The winds of change: Happy Friday after the election! I’m sure you understand by now that election results shift throughout the week as election workers count ballots that arrived later. Typically, we see a little change in candidates’ standings Wednesday, a little more on Thursday, and Friday’s the day that the close races become clearer. Unfortunately, not everything is so clear yet. Here's a rule to keep in mind as I go over the ballot drops from today: In King County, later ballots historically pull progressive. As for the rest of Washington, later ballots tend to lean more conservative.
The end of the road: MANY races have settled enough at this point that a bunch of candidates conceded last night.
damn everyone’s conceding. Jim Farrell, Julie Anderson, Matt Larkin. Makes me wanna call my rivals and congratulate them for something— Hannah Krieg (@hannahkrieg) November 11, 2022
Jim Farrell called Leesa Manion to officially give up hope on the King County Prosecutor's race, which is good if you think that we can’t tough-guy our way out of crime. Independent Julie Anderson conceded in the race for Secretary of State to incumbent Steve Hobbs, so we don’t have to worry about Anderson making it harder for voters to know which candidates are Republicans on that ballot. Also, Matt Larkin gave up against incumbent Kim Schrier, defying expectations of pundits who thought WA08 would switch back to red this election, jeopardizing the Democrats' power in the US House.
But many races remain close: Washington’s 3rd Congressional District is the last congressional district in the state up for grabs and it may turn blue this election if Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez can hold onto her initial 10,000 vote lead over conspiracy theorist and MAGA head, Joe Kent. With late votes leaning red outside of King County, Perez’s lead narrowed to 5,882 votes on Thursday evening.
As of this morning, about 55,000 ballots remain in WA03. This afternoon, Cowlitz County dropped about 5,000 additional votes that weakened Perez’s lead to 5,117. But hold on, Perez’s best county, Clark County, holds the lion's share of the uncounted votes, with 45,000 remaining. Tonight at around 6 pm, Clark will report 20,000 ballots and 20,000 more drop the same time tomorrow. I’ll tweet about it, I promise.
Even if Clark is the bluest county in the district, Perez’s future is far from guaranteed because late ballots went largely to Kent in the primary, even in Clark. It would seem Kent will call himself the winner (or at least a victim of election fraud) regardless of how the next few drops go. He’s spreading election denial conspiracy theories about his race on a podcast with Trump’s buddy, Steve Bannon.
The State legislature: Despite talk of a national red wave, a few weeks ago, State Democrats told The Stranger they weren’t too worried about losing in swing districts. Seems they were right not to lose too much sleep over those races. Democrat incumbent Emily Randall, who represents 26th LD, has maintained her lead over her Republican challenger (she netted an additional 20 votes when Pierce reported earlier today, but we won't see additional results from Kitsap until tomorrow at 5 pm).
Over in the 10th legislative district, Democrat Clyde Shavers’s alleged stolen valor controversy hasn’t cost the Democrats the seat yet. As of 4 pm today, Shavers has more or less kept his lead of just under 2%, but Skagit and Island Counties won't report more ballots until Monday and the district's reddest county will report at 6 pm tonight.
Whatcom: Last night, in the three legislative races in Whatcom, Democrats barely edged out Republicans. Unfortunately, Whatcom County will not report another ballot drop until Monday, so Democrat State Senate candidate Sharon Shewmake and Democrat State House candidates Rep. Alicia Rule and Joe Timmons will have to bite their nails over the holiday weekend.
King County: King County Elections (KCE) dropped about 88,500 in tonight's ballot dump and about 216,000 remain, according to the agency’s spokesperson. Additionally, 15,890 voters fucked up their signatures. Sorry, that was harsh of me. It's probably not your fault, but you gotta fix it by Nov. 28 at 4:30 pm to have your ballot counted. Click here to check and "cure" your ballot. You’ll also get a letter, a phone call, and an email if you gave KCE your info.
All the Stranger candidates have kept their leads. Well, except Shukri Olow, who trails Democrat Chris Stearns by more than 10,000 votes. Disability Rights Advocate Darya Farivar is still beating Lelach Rave in the 46th in North Seattle. Former State Senator Claudia Kauffman is still ahead of Republican Bill Boyce in the 47th in Kent. Techy landlord (with good vibes) Chipalo Street is also still leading in the 37th in South Seattle against Emijah Smith. And good luck to Seattle Municipal Court Judge Adam Eisenberg. He’s down bad with his public defender opponent Pooja Vaddadi still very much in the lead.
Ballot measure: Voters showed clear preference for most ballot measures. As of tonight, 69.35% of voters said they want to put many county positions up for election on even years to bolster turn-out. And 68.24% of voters approved the Conservation Futures Levy, which will charge property owners $0.0625 per $1,000 of the property value so that the County can better care for our green spaces.
Seattle voters also knew they wanted Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) over Approval Voting. But voters weren’t so sure on the prompt that asked if we should change the system at all. So far, “No” held an extremely narrow lead over “Yes.” After tonight's drop, it's still fucking close—49.45% of voters want to change our election system to one of the provided options and 50.55% do not, which means the lead for "No" shrunk by about 1,000 votes since yesterday. Even if voters decided to keep elections the way they are, the support for RCV in the second prompt could do wonders for efforts at the state to let municipalities combine their primary and general elections and implement a better version of RCV.
Let's talk about ANYTHING else: President Joe Biden’s having a hard time making good on his campaign promises to alleviate the stress of student debt. Will Casey already explained the situation with much more legal knowledge in Slog AM, but I just wanted to let you know that the Education Department is no longer accepting applications, even though Biden had previously encouraged borrowers to continue applying through the legal challenges. Of course, the decision isn’t final, so keep those fingers crossed!
Biden’s next big plan: Okay, so student loan forgiveness isn’t going so well, but today, Biden announced new initiatives to crack down on methane emissions at the 27th UN Climate Conference. You can read the specifics here, but basically Biden says his new methane rules will help the US meet its goal to slash 2020 levels of methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
The cost of climate change: As sea levels rise, the ocean begins to encroach on coastal cities. Saint-Louis, Senegal is “ground zero” of the devastation of the rising Atlantic Ocean, with thousands of people living in a camp for “internally-displaced people.” The climate refugee crisis has begun and NPR says, “every year, a little bit more land is lost to the sea.”
Can Slog PM be fun again? I know, I know. Lots of political shit for a Friday. After a long week, you probably don’t care about ballot measures and you probably don’t want to stress about your debt! So, go out and have fun. EverOut knows the coolest and cheapest events to get your mind off the news of the week.
Gallagher died: Gallager, a comedian best known for smashing watermelons in the '80s, died at 76 after what his manager described as a “short health battle.” Today, you may be reflecting on fond memories of the funny fruit guy. Stranger alum Lindy West also had those fond, “apolitical” memories, until she saw him perform in Bremerton in 2010 and realized he’s a “Paranoid, Right-Wing, Watermelon-Smashing Maniac.”
A blast from the (recent) past came up on shuffle today: