Mike McGinn's So-Called Victory: What If...

McGinn, left
It is now certifiably official that Mike McGinn beat Joe Mallahan by 7,190 votes and will become Seattle's next mayor no matter who was really elected.

The final November election summary shows that 12,900 votes cast countywide were disqualified and not included in the victory count. King County's Canvassing Board report does not break down that figure by cities. But there's enough speculative wiggle room (were, say, 8,000 of those votes for Joe?) to keep die-hard Mallahanians wondering what if.

It's similar to the August tally, when 9,000 votes went uncounted in the mayoral primary, which incumbent Greg Nickels lost by 2,152 votes. Coulda, woulda, shoulda?

And of course there's the what-if conjecture of every election when half the voters don't even bother to cast a ballot. Of the nearly 1.1 million November mail ballots sent out in King County, just 587,000 were returned (more than 31,000 came back as undeliverable). An election doesn't necessarily determine the will of the electorate.

Still, A's for efforts go to those 6,621 people who at least took the time to vote last month, just not on time: their ballots arrived too late to be counted. Another 3,695 bore unverifiable signatures, while 856 bore none. And two dozen would-be voters were officially excused: they had notes from their morticians.

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