NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

April special election results: King County public safety radio network levy winning big

Min­utes ago, King Coun­ty Elec­tions pub­lished the results of the first round of bal­lot count­ing for the April 2015 spe­cial elec­tion. While there are no offices up in this elec­tion, vot­ers in a num­ber of juris­dic­tions were asked to decide the fate of a num­ber of bal­lot mea­sures, includ­ing a coun­ty­wide levy to replace a major por­tion of the region’s aging pub­lic safe­ty radio net­work (King Coun­ty Propo­si­tion #1).

NPI sup­port­ed a “Yes” vote on this mea­sure, and we are delight­ed to report it is pass­ing with an over­whelm­ing mar­gin of near­ly two to one. Here are the results:

Approved: 64.99% (162,458 votes)
Reject­ed: 35.01% (87,527 votes)

In a state­ment sent to NPI, King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine praised the lop­sided yes vote, say­ing it was crit­i­cal for first responders.

“A reli­able emer­gency radio net­work is the life­line that keeps all of our com­mu­ni­ties safe, used thou­sands of times a day by police, fire­fight­ers and medics in every cor­ner of our coun­ty,” Con­stan­tine said.

“I want to thank the vot­ers of King Coun­ty for acknowl­edg­ing the need to replace a dan­ger­ous­ly out­dat­ed sys­tem and ensur­ing that our first respon­ders have the tools they need to com­mu­ni­cate dur­ing life-threat­en­ing emergencies.”

In the City of Sam­mamish, vot­ers are giv­ing the thumbs up to a non­bind­ing plebiscite ask­ing whether the city should cre­ate an ini­tia­tive and ref­er­en­dum process. 55.25% cur­rent­ly stand in sup­port of bring­ing direct democ­ra­cy to the city, while 44.75% are opposed. Around 5,500 of the city’s res­i­dents have weighed in, with more votes to be count­ed in the days to come.

In Kla­hanie, an exur­ban neigh­bor­hood bor­der­ing Sam­mamish that has been part of unin­cor­po­rat­ed King Coun­ty since it was built, res­i­dents are over­whelm­ing­ly sup­port­ing a pro­pos­al to join the City of Sammamish.

A stag­ger­ing 86.83% of Kla­hanie vot­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in the elec­tion are back­ing annex­a­tion, while just 13.17% are opposed. Around 11,000 peo­ple live in the area that will be added to Sam­mamish. 2,156 of those who are of vot­ing age are back­ing the pro­pos­al to join Sam­mamish. Just 327 are opposed.

The loom­ing annex­a­tion will bring Sam­mamish’s pop­u­la­tion to around 66,000, sur­pass­ing near­by Red­mond (although per­haps not for long).

In greater Cov­ing­ton, a pro­pos­al to increase the sales tax to pay for road main­te­nance is fail­ing, 53.27% to 46.73%.

Pro­pos­als by South King Fire and Res­cue and the Emu­nclaw School Dis­trict to issue bonds for fire equip­ment and school mod­ern­iza­tion aren’t doing well, either. To pass, a bond propo­si­tion has to win a six­ty per­cent yes vote in an elec­tion with forty per­cent min­i­mum turnout — the so-called sixty/forty rule. Nei­ther of these bond propo­si­tions is cur­rent­ly meet­ing the 60% thresh­old, though both are close.

Enum­claw’s bond pro­pos­al is cur­rent­ly get­ting a 58% yes vote. The South King Fire & Res­cue bond is receiv­ing a 57% yes vote.

A propo­si­tion to renew the Vashon-Mau­ry Island parks levy, on the oth­er hand, was clos­er to pas­sage, with 59.52% vot­ing yes (60% need­ed). 1,657 votes have been cast so far in sup­port and 1,127 in oppo­si­tion. The mar­gin of pas­sage will need to tick up by about half a per­cent­age point for the mea­sure to succeed.

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