http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/special_packages/election2004/11545173.htm WENATCHEE, Wash. - The Republicans won an important victory Monday in their legal challenge to the election of Gov. Christine Gregoire when a judge allowed them to use a type of statistical analysis to try to prove illegal votes swayed the race. Republican Dino Rossi is trying to have the election results from November declared invalid. Rossi won the first count and a machine recount, but his Democratic opponent won by 129 votes in a hand recount of 2.9 million ballots. The trial is set for May 23. State law includes provisions for challenging and nullifying an election, but they have never been used to try to remove a governor. Republicans claim they have identified more than 1,000 illegal votes - mostly ballots cast by felons, but also unverified provisional ballots and votes cast in the names of dead people. Superior Court Judge John Bridges gave the GOP the go-ahead to apply "proportional analysis" to the illegal votes.