By Pat Grubb
Despite numerous polls and pundits predicting that Hillary Clinton would become the first woman President of the United States, Republican nominee Donald Trump won a decisive number of electoral college votes to become the next leader of the free world on January 20, 2017. The iconoclast businessman helped down ballot Republicans get elected to solid majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives for full control of all three arms of the federal government for the first time since 2011.
Closer to home, the Point Roberts Parks and Recreation District levy to complete funding to renovate the Julius Fire Hall into new quarters for the library has been defeated. As of Thursday at noon, Yes votes totaled 270, or 53.7 percent, versus No votes of 233. In all, 503 voters entered ballots locally. The measure required a 60 percent approval in order to pass. The Friends of the Point Roberts Library board intend to meet in the near future to consider available steps.
In District 42, voters opted to re-elect Republican incumbents Luanne Van Werven for state representative position 1 and Vincent Buys for state representative position 2 with 54 percent and 57 percent, respectively.
Whatcom County’s Emergency Medical Services Levy, which would impose a tax of 29.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value, is narrowly losing with 46,866 Yes votes (59.78%) to 31,538 No votes (40.22%). The measure requires a 60 percent super-majority Yes vote to pass.
Nationally, the move to legalize marijuana took a huge step forward with voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine approving the recreational use of the drug. The entire West Coast is now a legal marijuana zone. Arizona voters narrowly turned down a recreational use measure while North Dakota, Arkansas, Florida and Montana voters passed laws to legalize medical marijuana.
In Washington state, incumbent Democratic governor Jay Inslee won handily over Republican Bill Bryant with 56 percent of the votes cast. Current Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Republican, also led her opponent Tina Podlodowski with 53 percent of the votes.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray will be returning to Washington after a convincing win over Republican Chris Vance with a nearly half-million vote lead or 61 percent. U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene will be sharing the plane ride with Murray after she whomped Republican opponent Robert Sutherland with a 57 percent share of the vote.
In state measures, the electorate voted in favor of Initiative Measure No. 1433, which would increase the state’s minimum wage to $11 in 2017 with higher wages to follow in succeeding years. The initiative took slightly under 60 percent of the vote.
Voters strongly approved Initiative Measure No. 1491, which would impose a temporary restriction on gun ownership for those with a court-issued extreme risk protection order. Over 70 percent of ballots were cast in favor of the measure.
Washington voters decisively voted against a carbon emission tax, 58 percent to 41 percent. The measure was the first time a U.S. state had put a carbon tax on a ballot.
Similarly, voters turned a jaundiced eye on Initiative Measure No. 1464 with nearly 100,000 No votes more than those in favor. If approved, the initiative would have established a public campaign finance system.
Election figures are current as of 5:34 p.m. Wednesday, November 9. Results will be updated regularly on our election page at http://www.allpointbulletin.com/2016/11/10/election-2016-latest-results-from-washington-state-and-whatcom-county/