More trouble in Washinton State’s long-disputed gubernatorial election:

That’s appalling,” says Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican who has frequently drawn praise from Democrats for being evenhanded. “You just don’t do those things.” Even the office of Democratic County Executive Ron Sims admits that “an outside review is probably a good idea” if for no other reason than to address Republican suspicions about the 94 new King County ballots. GOP lawyers point out that two-thirds of the new votes were cast in King County precincts that Republican Dino Rossi won. Ms. Gregoire won seven in 10 King County precincts.

All of this means that the May 23 date set for a trial on a GOP lawsuit seeking to declare the election invalid and to hold a new one this November takes on added significance. Mr. Gorton points out that “a court [can] void any election where the number of illegal or mistaken votes exceeds the margin of victory.” In the case of last year’s race for governor the number of uncounted ballots unearthed just this April is fast approaching Ms. Gregoire’s margin of victory.

I’ve long argued that the democratic process is much more important than the result of any single election. (Or as Megan McArdle so eloquently put it: “Having a legitimate democratic process is far more important than having someone whose policies I agree with in office.”)

A voided election is always, always my last choice. That said, it looks like the Washington election might have been tainted so badly that nothing but a do-over will do.