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Gorton seeks DOJ probe into Wash. vote

April 7, 2005 at 2:18 PM

SEATTLE, April 7 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., joined the fray in his state's election controversy, calling for a criminal probe of the ballot count in King County.

Gorton and state Republican Chairman Chris Vance held a news conference Wednesday to push for a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the county's failure to count nearly 100 absentee ballots in the painstakingly close gubernatorial race last year, the Seattle Times reported.

"I think it's appropriate to come to the conclusion that King County has the worst election administration in any county in the United States of America -- a humiliating statement, I think, from our perspective," said Gorton, adding that the election outcome putting Democrat Christine Gregoire in the governor's mansion was the result of either fraud or "colossal incompetence."

Gorton himself lost his seat in 2000 to Democrat Maria Cantwell after a recount.

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