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“I want to thank the voters of King County for acknowledging the need to replace a dangerously outdated system and ensuring that our first responders have the tools they need to communicate during life-threatening emergencies.”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