Some happy news to report tonight: Initiative 1351, which mandates lower class sizes in Washington’s primary and secondary schools, is finally passing after having trailed on Election Night and in yesterday’s count.
After King County finished tabulating and reporting a fresh batch of ballots (its second count of the day), I-1351 went from losing to winning. What fortuitous timing! Just a few hours ago, Tim Eyman had sent out an email to the media crowing about the initiative being down. But now it’s prevailing!
Here’s where things stand now:
Yes on I-1351: 810,243 votes (50.14%)
No on I-1351: 805,583 votes (49.86%)
This means the Yes side has a fairly slim 4,660 vote lead.
Spokane County has flipped into the Yes column, a day after Snohomish County flipped to No. Snohomish is still No, but not by much.
What accounts for the change? In a few words, late ballots from more populous counties. The more sparsely populated rural counties are voting I-1351 down by significant margins. For the most part, those counties have few ballots left on hand to process, so their influence on the result is waning.
The populous counties, on the other hand, still have plenty of ballots to tabulate. King County alone has 132,042 ballots still to work through. Pierce County has 21,000; Snohomish has 78,000, and Spokane has 26,000.
If the trends hold, we project a win for the Yes on I-1351 coalition. It won’t be a landslide victory, but it will be a victory nonetheless.
Counties where I-1351 is winning include King and San Juan (reliable Democratic strongholds), along with Jefferson, Kitsap, Pierce, Spokane, Whatcom, Grays Harbor, and…. wait for it… Asotin! It’s very unusual to see King and Pierce in an alliance that does not include Snohomish County, but, there you have it.
Snohomish and Mason are barely in the No column, and Snohomish might just flip back before the election is certified. We’ll have to see.
Other counties that are somewhat close but still No are Skagit and Thurston.