E+4 — I-1240, bought and paid for

We declared R-74 a definitive winner (yay!!) on Thursday. Rob McKenna conceded to Jay Inslee (yay, yay!!) on Friday. Yesterday, soon after we asserted that Kim Wyman had won (boo!) the Secretary of State race, Kathleen Drew issued her concession statement. That left only I-1240 as an undecided statewide issue … barely undecided, as it looked increasingly bleak for the opponents of greedy school privatization charter schools.

After Saturday’s vote-count updates (only 6 counties, only 93,955 additional ballots), little has changed but much has changed. As on Friday, Yes on I-1240 is in the lead by a 50.8% to 49.2% margin. As on Friday, the estimation model suggests that those same numbers will be the final tally.

That’s the case even though Yes did worse on Saturday than its previous cumulative percentage in King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties. In other words, in every county that updated on Saturday, the day-specific percent Yes was lower than the previous percent Yes. In fact, the No side got more votes than Yes on Saturday, thereby narrowing the absolute margin between the two sides. Unfortunately for those of us who oppose profiteering by Gates, et al. charter schools, the absolute margin decreased by … 33 votes. In percentage terms, that’s 49.98% Yes to 50.02% No.

Obviously, it would take a long, long time to beat I-1240 if you’re eating into its lead (43,860 as of Saturday) by 33 votes per day. Over 1300 days, as a matter of fact.

Let’s look at it in a different way. The SoS estimates that there are still 275,250 ballots remaining to be counted, which would result in overall turnout of 79.8%. To overcome Yes‘s through-Saturday margin, the No side would have to win 58.0% of those votes. In the counting thus far, neither side has ever done better on a single day than 54.4% (No on Thursday, when just over 300,000 votes were tallied), so a percentage large enough to reverse the outcome is beyond implausible.

Now suppose the SoS’s estimate of remaining ballots is low. If there were actually 400,000 more ballots to be counted (turnout would then be 83.0%), No would need 55.5% of them to win the race. In the highly unlikely scenario where the estimate is way-low — 500,000 left to be counted, 85.6% turnout — it would still require 54.4% to overtake the Yes lead.

Thus, while the possibility of reversal cannot be ruled out in a mathematical sense, in the real world it can’t be done. To the detriment of public education in Washington, Gates ($3 million) and Walton ($1.7 million) and Allen ($1.6 million) and Bezos ($1 million) and Hanauer ($1 million) bought themselves an initiative.

For the record, Approve R-74 had a banner day on Saturday — 62.2%. Governor-elect Inslee picked up 56.1% of Saturday’s votes. And although she has conceded, Kathleen Drew won 54.1% of the day’s count.

Thus ends this series of daily updates. I hope to be back with more thoughts after it’s all said and done.


  1. 1

    wharfrat spews:

    I voted against the initiative mostly due to lack of information as I didn’t move here until July. I’m not necessarily opposed to charter schools, I guess i don’t really see why they would be necessary. I’m the product of Catholic and Scots Presbyterian boarding schools in Europe, Asia and the US and finished my career teaching industrial/automotive for four years in Las Vegas, one of the worst public school systems in the country.
    Charter style schools work well in many areas; New York has Bronx Science, theatre schools, etc. Even Vegas has a dozen specialized academies all within the public school system. Our Superintendent for Lake Roosevelt HS in Grand Coulee, the nearest hamlet, was quoted as against charter schools as he could not see any benefit for our challenged kids.

  2. 2

    Michael spews:

    I voted for I-1240. It’s only a handful of schools, all nonprofit (not that that means much today), religious schools can’t get funding, and it’ not forcing anyone to open a charter school or attend one. I thought my vote for I-1240 fit well with my vote for gay marriage and legalizing pot: mind your own business and let other people do what they want to do as long as they’re not harming others. I’m not a big believer in charter schools, but I couldn’t see having a handful of them in the state doing harm to others.

  3. 3

    SJ spews:

    Charter schools would have gotten far more votes if it were not for push polls and robocalls that utterly lied:

    Here is the push polling I received:

    1. Do you believe we should allow charter schools to take money from our public schools?

    This was and is a crock. Charter schools, under WA 1240, are public schools, they get NO more money than any other public school, they are open to all students in the District, and the teachers must meet the same standards as teachers in any other public school. Read the initiative here.

    In fact, Charter Schools are likely to bring additional funds to the district because many funding agencies, including the Federal Dept. of Education, now condition their grants on a Distict’s having Charters.

    “2. Charter Schools are inferior to existing pubic schools”

    This too is a crock. Studies show, as expected, a mix of achievements by charters schools .. as expected since they are quite divers. The central concept of charters, however, is that they must compete to keep in existence while meeting the minimal standards of traditional schools. However, enrollment in charters, unlike in traditional classrooms, is optional. If the schools do nto work better than the traditional classrooms,parents will and should opt out. This offers poor parents, esp, a freedom of choice they do not have in the traditional model.

    3. Teachers in charter schools will not receive a union wage.

    This is partly true. In our current system teachers can neither be fired not can they be promoted for achievement. Charter schools give a public school classroom the same opportunities to reward success as a classroom at a Catholic School, Jewish day school, Bush or Lakeside.

  4. 4



    I doubt that I would have voted for it anyway (my sister would have my head if I did), but one thing that really frosts me is that the decision between regular public school and charter is a one-way street. A community can choose to go public –> charter by vote of some defined group, but there is no way to go back to a public school once the charter is in place.

  5. 5

    Michael spews:

    “2. Charter Schools are inferior to existing pubic schools”

    Public schools run the gambit from really good, to pretty shitty. Same with Charter Schools.

  6. 6

    gordy spews:

    sj@3 charter schools are not open to all students, there are no requirements for special ed or “mainstreaming”.

  7. 7

    Gimme Gimme Gimme spews:

    because giving people a choice to get out of shitty public schools(like those in seattle, rank #64 in the state) is somehow a bad thing?

    Pot good..school choice bad……only in fucked up libby land…

  8. 8

    gs spews:

    42 states have some form of charter schools, and with this one lagging at the trend and always crying about more funding (for their unions, not the children) nothing comes as a shock here any more.

  9. 9

    doggril spews:

    The entire premise of the measure is idiotic: “We think the current public system has problems–so we’re going to bleed money from that system to establish a parallel system.”

  10. 10

    doggril spews:

    @3 – “Charter schools give a public school classroom the same opportunities to reward success as a classroom at a Catholic School, Jewish day school, Bush or Lakeside.”
    That’s so absurd–as if a public charter school is going to have the resources of a Lakeside or a Bush.
    On the plus side, the quality of that comment is consistent with the rest of your argument.

  11. 12


    11. kim jong chillin spews:


    Dumbass…if you knew anything you would realize how idiotic your comment is.
    11/12/2012 at 10:06 am

    No, fuckhead…yours is the idiotic comment.


    THIS is the indicator of why charter schools are a bad idea…and a flimsy excuse to destroy another union…which is fine with the motherfucking rat-bastard scab emperor max-minidick (aka kaiser bun the first):


    A handful of individuals — most with ties to Microsoft and Amazon — are bankrolling the initiative.

    Amazon will get rich(er) on the for-profit takeover of Public Education. Fuck them.

  12. 13

    kim jong chillin spews:

    So much for democracy and choice, eh rujaxoff…so long as it keeps your failing union run system in place….fuck the kids, as long as the union bosses get paid.

  13. 16

    Michael spews:

    We already have magnet schools, AP programs, IB programs, pull out programs, integration programs, home schoolers, half timers, running start… I think the folks that run our schools can handle adding a handful of charter schools a year for the next 4 years.

  14. 17

    Michael spews:

    In other news, there’s good news on the election front from Phoenix of all places.

    PHOENIX — Arizona voters have chosen former Democratic state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to represent a new Phoenix-area congressional district.

    Sinema had a narrow lead on election night, but slowly gained ground as more ballots were tallied in the last week. She now has a nearly 6,000-vote edge over Republican Vernon Parker.

    Sinema becomes the first openly bisexual member of Congress, winning a race that featured millions of dollars in attack ads.

    Parker was criticized by Democrats as a tea party radical
    who would hurt children by cutting the federal education department.

    Republicans countered saying Sinema was too liberal for the newly created district and doesn’t understand stay-at-home moms.

    Another Tea Party fool goes down and another liberal goes to congress!

  15. 18

    RonK spews:

    Also in Arizona, Ron Barber (fmr Gabby Giffords Chief of Staff) now leads by 698 votes. If he pulls this one out, ‘zona will have a majority D delegation in the House!

    Charter schools won’t be the end of the world, any more than Obama’s reelection will pave the way for the antiChrist.

  16. 20

    smtaylor spews:

    I voted against charter schools mostly because I couldn’t figure out where the infrastructure money to build/rent new schools and all of the various equipment they need to run was coming from. I don’t think a new school could start up with just the per pupil money they would be getting.

    Frankly another thing that pushed me toward a no (though only in a minor irritating way) was the argument that – 41 states had charter schools so why shouldn’t we? This makes me want to say “If all the states were jumping off a bridge would you do it too?” Just because other states are doing it doesn’t make it an inherently good thing.

  17. 21

    expatchad spews:

    Charter schools won’t be the end of the world, any more than Obama’s reelection will pave the way for the antiChrist.

    Puddy said Obama IS the Anti-Christ. Don’t you you listen to an obvious expert?

  18. 22


    13. kim jong chillin spews:

    So much for democracy and choice, eh rujaxoff…so long as it keeps your failing union run system in place….fuck the kids, as long as the union bosses get paid.
    11/12/2012 at 11:21 am

    Oh yeahhhhh, motherfucker. Those bigggg baaaad “Union Bosses”.

    You’re a stupid little drip,

    ON TOP of being a filthy greedy job-killing fucking rat-bastard scab.

  19. 25

    Ekim spews:

    Corporate executives and the hedge fund owners deserve all that free stuff

    And Hostess workers unfairly reject an across the board 1/3 cut in wages and benefits and unfairly object the company’s pocketing pension fund payments for over a year. Who cares about contractual obligations.

    That money rightfully belongs to the corporate executives and the hedge fund that owns Hostess. The hostess slaves work force should be grateful to their owners that they have a job at all.

  20. 27


    26. GimmeGimmeGimme spews:


    And your source is the afl/cio? LOLZ!

    Hbahaahhahhhaahahfree stuff!
    11/13/2012 at 10:34 am

    The stupid motherfucker can’t even read.

    I’m glad our “captains of industry” are so well represented.