We’re heading for a recount

King County Elections just posted an update, including a batch of late arriving absentee ballots, and Carolyn Edmonds has closed the gap on Bob Ferguson to a mere 25 votes. Ferguson now leads 8093 (49.97%) to 8068 (49.81%).

The county received 27,000 absentee ballots today, and these numbers represent all the ballots they had on hand. According to Elections spokesperson Bobbie Egan, they will continue to receive ballots through next Tuesday, so it is “impossible to determine” how many might be outstanding. Edmonds did substantially better amongst absentee voters than at the polls, so it is still possible she could take the lead some time over the next week.

I think I misunderstood Bobbie. From the KCRE website:

King County Elections today counted 53,068 additional ballots […] Ballots counted through today include those received through Election Day.

I think that means that today’s update does not include the 27,000 ballots received today. Assuming the rest of the absentee ballots break similarly to those already counted, Edmonds will likely win by a margin that should survive a recount.

I just did a little math, and it turns out that Edmonds continued to garner 54% of the late absentees counted today, just as she had with the early absentees counted on election night. Since there’s no reason to suspect that these trends will reverse themselves, it looks like Edmonds is headed to victory.

The 3515 new votes added to this afternoon’s tally represent about 6.6% of the 53,068 total new ballots countywide. Thus, extrapolating from previous returns, Edmonds would open up about a 120-vote margin on the strength of the 27,000 absentees that arrived today. It now seems likely that she’ll win by a large enough margin to avoid an automatic recount.

Still, in Ferguson’s favor, projections like this turned out to be a complete and utter load of crap during the first count in last November’s gubernatorial race.


  1. 3

    The Notorius P.I.E. spews:

    I am interested what effect this will have in the General Election 6 weeks away.

    This was the fear in 2004 (and before). What if this had happened in the 2004 Governor’s race with Sims and Gregoire? Would we even have been able to possibly conduct a General? Hopefully, this recount goes fast and does not prevent KC Elections from getting out overseas ballots on time.

    I am curious how the election division hands this, it will be a test of what improvements have been made.

    And Goldy, you might want to wait till numbers come in the certification and the canvessing reports till you declare KC Records and Elections born again. Just give it a few more days. Let the system of checks and balances work.

  2. 5

    Mark spews:

    Not to worry. There’s plenty of time. The “final result” was actually “tabulated” last week and sits in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s porch under Dean Logan’s desk.

  3. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    According to the KING 5 Poll, only 52% of potential voters support the gas tax repeal initiative, 41% oppose, and 7% are undecided.

    There’s still a LOT of time for opponents to educate the public about I-912’s consequences for the people and economy of Washington.

    This far ahead of the general election, I-912 supporters should be worried, because most people haven’t thought about the issue and are just reacting in knee-jerk fashion to high gas prices.

    That 11-point lead will fade rapidly once voters realize what the Anti-Roads Initiative will do to our state!

  4. 7

    righton spews:

    2. Do you believe the State of Washington will spend the money from the gas tax responsibly?
    Yes 25%
    No 70%
    Not sure 5%

  5. 8

    righton spews:

    4. Do you feel the projects funded by the gas tax are fairly distributed between the Puget Sound area and the rest of the state?
    Yes 23%
    No 68%
    Not sure 9%

  6. 9

    Richard Pope spews:

    I predict Edmonds will take the lead in tomorrow’s count and keep it. Unfortunate from my point of view, but the almost certain outcome.

    In other news, Ron Sims is in more and more trouble. King County Elections counted another 53,068 absentee ballots today (well maybe 200 or so were from the remaining 10 poll precincts not counted last night). Ron Sims percentage of the overall county executive vote (including write-in’s) dropped from 44.27% to 43.27%. Of the votes counted today, Ron Sims received only 40.53%.

    King County has now counted about 144,000 absentee ballots. There were 177,578 on hand as of the mail being delivered on Tuesday. Goldy says KC Elections received another 27,000 absentee ballots today — not clear whether this includes absentee ballots that were dropped off at the polls on election day.

    In any event, there are probably at least 60,000 more absentee ballots to be counted, maybe even 90,000 to 100,000. If Sims keeps getting 40% to 41% out of these, then he should drop well under 43% overall and even get a bit close to 42%.

    So nearly 58% of the people who voted in the primary didn’t want Ron Sims to continue as county executive. Doesn’t look very good for November.

  7. 10

    Goldy spews:

    Richard @9,

    That’s wishful thinking on your part. Voting against Ron Sims in a primary is not the same thing as voting for David Irons in a general election. Come November, voters will have a choice between the two men, and Irons will need to win over an awful lot of Democrats to prevail. I just don’t see that happening.

    I’m not saying Ron isn’t vulnerable this year, but the R’s didn’t put up a viable candidate.

  8. 11


    Whoa– Who will have the bigger pile of uncounted provisionals show up right before the finish of the second recount. Ah this is going to be donkalicious.

  9. 12

    JCH spews:

    I’m sure some Democrat will “find” a few hundred ballots that were “misplaced” or “uncounted”. “Count every vote”!!!!! [even the votes from the dead, illegals, and from out of state!]

  10. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    I agree gas tax revenues are not fairly distributed between King County and the rest of the state.

    King County should stop subsidizing the rest of the state, and insist that gas taxes collected in King County are spent in King County, because that’s where the most pressing needs are.

    A gas tax increase to pay for AWV and 520 would be unnecessary if King County kept the $127 million a year of gas taxes collected in King County that get shipped to ingrates who do nothing but bitch and moan about taxes other people pay.

    But what do you expect from a bunch of Republican

    F R E E L O A D E R S

  11. 14

    JCH spews:

    12..RR…..Democrats calling taxpayers “FREELOADERS” is like a tick bitching that a dog isn’t sharing enough blood.

  12. 15

    Richard Pope spews:

    Goldy @ 10

    Believe it or not, but a majority of King County voters actually are NOT Democrats. More King County voters consider themselves Democrats than Republicans, but independent voters actually hold the balance of power. And just because somehow filled in a Democrat oval on yesterday’s ballot, that doesn’t mean they aren’t actually an independent or Republican.

    The fact will be that Ron Sims should end up with less than 43% of the overall primary vote — over 57% voting for someone else. And just looking at “Democrats”, Sims should end up maybe in the 67% to 68% range against two total unknowns.

    In September 1997, Ron Sims ran against one total unknown Democrat in his first election after being appointed county executive in January 1997. Ron Sims got 92% of the Democrat vote in the primary, and 62% of the overall vote.

    Generally, incumbents (whether Democrat or Republican) running against total unknowns from their own party tend to get well over 90% of their party’s primary vote.

    For example, Patty Murray got 93.83% of the Democrat primary vote in King County in September 2004 against two unknowns running for re-election to the U.S. Senate. In 2000, Slade Gorton got 94% of the GOP vote in King County for re-election to the U.S. Senate against three unknown challengers. Likewise, in 2000, Gary Locke got 97% of the Democrat vote in King County for re-election as Governor against one unknown challenger.

    Face it — nearly 20% of the overall electorate chose to use a Democrat ballot to vote against Ron Sims — the only contested partisan race available to the vast majority of the King County electorate. These folks — who were nearly 1/3 of the people choosing the Democrat contest — weren’t voting against David Irons, they were voting against Ron Sims.

    You could apply your faulty reasoning to the contest for Port Commission No. 4 where I ran. Would you say that Jack Jolley has absolutely no chance in the general election, because he only got 28% of the vote in the primary, and 72% of the primary voters preferred some other candidate?

    I think not. You would instead say that Pat Davis is vulnerable in November, because only 44% of the people in the primary voted to re-elect her, and 56% preferred someone else to replace her. You would say that the 15% who voted for me and the 12% who voted for Robert Walker were voting to replace Pat Davis, and not voting to stop Jack Jolley.

    When an incumbent is seeking re-election, and someone votes for a different candidate, such votes are almost always cast because the voter doesn’t want the incumbent re-elected. Very rarely does a voter pick a given challenger in order to oppose another challenger.

  13. 16

    Michael spews:

    Only in King County is an 11% lead (I-912) considered to be “in trouble.” They will probably need quite a few uncounted ballots to be discovered to pull that one off.

  14. 17

    Goldy spews:

    Richard @15,

    The problem with your analyis is that it ignores the fact that Republicans tend to turn out for primaries in greater proportions than Democrats. The percentage of Democratic ballots was at least 5 points higher than it should have been, due to Republicans taking Democratic ballots to vote against Ron. This was a very low turnout primary, so it is very easy to skew the numbers.

    Come November, a greater percentage of Democratic voters will turn out, and this will benefit Ron. Again, I’m not saying that this won’t be closer than it should be, but reading too much into this primary is either wishful thinking or intentional spin. There’s a reason why the R’s were phone banking the faithful, telling them to take a D ballot and vote against Ron… it was to foster exactly the kind of analysis you are using, in an attempt to build up some excitement and momentum.

  15. 18



    I dont believe that the repubs were trying to pull a “John McCain” on Ron Sims. Who were these supposed high ranking GOP officials?

  16. 19

    dj spews:

    RUFUS @ 18

    “Who were these supposed high ranking GOP officials?”

    I heard a rumor today that Karl Rove leaked this information to Goldy. He also told Goldy that Ron Sims only got on the ballot because his wife filled out the paperwork for him….

  17. 21

    Harry Poon spews:

    I read Stefan Sharansky’s account of his own stint as an elections observer. If he’s that disruptive and paranoid in the future they’ll probably have to throw him out of the building. That creepy photo of him definitely porrtrays the glassy and “juiced” gaze of someone not entirely in control of their faculties.

  18. 22

    Righton spews:

    Harry poon; we just need to send you the photo of that Dem during Gore’s fiasco (that guy holding up the hanging chad w/ his marty feldman eyeball bulging out)

    Gotta love the earlier post that in KC 11% is just barely over their ability to fudge the numbers; heck a 5% delta Bill and Dean could fix with one file drawer, but man, 11%, that’s a tough order…

  19. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Reply to 14

    Hey fuckstick I hate to bother you with facts but here they are:

    Contributions Benefits Difference (Millions of Dollars)
    1 Skagit 62.4 111.9 (49.5)
    2 Kitsap 153.1 193.7 (40.7)
    3 San Juan 21.3 57.5 (36.2)
    4 Jefferson 15.1 38.2 (23.1)
    5 Kittitas 12.8 33.1 (20.3)
    6 Douglas 10.5 30.3 (19.9)
    7 Grays Harbor 25.5 44.5 (19.0)
    8 Grant 26.8 43.6 (16.8)
    9 Stevens 13.1 29.5 (16.4)
    10 Adams 7.2 23.3 (16.1)
    11 Lincoln 4.7 19.3 (14.5)
    12 Klickitat 7.6 21.4 (13.8)
    13 Island 45.9 57.8 (11.9)
    14 Okanogan 14.7 26.0 (11.4)
    15 Ferry 2.0 11.2 (9.1)
    16 Whatcom 64.4 73.3 (8.8)
    17 Pacific 7.8 16.5 (8.7)
    18 Wahkiakum 1.4 10.0 (8.6)
    19 Lewis 27.8 34.5 (6.6)
    20 Walla Walla 18.0 24.0 (6.0)
    21 Garfield 1.1 5.5 (4.4)
    22 Whitman 13.2 17.6 (4.4)
    23 Skamania 3.2 6.7 (3.4)
    24 Franklin 20.7 23.4 (2.8)
    25 Columbia 1.9 4.0 (2.1)
    26 Pend Oreille 4.3 6.0 (1.7)
    27 Clallam 26.3 27.4 (1.1)
    28 Asotin 7.7 8.6 (0.8)
    29 Cowlitz 38.5 38.3 0.2
    30 Snohomish 279.1 277.7 1.3
    31 Chelan 28.8 26.9 2.0
    32 Benton 57.0 54.8 2.2
    33 Pierce 254.3 252.0 2.4
    34 Mason 18.6 12.4 6.2
    35 Clark 132.9 115.6 17.3
    36 Thurston 86.1 56.6 29.6
    37 Yakima 84.0 52.7 31.3
    38 Spokane 167.9 136.4 31.5
    39 King 921.6 667.4 254.2
    Total 2,689.5 2,689.5 –

    (Note: These figures are for 2 years)

  20. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    14 (continued)

    Since when do Republicans pay taxes? Under the Bush regime, only the little people pay taxes.

  21. 27

    Richard Pope spews:

    Goldy @ 17

    I wouldn’t say that Republicans turn out in excessive numbers in the primaries.

    In 2001, the two GOP contenders for County Executive shared 37.31% of the vote in the primary. The GOP nominee Santos Contreras got 34.98% in the general election.

    In 2003, I received 37.70% of the vote for Assessor in the primary, and 36.74% in the general election.

    In the September 2004 primary, King County voters cast 295,438 Democrat ballots (68.59%), 130,208 GOP ballots (30.23%), and 5,073 Libertarian ballots (1.18%).

    In November 2004, King County voted for these GOP candidates as follows: 33.69% Bush for President, 32.68% Nethercutt for Senate, 40.09% Rossi for Governor, and 45.80% McKenna for Attorney General.

    So the GOP voting strength under the old blanket primary ballot was 1% to 2% above the GOP voting strength in the general election.

    These percentages seem to have reversed themselves quite a bit for the new pick-a-party primary ballot. Far fewer people now vote GOP in the primary than in the general election.

    Sims is in trouble because 57% of the people voted against him in the primary, and GOP voting strength should increase in the general election.

  22. 28

    Richard Pope spews:

    Wabbit @ 25

    I looked at your link (just like I did a few months ago), and the figures for 10 years 1994 to 2003 are a lot closer. King County paid $3,742.6 million in highway taxes and received $3,198.2 in highway benefits. Over this ten year period, King County sent a net of $544.4 in highway taxes to other counties.


    The new highway construction package (which includes the 9.5 cent per gallon gasoline tax) would provide $7 billion in highway construction, with $4 billion being spent in King County. This is roughly a $2 billion net subsidy from the other 38 counties of their highway tax monies to support projects in King County.

    So basically, King County would be receiving a net subsidy from other counties of four times as much as what King County sent to other counties previously.

    Folks outside King County have a pretty good understanding of this basic concept, and will vote in favor of I-912 in large numbers.

  23. 29

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy says @ 17–
    “I’m not saying that this won’t be closer than it should be”
    WTF does that mean???????
    Are you honestly saying here that Don Ron Sims King has done such a fabulous job with the Erection Dept. and Critical Areas Ordinance and County Management that Sims should win in a LANDSLIDE???????
    Are you out of your fucking mind Goldy.
    Of course this election should be close numbnuts.
    Are you so, so, so out of touch that you really believe Sims isn’t highly vulnerable???
    I’m not saying Sims won’t win….especially with his handpicked little BUTTBOY Logan counting the ballots.
    But I doubt that even BUTTBOY Logan will be able to put a smiley face on this hounddog.
    WAKE UP GOLDY….You have a terminal case of LEFTIST PINHEADITIS!

  24. 30

    Harry Poon spews:

    Every once in a while we have to experience the Republican dark side so we can once again realize that we’re totally fucked until we can get them out of office. Everyone will lose except therich and Republicans will call it a recovery.

    For who?

    We’ll need to experience some shit infested Republican sanctioned pork factory to see what is meant by reasonable land use.

  25. 31

    Ivan spews:

    JCH @ 12, 14:

    What the hell are you still doing here? I thought you left the state already.

    What am I talking about? JCH posted this at (Un)Sound Politics:

    “Atlas has Shrugged. Why don’t Republicans just move? Seriously, Democrats are parasites. Move away from them!!! Let them [“guvment” employees, blacks, union hacks, and welfare parasites] tax each other. Tax PAYERS…………Just leave the state!!!!!”

    So what are you waiting for, you racist piece of shit? Go on, get the hell out of here. And take your white sheet with you.

  26. 32

    Terry J spews:


    If you can’t understand the King County Elections pronouncements, and have to have an update, is that an indicator?

    They have a specialty in Dazzle and Baffle, and even a connected and sophisticated observer such as Goldy can’t penetrate it. Does this suggest a basic problem?

    Are they intentionally or accidentaly misleading? Who cares. Why can’t they simply issue a clear and unambiguous statement of facs and results?

    If it confuses Goldy to the point of an Update, is it any surprise when so many are suspicious.

  27. 33

    NoWonder spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 25

    Silly Wabbit, trix are for kids. The old trick you keep using is including all those dollars for interstate highways going through rural areas that hardly use them. These highways benefit all the traffic crossing the state, a good deal of which benefits KC and other surburban areas. You should find something better to pull out of your rabbit’s hat. Take that FREELOADER.

  28. 34

    dj spews:

    Richard Pope @ 28

    “So basically, King County would be receiving a net subsidy from other counties of four times as much as what King County sent to other counties previously.”

    Wait a minute! Stop the press. EeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrpT!

    You trying to pull a fast one on us Richard? :-)

    Counties don’t pay gas tax, people do!

    The totals money for 1994-2003 spending plus the $4 B projected in KC and the $2 B projected elsewhere (hey…you seem to be missing a billion) is:

    $7,742.6 M for KC
    $10,157.4 M for all other counties.

    But, KC has a population (2003 US Census estimate) of 1.76 M people and the rest of the state is 4.37 M people.

    That means that every person in KC is spending $4,396 in gas tax over the period and every person in the rest of the state is paying $2,324 in gas tax over that same period!

    What the hell is up with that? Why should each person in KC pay almost twice as much as people outside of KC?

    If we divide up the pool so that each citizen gets the same per-capita return to her/his county (and isn’t this really the fairest thing to do?), KC would get back $5.1 B and the other counties would get $12.5 B.

    In other words, KC is getting ripped of on a per capita basis.

  29. 35

    Goldy spews:

    Terry @33,

    Nice try, but quite the opposite. I misunderstood what Bobbie Egan meant when her email reply stated that they had received 27,000 ballots today. I assumed that meant they had counted 27,000 ballots today. In fact, the it was the KCRE website that clearly stated the facts, and made me realize my error.

    Feel a little stupid now for jumping to your conclusion?

  30. 36

    JCH spews:

    32.Ivan……I just can’t feel you love!! Democrats: economic parasites [Atlas has Shrugged, and even with “bused in” blacks Democrats will lose in 2008!]

  31. 38

    dj spews:

    Me at 35,

    Oops…I screwed that one up big time–too many number for this time of night. A better set of numbers is at http://hdc.leg.wa.gov/issues/t.....July05.pdf

    Using figures from Table 1, it looks like KC get a small advantage. Over 10 years, KC gets $1.12 back for every dollar contributed. Tweny counties get back more than $1.12 for every dollar contributed (Garfield gets back $5.03 per dollar contributed!).

    On a per capita basis, if all were fair, each citizen would get $4,590 back over the 10 year period for (about) that same contribution. Each KC citizen ends up contributing $4489 and getting back $5038. Each non-KC citizen contributes $4642 and gets back $4402. Not too big of a difference.

  32. 39

    David spews:

    dj @ 35: I’m having trouble following your calculations. Can you do it again, step-by-step and more carefully distinguishing between money spent on transportation (per capita) and gas tax revenue raised (per capita)?

  33. 40

    dj spews:

    Richard @ 28,

    So, I guess you are off the hook for now, sorry about that.

    In any case, I don’t care how crazy they say you are, I voted for you anyway. :-)

  34. 41

    David spews:

    Ah, that’s better @ 37. That’s for 2006-2015 (the next 10 years, including the big AWV and 520 expenditures and probably the huge cost of widening I-405 too); what about the last ten years? Does it even out?

  35. 42

    Richard Pope spews:

    DJ @ 37

    Thanks for the link to the House Democrat Caucus document about how the gasoline tax increase and other money is going to be distributed.

    Page 8 of the PDF shows that King County is getting back $1.81 for every $1.00 in taxes paid by King County. At the same time, 33 out of 39 counties are getting back less than $1.00 for every $1.00 paid. 20 counties are getting back less than 50 cents for every dollar paid — and most of those really badly screwed counties rank among the state’s poorest.

    This document will make it easy for the folks in the rest of the state to understand how badly they are getting screwed by the gasoline tax increase and why they should vote for I-912.

  36. 43

    righton spews:

    Roger; you said I don’t pay taxes under Bush? How can I explain all the checks i write to the IRS?

  37. 44

    Puddybud spews:

    ProudAss: Thank you so much for that clip link. I played it here with the gang in Atlanta and they all broke up laughing. General Honore, a proud black man whom sees it and calls it crrectly. I played that part again. The MSM is stuck on stupid. Animal Hind Part lefties are stuck on stupid.

    Goldy, I displayed this blog to the gang I’m working with here. First thing was all the swearing. They were shocked. I told them it’s how lefties get their jollies. They laughed. I told them I sometimes answer them back in their language. Then I showed them the Lucite stuff. Quote: “That’s how they think up there?” – Absolutely I said. Northern Progressive Racism. It opened their eyes. Keep it up you lefties. I now show this blog wherever I travel so the people I work with understand what passes as great northwest thought! I bet some newcomers will at least be reading. Yes, you lefties think that you are the mainstream!!! Not hardly!

  38. 45

    dj spews:

    Richard @ 43

    “Page 8 of the PDF shows that King County is getting back $1.81 for every $1.00 in taxes paid by King County. At the same time, 33 out of 39 counties are getting back less than $1.00 for every $1.00 paid. 20 counties are getting back less than 50 cents for every dollar paid – and most of those really badly screwed counties rank among the state’s poorest.

    This document will make it easy for the folks in the rest of the state to understand how badly they are getting screwed by the gasoline tax increase and why they should vote for I-912. “

    But, isn’t it disingenuous to simply look at the distribution of the tax increase? I mean, if you look at the graph on page 3 (the existing tax without the nickel package) KC was getting screwed prior to the nickel package (only $0.84 returned for every dollar given). And this kind of think has probably gone on for a long time. So, KC has been shouldering the burden for the rest of the state, and probably for some time.

    The first graph this I mentioned is the honest way to portray the information–it shows the distribution of total transportation funding by county, and in that King only gets $1.12 back for every dollar given. That is fair considering KC net export of dollars in the past.

  39. 47

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Ferguson now leads by 134 over Edmonds.
    Goldy said she would be ahead by now. What gives???
    BUTTBOY Logan is cranking up the GREAT EQUALIZER ballotbox stuffing machine.
    I’ll bet he starts it with a pullrope like a lawnmower!
    And those Edmonds ballots come flying out the shoot like grassclippings.
    BUTTBOY is a real pro!! His livelihood depends on that ballotbos stuffing machine.

  40. 48


    Reply to 20

    Why don’t you ask the 5 Supreme Court judges who elected him.

    Comment by Roger Rabbit— 9/21/05 @ 9:45 pm

    Naaa- The 62,040,606 voters in November already gave the answer.

  41. 49

    Terry J spews:


    It was your update, not mine. My conclusion was, and remains, that communications from King County are confusing and misleading. You seem to attribute your confusion to an e-mail from King County Elections.

    Your thinking was clarified by refering to their website.

    What did I miss?

  42. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Reply to 32

    JCH is a carpetbagger. He says he lives in Hawaii. That not only makes him a foreigner, but an officious intermeddler as well.

  43. 51

    David spews:

    Re: me @ 43, Richard @ 43, dj @ 46: Perhaps y’all missed table 2 on page 3: When you account for pre-existing funding, the 2003 gas tax (et al.) funding package and the 2005 gas tax (et al.) funding package together, and then compare how much people across the state contribute to what they will get back in transportation spending, you get this:

    Region: Puget Sound
    Return per Dollar Contributed: $1.00

    Region: Rest of State
    Return per Dollar Contributed: $1.00

    It’s not a very sexy bar graph, because there are no bars; but it seems fair to me.

  44. 52

    dj spews:

    David @ 52,

    Good catch! That graph is hard to see because each bar fall right on the $1 axis.