These are the preliminary results for races in which STB endorsed a candidate. STB endorsees were 16-6 in first results last night, and are bolded below. Despite the national results, it was a good night for progressive and urbanist local government, and especially good for transit and streets measures.

Local/State Measures 

We endorsed all 8 of these local or state measures, and all except I-732 and Issaquah Proposition 1 are passing.

  • Sound Transit 3: Passing, 55-45%
  • Spokane Transit Proposition 1: Passing, 55-45%.
  • I-732 (Carbon Tax): With opposition from the right and half the left, I-732 is failing 42%-58%., down in all counties except King and San Juan..
  • Bellevue Proposition 2Passing, 55%-45%.
  • Issaquah Proposition 1Failing, 55%-45% (needs 60%).
  • YES on Kenmore Proposition 1Passing, 64%-36%.
  • YES on Bothell Proposition 1Passing, 55%-45%.
  • YES on Kitsap Transit Proposition 1: Passing, 51%-49%.

State/Federal Offices

37 Replies to “Local Election Results Roundup”

    1. Although I voted for I-732, I’m not too disappointed that it failed. I disliked the fact that it reduced the sales tax by a fixed amount without considering whether it would actually be revenue-neutral. Hopefully there can be a better initiative some time in the future.

    1. I’m sure RossB’s tune will change. We get sexy light rail to Everett Station via Paine Field.

      It’s like I’ve been saying since at least late June: No Paine Field diversion, no ST3. That was the deal.

    2. I’m certainly displeased. But now with the prospect of gutting the federal transit subsidy for at least the next for years, the wisdom of ST3’s ultra-conservative funding mechanisms is quite apparent.

    3. Anybody who cares about useful transit should be circumspect about several of the compromises that went into the package. I voted for it because I thought it was ‘good enough’ and 2020 would not be better. Ross and dp had a more optimistic view that the process of revising the plan could come up with something better.

      There’s nothing sexy about rail to strip malls in Fife and Issaquah. Nothing anti-transit in wanting something that met more people’s mobility needs faster. But that was the deal on offer. Ross and dp aside, with one local vote between them, weren’t a constituency likely to get what they wanted in the next round of political sausage-making.

      How about, now that the election is over, we can let up on those with good intentions who wanted something better?

      1. Sure. The day after full trains are rolling out of Issaquah… :)

        But, if you’re saying we could do with fewer purity tests all around, I’ll agree to that.

      2. Dan,

        I agree 100%. Now that good transit has gotten a clear mandate in Snohomish and King Counties, it’s time to come together and grow the transit coalition. One of the cudgels I used specifically to get folks to vote YES for ST3 was to keep the transit coalition together. We still have to fight for TOD, we still have to participate enthusiastically in transit advisory committees, we still have to block for the Sound Transit Offense, and maybe help Pierce & Skagit with ballot measures in 2020…. for starters.

        Light rail is sexy – you just get on and ride. You pay before getting on and tap getting off. You get clean facilities.

      3. Well said, Dan.

        There have been (and still are) some comments on this board by a small number of commenters that are worthy of d.p. at his most virulent. It’s unbecoming of a policy wonk site, IMHO. Leave that stuff to the Times’ comment section.

      4. Dan, any chance that land that’s now a strip mall could be cleared and rebuilt with development compatible with transit?


      5. There’s plenty of chances. Issaquah light rail won’t be built for over 20 years and the area has been upzoned. The provisional station location is almost in the shadow of the freeway, so that is a downside. When the EIS comes out there will be an alternatives analysis that could move the terminal station to a better location.

        But it was a rhetorical question, right?

      6. Joe, the “suburbs” served by the Riverside Line (the Green Line branch to the “‘burbs”) are more like Capitol Hill than Shoreline. And definitely not like Casino Corner.

      7. On one hand, the chances are severely limited by the freeway alignments — not just the fact that the freeway is there, but the layouts of the interchanges and the roads they’re along. That stuff doesn’t change quickly.

        On the other hand, a large majority of the metro-area population lives in pretty auto-centric areas, and any hopeful plan for growth without further sprawl, and for transportation sustainability, has to reach most of the people.

      8. The freeway alignments determine where people live, especially in the areas beyond Mountlake Terrace, downtown Bellevue, and Renton that were farmland and small towns when the freeways were built. Houses are scattered everywhere but commercial districts (where a train or BRT would go) are near freeway exits.

        Now that ST3 has gone from “Should we build it?” to the baseline, the focus of our energy and the relationship between former ST3 supporters and pro-transit ST3 opponents will have to change. I don’t know what they’ll change into, but as one of the Seattle Subway members said at the rally, now SS is switching hats from being pro-ST to being critical of ST, to make sure that further design and execution of the plan is as effective as possible. There will also be a lot of non-ST issues in the next ten years: Metro’s long-range plan, CT’s long-range plan, PT’s long-range plan, funding of these, Move Seattle corridors, future Link-corridor restructures, Seattle zoning, other zoning, etc.

    4. It’s always dangerous to speak for others, but I suspect that, like me, d.p and RossB are much more upset about the result at the top of the ticket than they are about the one at the bottom.

  1. Hillary Clinton is now ahead by over 200K in the popular vote. She is poised to be the fifth candidate for PotUS to get a plurality of the popular vote, and yet lose in the Electoral College. Expect her margin of meaningless victory to grow larger as Washington State takes a couple weeks to count its votes.

    Surely, there will be renewed interest in the Compact Among the States, but the Democrat Party has done this to itself by refusing to consider the simple modernization in voting known as ranked choice voting, which, BTW, the voters of Maine have just adopted. As victories last night go, that would probably be the one I’m second-happiest about, right behind ST3.

    1. I suppose it bears mentioning that ranked choice voting, allowing for multiple contenders on the final ballot, tends to discourage negative campaigning.

      1. I agree Brent. I prefer the Australian system of voting, with paper ballots only where you list your preferences and vote on a Saturday or face a small fine. It’s democratic, deters voter fraud, everybody gets a photo ID, and would be preferable to the status quo shitshow.

    2. Was also very happy to see Maine go RCV, as they will hopefully provide a nice laboratory for the rest of us to see how it works on a relatively small scale (and perhaps avoid some of Tacoma’s issues with it). I’ve long been a fan of the Aussie voting system.

    3. Ranked choice voting with single-winner elections doesn’t really solve anything, as Australia has discovered. (They use it for their lower house. They have the same damn two-party system. Their upper house uses a different and better system called single transferrable vote.)

      Approval voting is *way* better and much simpler to count.

      But we have to bypass the electoral college. This is essential. It’s a horrible anachronism which means that votes in California, New York, and Texas — the three largest states — are meaningless in the Presidential general election.

      1. Sure, approval voting is easier to count. And so were the Soviet Union’s ballots. But I’m totally lost on how I would cast an effective vote if I could only say yay or nay to each candidate. If I, as a voting systems expert, can’t sort it, I don’t expect the general public will.

        I have not heard of a single governing body that uses multi-candidate approval voting.

        I have only seen the effort to install approval voting appear as a counter to ranked choice voting, and then disappear back into the woodworks when RCV is not on the table. Does that strategy sound familiar?

    4. Australia was the first country with a secret ballot (called the “Australian ballot”), and it has also innovated with mandatory voting and ranked-choice voting. I support all of these. However, changing the way votes are counted in the US is a significant and potentially dangerous undertaking, so we need to go slowly on it and make sure there are as few unintended consequences as possible, and also make sure most people understand it and agree it’s a good thing. So where in the US have these things been tried and what is their experience? How can we be sure that the tallying formula is good, and really will lead to the most people’s highest choices?

      Bypassing the Electoral College is a similar issue. Yes, long-term we should do it. But it assumes we have two responsible candidates committed to America’s civic tradition who just have different policy details to choose from. But since 2000 if not 1992 we’ve had one party acting totally irresponsible, burning down the house, with rigid ideologies instead of pragmatic visions. Washington, Oregon, and California send a solid slate of the responsible party to the Electoral College. Eliminating that in this era would lead to eastern Washington and Clark County giving more support to the irresponsible party. That’s not something we can responsibly do until the irresponsible party is repaired or replaced.

      for the past sixteen years if not twenty-six years

      1. The Republican won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote in 2000 and 2016. Waiting will only get us more such perverse results. But it will take the time it takes. Thankfully, the Compact Among the States has accrued legally-airtight pledges from 11 states, controlling 165 electoral votes. The compact legally takes effect — giving all the electors in each participating state to the candidate winning the national popular vote — when states controlling 270 electoral votes sign on.

  2. But the problem with approval voting is that it doesn’t have any way to let you say, “I really don’t like Alice, but I’ll still take her over Bob.” Ranked-choice voting lets you rank as few or as many candidates as you want.

    Mightn’t the real problem by single-member districts, instead?

    1. Yes, single-member districts are the big problem. The only method I have seen that circumvents Arrow’s Theorem is proportional representation.

      The advantages of proportional representation have to be balanced against the main advantage of single-member districts: that when some people are disenfranchised, their votes are effectively cast by other voters in the same district rather than in the whole state. This means that, as long as the districts are internally more homogeneous than the state, disenfranchised people are more likely to be properly represented.

      By disenfranchised, I mean not just those who are forcibly barred from voting, but also those who are psychologically disenfranchised (think their vote doesn’t matter), or logistically disenfranchised (don’t have time to vote).

      1. I like the simplicity of RCV partially because it best mimics the ranked voting system for electing multiple candidates in a candidate-based manner (i.e. the Australian ballot) instead of forcing voters to pick a party as their sole choice on the ballot. Having RCV will make it much easier to sell proportional representation.

        Yes, there are rare examples where my ranking my choices disingenuously could get a candidate I preferred more elected, if I had absolute clarevoyance. But they are astronomically more rare opportunities than knowing going into the election that I could help elect a Democrat by voting disingenuously for the Democrat. What we’ve got now causes millions of voters to intentionally not vote for the candidate they want most. That is a sucky pretence of democracy.

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