The early results are in, and Metro is fucked, with voters rejecting Proposition 1 by a relatively wide 55.28 percent to 44.72 percent margin. (What the fuck, Stranger? We didn’t lose elections like this when I worked there!)
And in case you’re hoping this is just a tiny percentage of the votes cast, not so much. Sure, it’s only 162,508 Yes and 200,887 No, and that only amounts to a 31 percent turnout. But those 363,395 votes counted represent the bulk of the 384,220 ballots that have been received by end of business today, and 31 percent isn’t exactly low for a special election. So while yeah, Kshama Sawant came back a kajillion points from the election night results, don’t expect that here—it’s just unimaginable that there are enough late ballots to overcome a ten-plus point deficit.
In the short term what this means is that Metro is going to start slashing bus service this summer. There’s just no other choice. And in the long term, such a sound thrashing in the face of almost zero organized opposition to the measure bodes ill for the prospects of voters approving an even more progressive Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET), presuming the legislature ever grants Metro that authority.
I’m not giving them credit for this, but welcome to the new normal the Seattle Times editorial board has been drooling over for years. Enjoy your traffic, Frank.