The November 8 general election is proving to have tight races between Democrats and Republicans in Whatcom County. About 53.4 percent of the county’s 157,580 registered voters turned in their ballots by 8 p.m. Election Day. Whatcom County Auditor’s Office estimated another 23,200 ballots were left to count by 5 p.m. November 9 after nearly 84,182 ballots were counted.
The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office announced in a November 9 news release that the elections department is behind on processing ballots because of network outages that limited connection ability to the state’s voter registration system, VoteWA.
Windstorms during the weekend of November 4 caused fiber optic outages, impacting data services, according to the auditor’s office. VoteWA checks ballots and verifies signatures, which is the first step in ballot processing. Ballots returned during the weekend and early election week have not yet been processed because of the system outage and a higher-than-average voter turnout. Whatcom County auditor Diana Bradrick said in the news release that the auditor’s office was processing ballots on November 9 but the VoteWA signature verification was operating slower than usual.
Sharon Shewmake (D) is in a close lead against incumbent Simon Sefzik (R) for the state senator seat in the 42nd Legislative District. Shewmake has 50.8 percent (28,406 votes) and Sefzik has 49.1 percent (27,457) of the votes. They are currently separated by 949 votes.
Incumbent Alicia Rule (D) is ahead for the state representative position 1 seat in the 42nd Legislative District. Rule received 51.8 percent (28,880 votes), while her challenger, Tawsha (Dykstra) Thompson, received 48.1 percent (26,839 votes) in support. The two are separated by 2,041 votes.
Joe Timmons (D) is in the lead for the 42nd Legislative District’s state representative position 2 seat. Timmons has 51.4 percent (28,583 votes), while Dan Johnson (R) has 48.5 percent (26,959 votes). Timmons is leading by 1,624 votes.
Jonathan Rands appears to have won the Whatcom County District Court judge position 2 race. Rands received 62.3 percent (44,201 votes), while his opponent, Gordon M. Jenkins, received 37.3 percent (26,448 votes) in November. Rands is in the lead by 17,753 votes.
The commissioner district 3 seat for Public Utility District No. 1 is also neck-and-neck. Jaime Arnett is in the lead with 51.7 percent (34,543 votes), while Eric Davidson has 47.6 percent (31,777 votes). The two are separated by 2,766 votes.
For Washington state Secretary of State, incumbent Steve Hobbs (D) received 49.7 percent (941,359 votes) throughout the state. Julie Anderson (nonpartisan) has 46.9 percent (888,331 votes).
U.S. Senate incumbent Patty Murray (D) easily retained her seat. Murray received 56.7 percent in support statewide, while Tiffany Smiley (R) received 43.1 percent votes statewide.
U.S. representative Rick Larsen (D) will retain his seat in Washington state’s 2nd U.S. Congressional District. Larsen received 61.3 percent in support statewide, while Dan Matthews (R) received 38.5 percent in support statewide.
The next ballot count was scheduled for 5 p.m. November 10. The election will be certified November 29. To view election results, visit bit.ly/3FZAXsD.
As for Whatcom County ballot measures, the children’s initiative levy lid lift, Proposition 2022-5, is failing with 50.9 percent (41,639 votes) against and 49.1 percent (40,164 votes) in support. Proposition 5 would authorize the county to increase property taxes to fund early learning programs, childcare and support for homeless and other vulnerable children. The measure would increase the regular property tax levy by $.19 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for 10 years, generating about $8.2 million annually.
The county’s Emergency Medical Services levy increase, Proposition 2022-6, looks like it will pass as 64 percent (52,260 votes) are in support, and 35.9 percent (29,314 votes) are against. The levy would allow the county to continue to impose a regular property tax levy of $.295 or less per $1,000 of assessed valuation for six years.
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