Election 2013

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Voters in the city of SeaTac have approved a $15 minimum wage, but opponents have already requested a recount. 

Proposition 1 passed by a slim margin of 77 votes out of 6,003 votes cast. But even before the ballots were certified Tuesday, the group Common Sense SeaTac called for a recount in the hotly-contested initiative. The group is supported by Alaska Airlines, rental car companies and airport baggage-handling businesses.

There’s the possibility of another election turnaround.

First there was Kshama Sawant’s dramatic post-election night come-from-behind win over Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin. Now, supporters of Seattle Proposition 1 hope it’s their turn.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Veteran four-term Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin has conceded to Socialist challenger Kshama Sawant.

“Unfortunately, it appears that my opponent has received a greater number of votes,” Conlin said in a written statement Friday. “I hope that she will serve the people of Seattle effectively during her time in office.”

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Several races have swung wildly since the first vote count on Election Day, and it may be because campaigns are getting the hang of Washington’s all-mail elections.

University of Washington political scientist Matt Barreto said it’s not uncommon for races to swing a percentage point or two in the days after election night, but not much more than that.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

The voter initiative to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour for airport and hotel workers in SeaTac is still undecided.

The initiative was passing by just 43 votes on Tuesday afternoon. And activists say they don’t expect a clear outcome before Thanksgiving due to hundreds of contested ballots in a relatively small electorate. 

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

A Socialist candidate has taken the lead as an updated ballot count was released on Tuesday afternoon in a close Seattle City Council race.

Kshama Sawant initially trailed incumbent Richard Conlin by more than 6,000 votes, but is now leading by about 40 votes—79,751 to 79,710.

“I think the results that we got today confirm that people in Seattle and, indeed, everywhere in the country are actually eager and hungry for a big political shift,” Sawant said Tuesday.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Dozens of problematic ballots may determine the fate of an initiative to establish a $15 minimum wage for many workers in SeaTac.

The ballot measure was winning by just 43 votes Tuesday as officials in King County resumed counting ballots. There are likely hundreds more votes to count due to the lengthy ballot-collection process caused by the state's vote-by-mail system.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Sen. Ed Murray has resigned as leader of the Senate Democrats following his election as mayor of Seattle.

Murray announced Friday that while he was giving up his leadership role, he wasn't yet resigning from the Senate in order to continue to represent the 43rd District during the special session that started on Thursday.

Seattle school board candidate Suzanne Dale Estey has conceded to her opponent Sue Peters in one of the costliest campaigns in local history. 

Peters said Dale Estey called her Wednesday night to congratulate her.

Dale Estey is the former economic development for the city of Renton. Her campaign raised nearly $100,000 more than Peters. A political action committee, Great Seattle Schools, also raised nearly $100,000 in an effort to defeat Peters.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has conceded his run for re-election, and called his successor, Ed Murray.

McGinn’s tone was relaxed and candid at the press conference held at his campaign headquarters Thursday.He offered few regrets, but acknowledged he’d made missteps in office and on the campaign trail.

“I may have to question my tactics and how I played it,” said McGinn. “To use a basketball analogy I probably dribbled the ball off my foot a couple of times when I could have made a good pass instead.”

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Voters in Washington state have rejected a ballot measure requiring mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

The campaign over Initiative 522 drew millions of dollars from out of state and was one of the costliest initiative fights in state history.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

An initiative to create a $15 minimum wage for many SeaTac workers is maintaining a narrow lead.

Updated vote totals released Wednesday showed the measure passing with 53 percent of the vote. Because of the city's small size, the gap is only a matter of a couple hundred votes. Since ballots only needed to be postmarked by Tuesday, more votes will be counted in the coming days.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

The leader of Washington state's successful effort to legalize gay marriage is Seattle's next mayor.

Updated election results Wednesday night show state Sen. Ed Murray has 56 percent of the vote.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Environmentalists are celebrating an apparent victory in Whatcom County where controversy over a proposed coal terminal seems to have tipped the balance of power.

Four candidates backed by the Seattle-based Washington Conservation Voters appear to be winning. They are incumbents Ken Mann and Carl Weimer, and challengers Barry Buchanan and Rud Browne.

Two candidates in separate races in Washington state are winning in Tuesday's election despite being dead.

In the Seattle suburb of Des Moines, John Rosentangle won 71 percent of the vote over write-in candidates in the King County Water District 54. The 63-year-old died in August of an illness.

Wash. State Voters Reject 'Initiative on Initiatives'

Nov 5, 2013
Stephen Brashear / AP Photo

Voters in Washington state have overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would have expanded the rights of initiative signature gatherers.

Angel Takes Early Lead in Senate Race

Nov 5, 2013

Republican Jan Angel jumped to an early lead in the race for the Senate's 26th District.

Angel held a 51-49 percent lead over Democrat Nathan Schlicher Tuesday night in preliminary returns from Kitsap and Pierce counties. Because Washington state votes by mail, counting will continue throughout the week as ballots continue to arrive.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

An initiative to create a $15 minimum wage for many workers in SeaTac is winning.

An early vote count Tuesday showed the measure carrying 54 percent of the vote. Because Washington state votes entirely by mail, more ballots are left to count.

Austin Jenkins


A Washington state ballot measure requiring mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods is failing in early returns.

The campaign over Initiative 522 has been one of the costliest initiative fights in state history, drawing millions of dollars from out of state.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press


Seattle may soon have a new mayor.

State Sen. Ed Murray carried 56 percent of the vote in the first round of ballot counting Tuesday night, building a lead over incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn. Because Washington state votes entirely by mail, many ballots were not counted Tuesday.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Happy Election Day! Here's a quick reference guide if you're still holding on to a ballot.

Your ballot must be postmarked today (Tuesday, Nov. 5). Before you drop your ballot into the nearest blue mailbox, look at the sticker on that mailbox to see what time mail is collected. If you've missed that deadline you'll need to head to the post office to make sure your ballot is accepted in time.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Seattle mayoral candidate Ed Murray accepted free meals from lobbying firms who work with Comcast on 12 occasions over the first four months of this year—with a total estimated benefit of $250.

Associated Press

Voters are about to decide whether Washington becomes the first state in the nation to label some genetically engineered foods.

A poll last month showed Initiative 522 with a 4-point lead and 12-percent of voters still undecided.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

With one week until Election Day, voters in Washington’s three largest counties have been slow to return their ballots. But officials also say it’s too early to tell what that means for Election Day.

Associated Press

Biotechnology giant Monsanto Co. on Monday dumped another $540,000 to fight a Washington state ballot measure requiring genetically engineered foods be labeled.

The group opposing Initiative 522 has now raised nearly $22 million, setting a record for the most raised by an initiative campaign in state history. Food-labeling supporters have raised about $6.8 million.

Some advice from Sherril Huff, the director of King County's Department of Elections:

Protip No. 1: "Make sure you look at both sides because often, people think it’s all on the front side of the ballot.” In busy election years, some races and questions get printed on the back of the ballot. Use only black ink.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

About half of the state’s nearly 4 million registered voters are predicted to cast ballots in this year’s election. In King County, officials say the number of registered voters keeps climbing. If you're a newcomer to Washington state, you have until Monday to get your name on the voter rolls.

Gerry Hadden

Should consumers have the right to know what’s in the food they eat?

That’s the question at the heart of Initiative 522, which would require labeling of genetically-engineered foods and seed sold in Washington. 

Most people want the choice, but whether the initiative would actually give shoppers useful information is up for debate. One place to look for answers is the European Union, where the world’s first GE labeling requirements took effect nearly two decades ago.                 

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

An unprecedented amount of outside money has been pouring into local elections in Whatcom County to fund both sides of the fight stemming from the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point.

Four of the county council's seven seats are up for grabs. And two political action groups have formed to try and tip the balance in the Gateway Pacific project north of Bellingham.