NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Thursday ballot counting update: Eyman’s 976 slides, Sawant gains, R-88 vote gets tighter

Good evening! Here’s the latest developments in the 2019 general election, which remains an election in progress until the ballots are counted.

Initiative 976

Tim Eyman’s I-976 lost ground for the second day in a row.

Freshly tabulated ballots pushed the NO vote statewide up to 46.08% and brought the yes share of the vote down to 53.92%. In King County, the NO on I-976 vote climbed above 58% to 58.32%. We could see it surpass 59% tomorrow.

Six counties are currently voting I-976 down: King, San Juan, Jefferson, Whatcom, Thurston, and Island. Thurston and Island joined the NO camp yesterday after favoring I-976 by very slight margins on Election Night.

Clallam County might be the next to flip. The yes vote in I-976 is down to 50.67%. The yes vote was 52.12% on Election Night.

Meanwhile, in Pierce and Snohomish counties, the yes vote shrank. In Snohomish County, late ballots have pushed the yes vote under sixty percent.

In Kitsap County, the yes vote has dwindled to 52.64%.

The Keep Washington Rolling coalition may not wind up defeating I-976 at the ballot, but when all of the ballots have been counted, Eyman’s margin is going to be a lot less impressive than it was on Election Night.

Eyman had previously predicted a 65% yes vote in every single county plus passage in Seattle, neither of which is happening.

Referendum 88/Initiative 1000

Initiative 1000, the other statewide initiative on the ballot, is still being rejected as of today’s count. But it’s not as losing by as much as it was on Election Night.

The Approved vote climbed to 48.83% statewide today, up from 48.23% on Election Night. The measure is passing in the same four counties that made up the initial NO on I-976 bloc (King, Jefferson, San Juan, Whatcom) and failing everywhere else. As with I-976, right wing turnout in Pierce and Snohomish counties is the difference maker in the statewide vote.

King County is enthusiastically approving Initiative 1000.

61.84% of voters in King are currently in the Approved camp.

“We have not conceded this race and we are continuing to watch the votes as they come in,” Washington Fairness Coalition manager Cherika Carter said in a statement. “Ballots across the State are still being counted.”

“This will come down to every last vote.”

Thank you all for helping our campaign Get Out The Vote to APPROVE I-1000 via Referendum 88 to level the playing field and make Washington a more equitable state with fairness and opportunities for all! Whether you phone banked, knocked on doors, shared our social media posts, or told a friend to tell a friend to vote to Approve I-1000, you helped us move towards a more equitable change in Washington State, and we are this close because of you. Thank you!”

“Our work as a coalition does not stop here, we will continue to fight and advocate for policy that will uplift all of us and improve the lives of all Washingtonians. No matter what happens when this election is certified the Washington Fairness Coalition is committed to equity, opportunity, and fairness for all Washingtonians.”

Seattle City Council: Kshama Sawant gains

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, an avowed socialist who embraces the politics of polarization, gained significant ground on challenger Egan Orion today.

Orion possessed what may have appeared to observers unfamiliar with Seattle politics to be a comfortable lead on Election Night.

That lead (once 1,714 votes) is now evaporating, as we expected it would.

Six years ago, in her first victorious campaign, Sawant came from behind in the late ballots to upset Richard Conlin and secure a place on the Seattle City Council.

It appears this year that Sawant could pull of a similar feat.

On Election Night, Orion had 53.99% of the vote. He’s now down to 51.02%, with a seven hundred and thirty-nine vote advantage.

That’s hardly an insurmountable lead, and Orion knows it.

“Unfortunately this election remains too close to call and it is going to be close,” Orion said in a statement. “Our campaign ran a people-powered campaign, funded by Democracy Vouchers and individual contributions that allowed us to speak with voters in every neighborhood and community across District 3. We heard loud and clear that neighbors want collaborative solutions rather than divisive politics, that centers on solutions to our city’s challenges rather than just sound bites.”

“I got into this campaign to give a voice in City Hall to every neighbor rather than represent a national movement, but this election became a national referendum on money in politics. I share the community’s concern about how much corporate spending there was in this campaign. Win or lose, I am going to work to ensure our elections are driven by people and not big corporate spending.”

“We are hopeful our work on the ground will pay off so that District 3 can get the local representation it deserves. Stay tuned!”

“Whatever the outcome of our race, it’s clear the naked attempt by Jeff Bezos to buy Seattle City council will backfire in the long run,” Sawant’s campaign declared.

“We met it with a well-prepared united front strategy to mobilize working-class anger into a unifying force, pushing even some reluctant labor and liberal leaders into alliance with socialists to fight big business.”

“This unity forged will pay even bigger dividends for Seattle’s working class in the months and years ahead. The role of Socialist Alternative, with our clear analysis, strategy, and a politically self-confident membership, was absolutely vital to moving these wider forces into united action.”

“As the wave of socialist election campaigns across the country continues to expand, our experience in Seattle should be a sobering warning of the ruthlessness of big business. At the same time, there are rich lessons of how we fought back, laid the basis for further victories for our class, and potentially even how we came back to score a victory over the richest man in the world in this election.”

“Because of Washington State’s mail-in ballot system, this election is not over. Not just because only half of the ballots have been counted, but also because 1-2% of ballots typically are ‘spoiled’ ballots, most often from voters who neglected to sign their ballot envelopes. We need to make sure the ballots of every working person are ‘cured’ so they are included in this crucial election.”

Whatcom County Executive

A hard fought race for Whatcom County Executive continues to enthrall.

Satpal Sidhu, who NPI alum Patrick Stickney has previously worked for, has expanded his lead over rival Tony Larson for the county’s top job.

Sidhu currently serves on the Whatcom County Council and decided to run for higher office when incumbent Jack Louws opted not to seek reelection.

Louws and the county’s small city mayors all back Larson, the President of the Whatcom Business Alliance. Sidhu is backed by Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, the Democratic Party, Washington Conservation Voters, SEIU, and the Teamsters.

Oil companies and the Associated General Contractors funded an attack campaign against Sidhu, hoping to deny him a victory, but they appear to have failed.

Sidhu was behind by sixty-one votes on Election Night. He overtook Larson yesterday and now leads by nine hundred and thirty-three votes.

Medina levy lid lift still failing, barely

A proposed levy to allow the City of Medina to raise more money from property taxes is still behind, but not by much. Yesterday, the levy was losing by just four votes. And no, that’s not a typo! Today, the gap between No and Yes is ten.

Ten votes.

That’s it.

That’s like three households of voting adults.

Four hundred and seventy four voters in the affluent lakeside suburb currently support the levy, while four hundred and eighty four voters oppose it. This measure is going to go down to the wire and we will continue to keep an eye on it.

Don’t ever let anyone get away with claiming their vote doesn’t count. It does. Close elections like this one remind us of that.

Tacoma Port Commission

In Pierce County, there’s a hotly contested race for Port Commission between Kristin Ang and Dave Bryant. Ang is an attorney and environmental champion who is backed by the Pierce County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Pierce County Democrats, the Sierra Club, and the Washington Conservation Voters.

Bryant is a Navy veteran who has made infrastructure improvements a theme of his campaign. They are splitting the vote almost equally.

Ang trailed on Election Night, but she’s catching up to Bryant.

As of today, she is up to 49.96% of the vote. Her deficit is just six hundred and five votes, compared to nine hundred and ninety-nine on Election Night.

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