While we won’t have final numbers until the 2013 general election is certified in a few weeks, we can say that as of today, Initiative 517 ranks as Tim Eyman’s biggest-ever defeat, percentage-wise. The vote against 517 statewide continues to climb, propelled by an incredibly strong no vote in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, which a supermajority of Washingtonians call home.
As I explained yesterday, the old record was 61.55%, set against Eyman’s I‑892 in 2004. (I‑892 was a scheme to expand gambling and use the revenue generated from gambling taxes to reduce property taxes. It tanked big across the state).
The new record will probably be between 62% and 63%. I say “probably” because the no vote against I‑517 is at 61.74% now, but is likely to keep on climbing in the days ahead, since that’s all it has been doing so far.
Once it stops, we’ll know what the new record will be. For now, we can say I‑517 is Eyman’s biggest defeat, percentage wise.
In related developments, Grant County has switched its allegiance to the No side. 50.53% of votes cast in Grant County (home to Moses Lake and surrounding communities) are against I‑517 as of today. Grant is the only county to have flipped in either direction thus far. There are nine counties in favor of I‑517 and thirty opposed. Seven of the nine are in eastern Washington.
Counties bordering the Salish Sea are rejecting I‑517 by much more lopsided margins than the other counties in the no column. King, Thurston, and San Juan are the most opposed to I‑517, followed by Jefferson, Snohomish, Island, and Pierce. East of the Cascades, Whitman’s no vote is the most impressive, at 58%.
(Whitman, home to Washington State University, is the eastern Washington county that most often sides with the Democratic strongholds of King and San Juan on ballot measures… sometimes even when Snohomish and Pierce don’t).
We are incredibly pleased to see that I‑517’s defeat is only growing in size and scope. The people of Washington have spoken loudly and clearly in rejecting Tim Eyman’s self-serving attempt to make the initiative business more profitable.