Earlier today, I suggested that King County’s vote against Tim Eyman’s Initiative 517 might soon cross the seventy percent threshold. And sure enough, this afternoon, it did… more quickly than I had expected it to.
The trend statewide is not much different. As of late last night, I‑517 was being rejected, 60.03% to 39.97%. As of 10 PM tonight, the no vote has increased to 61.07%. That’s an increase of more than a full percentage point.
The record for the highest no vote against a Tim Eyman initiative was set in 2004, when 61.55% of Washingtonians voted to reject Eyman’s scheme to blanket the state with video lottery terminals (also called electronic slot machines) in casinos, restaurants, and other establishments outside of tribal reservations, using the tax revenue to lower property taxes without further cutting public services.
It looks like this might be the year when the record set by the NO on I‑892 campaign is surpassed. If the current trend continues, by the end of the day tomorrow, the vote against I‑517 statewide should be highest vote ever (percentage-wise) against a Tim Eyman initiative.
Aside from I‑892 and I‑517, the two other biggest defeats of Tim Eyman initiatives at the ballot came in 2008 and 2009, when I‑985 and I‑1033 were rejected statewide by 59% and 57%, respectively.
We’ll be watching tomorrow to see if a new high water mark is set statewide. In the meantime, congratulations to the voters of King County for increasing the NO vote here in the heart of Washington to more than seventy percent. It’s so gratifying to see a Tim Eyman initiative getting the big no vote it deserves.
Initiative 517 — King County (As of 8:21 PM)
Yes: 29.55% (92,899 votes)
No: 70.45% (221,488 votes)