Sometimes, it’s especially nice to be a Washingtonian.
As the rest of the country frets while ballots are totaled — results appearing in short bursts in some states, an unsteady trickle in others — residents of the Evergreen State are sitting back in experienced patience.
While elections offices across the state are still working, and results will not be certified until Nov. 24, residents find vote by mail and the ensuing uncertainty old hat.
King County Elections confirmed on Nov. 5 that they expected to finish counting ballots by Nov. 6. In some races, victory has been declared. In others, a formal declaration has not been made. In King County and Seattle, propositions and charter amendments appeared to receive overwhelming voter support.
Here are the results of some closely watched races, current as of Nov. 9.
Gov. Jay Inslee thanked voters for electing him to a third term, as only the second governor in the state’s history to win statewide three times.
“The people of Washington have given my administration a unique place in history, and I will work hard for you every day, just as I have for the past eight years,” Inslee said in a statement.
His opponent, Loren Culp, trailed by 14 points on Nov. 9. However, Culp refused to concede immediately, vowing to have all votes counted.
In other state news, Chris Reykdal will stay on as the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with a 10-point lead over opponent Maia Espinoza. A referendum on instituting age-appropriate sex education in Washington schools that had become a campaign issue also passed by a wide margin.
King County voters overwhelmingly approved $1.74 billion in bonds to improve health, safety and seismic conditions at Harborview Medical Center. They also approved a change in the county charter that will make the sheriff an appointed position rather than an elected official.
Seattle voters helped push the Harborview measure forward and also voted to tax themselves, once again, to maintain and improve transit. A previous measure expires on Dec. 31; without a replacement, the city would have had to pare back transit and services to low-income people and school-aged children.
In the 36th Legislative District, Liz Berry held an 17.5-point lead over fellow Democrat Sarah Reyneveld. The seat had been vacated by Democrat Gael Tarleton, who conceded in her race for Secretary of State against Republican incumbent Kim Wyman.
Former Seattle City Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley held a commanding 32.6% lead over Seattle Parks Engagement Manager — and former Real Change Board Member — Chukundi Salisbury in the 37th Legislative District.
Finally, Frank Chopp, who has held a seat in the 37th Legislative District since 1995, received two-thirds of the vote against challenger Sherae Lascelles. Lascelles, a nonprofit founder and community advocate, mounted the most successful campaign against Chopp in his 25-year tenure.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC.
Read more in the Nov. 11-17, 2020 issue.