WASHINGTON — Washington state election officers and military officials say they have found no evidence of problems with overseas military absentee ballots, despite allegations that many may not have been delivered or counted.

“We’re seeing allegations made that large numbers of military voters did not get ballots, but we think that’s partisan rhetoric over a close election,” said Pam Floyd, assistant elections director for the state. “And we believe all military ballots signed by Washington voters and received were counted.”

But state Republicans believe that hundreds of overseas servicemembers never received their ballots, and that may have stolen the election from their gubernatorial candidate, Dino Rossi.

“We’re getting tons of calls and e-mails from troops overseas who didn’t receive their ballots, or who got them weeks after the election,” said Mary Lane, spokeswoman for Rossi. “We’re looking at a lot of disenfranchised military voters.”

Lane provided Stars and Stripes with complaints from 14 family members who have loved ones in the military, most deployed overseas, who did not receive absentee ballots. The Rossi campaign said it has heard from 260 voters who claim not to have received ballots, though not all of them are military.

Department of Justice officials would not comment on news reports that the federal government is investigating whether state elections officials broke the law by sending out the ballots too late. Republicans have filed suit to mandate a new election because of the military issues and other supposed voting irregularities.

In November, Rossi was named the winner of the general election by 261 votes and won a machine recount by 42, but a second, manual recount last month showed Democrat Christine Gregoire with a 129-vote margin of victory.

Last month, Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, certified the election results in Gregoire’s favor, and on Tuesday the state House and Senate, both controlled by Democrats, followed suit. The Democrat was to have been sworn in as governor on Wednesday.

Washington was the last state to send out its overseas ballots, with all but one county mailing them by Oct. 8, Floyd said. That left 39 days for overseas military personnel to receive and return the votes, which were accepted until 14 days after the November election.

Joe Hitt, spokesman for Fort Lewis in Washington, said none of the Army Reserve units currently deployed overseas have reported problems over missing or damaged ballots.

“It just seems to be something that’s being blown up in the press,” he said. “We haven’t heard any complaints about ballots.”

But Lane said her office has heard numerous complaints, even from troops who double-checked their registration and mailing addresses to make sure they received ballots.

Department of Defense officials did not return calls seeking comment on the ballot controversy. Arguments in the GOP court challenge will begin Friday.

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