi's team complains that "we can't provide voter names because they don't exist." They note that the 875 uncredited ballots must have been "cast by other than registered voters." To which I say, huh? Must have been? How about poor accounting processes, Occam?
Ahearn for the SoS office backs up the standard in the RCW, noting that Rossi cannot rely on an error that RESULTED in illegal votes, as evidence of illegal votes. He notes that the Foulkes case, which Rossi repeatedly returns to, did in fact exhibit actual votes cast by actual voters. Following that, Hamilton gets up for the defense and essentially echoes Ahearn, "except for his first two sentences," which suggest that the SoS thinks the evidence should be heard.
Bridges then follows with his ruling, noting the motion is a convergence of two aspects: the discovery schedule and specifically the cutoff of discovery, and RCW 68.100, on ballot presentation. In the briefest of terms, Bridges DENIES THE MOTION, declaring the claims "not new." He cites Vance's affadavit as the first to expound the theory, such as it is, and finds that some evidence was subsequently offered in support of that claim. Furthermore, he opts to give Rossi's team a bit of a break on discovery rules, owing to the period of delay King County had sought in order to fulfill requests for data and information.
But in classic Bridges style, he ends with a caution that he's not in a position yet to decide that those are illegal ballots, per se. These are the actions of a judge who is 100% sure that his decision will be immediately reviewed at the Supreme level, and he is bending over backwards not to exclude evidence before he can review it. The pattern continues: "I'll allow it--but that doesn't mean you've convinced me it means anything."
More as developments warrant. Currently the Chelan County auditor is explaining for the benefit of Rossi's team, why voter credits are an important part of the counting process, and not just an administrative task. Of course, with only 29,000 voters in the entire county and a mostly vote-by-mail system, how hard are they to count?