Poor Christine Gregoire. She didn't get her "Cinderella moment." She didn't get to bask in the glory of her victory as governor; she didn't get to wear the princess gown. It just wasn't fair.
But then Ron Sims kept finding more ballots. Even national media were asking about the questionable ballot counting. November 29, 2004 Sound Politics. (Unfortunately the link to the original Wall Street Journal article doesn't work eight years later.) Once Gregoire was ahead they quit counting. There were 10,000 ballots "discovered" and other discrepancies. Sound Politics And Democrats were allowed to take ballots away from the secure counting facility to go to voters' homes for new signatures. What could possibly go wrong with that?
Among the findings in the election post-mortem was that there was not complete accounting for the ballots. Polling places received a bunch of ballots and turned in those voted, plus blanks, but didn't make sure every ballot was accounted for! You know, missing a few ballots in this precinct and a few in that one… Adds up.
Stefan Sharkansky, the boss here at Sound Politics, did yeoman work analyzing the vote count inside and out. He did much more analysis than the paid news media - all of them together.