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November 8, 2012 at 8:33 AM

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Fail whale at King County Elections on Wednesday

For candidates and voters waiting in suspense for Wednesday's ballot tallies in King County, it was one big let down.

The Elections division counted only 50,000 ballots, because of problems with a ballot scanning system, the division said in a news release. That means the division counted less than 10 percent of the ballots counted on Tuesday, 556,083. The division was supposed to report results at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. At 5:54 p.m., the division said it would be delayed until 6:30 p.m., and depending on the county or my Internet connection, it didn't get updated until closer to 7 p.m.

The division pointed the finger at the equipment vendor in its release.

It was about as anticlimactic as the Season 1 finale of AMC's TV show "The Killing," in which we did NOT find out who killed Rosie Larsen. Who killed Rosie Larsen? Who will be our new governor? Who will be getting married?

The other three states know what the voters decided with their same-sex marriage ballot measures. In Washington it's still too close to call.

I am joining the chorus calling for Washington state to change the deadline for mail-in ballots to a received-by deadline instead of the current postmark deadline. Advocates include Secretary of State Sam Reed and our guest columnist Jason Mercier, who wrote this op ed calling for the change in Wednesday's paper.

I don't know what we can do about the machines. Fail whale.

I would love to see a cartoon of a Twitter fail whale surrounded by ballots? Anyone? If you feel moved to create one, Twitpic it and copy me @sharonpianchan or email it to me at

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It would be nice if the Times' writers had professional standards or at least respected... MORE
Wait, how does the proposed solution, "Moving to a received-by deadline instead of... MORE
This is so maddening. I want this OVER one way or another. I can't believe in this tech... MORE

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