Parties gear up for another close WA election - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Parties gear up for another close WA election

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) _ Four years after Washington's historically close governor's contest exposed a bundle of electoral mishaps, the state's political machinery is busy making sure everything is lined up correctly BEFORE the votes are counted in Tuesday's election.

Everyone's hoping to avoid the lingering questions that followed Washington's 2004 election, when the governor's race wasn't settled in favor of Democrat Chris Gregoire until after two recounts and a court challenge.

With polls showing another close governor's contest between the same two candidates this year, political operatives aren't taking anything for granted.

State Republican Chairman Luke Esser says there's not much that can be done after the votes are counted, which puts a premium on trying to make sure the integrity of the election is protected beforehand.

The political parties also have begun the final push of get-out-the-vote efforts and last-minute mailings earlier, because the increasing use of vote-by-mail means plenty of people are conducting their own personal Election Day during the two weeks before Nov. 4.

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