Good evening! Here’s the latest developments in the 2019 general election, which remains an election in progress until the ballots are counted.
Referendum 88 goes from failing to passing, then flips back
It’s high drama for Referendum 88, also known as Initiative 1000.
I‑1000 is the measure that would relax some of the absurd, burdensome prohibitions imposed by Tim Eyman’s I‑200 two decades ago on public agencies and institutions of higher learning. I‑1000 would allow agencies to reach out to historically disadvantaged groups and communities to inform them of opportunities to apply for jobs and contracts.
After several days of counting, there’s almost no gap whatsoever between the yes camp and the no camp. For a short while this afternoon, the measure — which had thus far been failing — took a lead for the first time in the count, propelled by newly tabulated ballots reported by King County.
That lead was short-lived. King County’s neighbors quickly proceeded to put the opposition back on top. Referendum 88 is back to failing… for now. King County has a second ballot drop planned for today, around 8:30 PM, which could once again put Initiative 1000 in the lead. That would be a welcome development.
At 4 PM, thanks to King County, Referendum 88 had a lead of just eight hundred and forty-two votes, out of more than 1.4 million votes cast. Incredible.
By 6:30 PM, Referendum 88 was behind by 24,752 votes.
And within hours, it may lead again.
Initiative 976 continues to slide
The NO vote against Tim Eyman’s I‑976 continues to grow.
As of this afternoon, it was up to 46.68%. On Election Night, it was 44.24%.
Six counties are rejecting I‑976 and thirty-three are passing it.
In Kitsap County, the NO vote is up to 49.20%, and there are an estimated 7,000 ballots left to count there. Eyman’s position leads by just 1,077 votes in Kitsap, so a lead change is possible. Might Kitsap County flip to the NO side? We’ll find out on Tuesday, when Kitsap County is next expected to report.
Kshama Sawant overtakes Egan Orion
As of this afternoon, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is now winning reelection and is likely to end the count ahead of challenger Egan Orion.
On Election Night, Sawant had 45.61% of the vote.
Now she has 50.45% of the vote. She gained on Orion in the Wednesday and Thursday counts. Today she seized the lead… probably for good.
“Our vote continues to grow, with Councilmember Kshama Sawant capturing 58% of the latest ballot drop,” Sawant’s campaign said in a jubilant Facebook posting. “We now lead our opponent by 513 votes! As votes continue to be tallied, it’s more important than ever that we fight to make sure every vote is counted.”
“We know that that Amazon and the corporate interests which have spent a record amount of money against us will leave no stone unturned. They may challenge votes in an effort to disenfranchise supporters. They will likely cure ballots too. They could also demand a recount.”
“Please join us tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM at Langston Hughes Institute to hear from Councilmember Kshama Sawant at a short press conference before we train volunteers and begin ballot curing.”
Medina levy lid lift now passing
A proposed levy to allow the City of Medina to raise more money for essential public services from property taxes is now leading… by six votes.
The measure had been trailing in previous counts. Yesterday, it was behind by ten votes. Now it’s ahead by six. 1,114 total votes have been cast so far, with five hundred and sixty in favor and five hundred and fifty-four against.
Passage of the levy would allow the Medina City Council to avoid cutting the city’s already overstretched public services. Although Medina is an affluent community, it faces a budget crunch without this levy lid lift.
Woodinville City Council: Nicolas Duschatel snags his first lead
Progressive challenger Nicolas Duschatel finally managed to overtake his opponent, incumbent Al Taylor, in today’s initial count of ballots.
After trailing since Tuesday, Duschatel now leads by sixteen votes, with 1,545 ballots cast in his favor. 1,539 ballots have been cast for Taylor.
This is a race that could easily see another lead change or two by the end of counting, depending on how many ballots there are left to count.
In the other contested Woodinville City Council race, progressive challenger Paul Hagen trails incumbent Gary Harris by forty-seven votes.
Hagen has yet to hold a lead in his race.
Varisha Khan within striking distance of Hank Myers in Redmond
A race that didn’t look competitive at all on Election Night has changed dramatically. Entrenched conservative Hank Myers has been losing ground all week to progressive challenger Varisha Khan for Redmond City Council Position #1. Khan is now behind Myers by only one hundred and ninety-nine votes.
Can she close the gap? Can she overtake Myers?
We’ll find out in a few hours, as King County Elections has that second ballot drop planned at around 8:30 PM tonight. This is a key race to watch.