Issaquah city, schools elections attracted only 50 percent of voters

November 25, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 p.m. Nov. 25, 2009

About half of Issaquah city and school district voters cast ballots in the Nov. 3 election, official King County Elections results released Nov. 24 show.

Turnout in the city races reached 50.27 percent, while in the school district — which includes parts of Sammamish and Renton — turnout was a bit lower: 49.87 percent.

Elections officials mailed 16,351 ballots to city voters; 8,219 were returned. The elections office sent 56,804 ballots to school district voters; 28,329 were postmarked by midnight Election Day.

The contest was the first all-mail general election held in King County, and the elections office forecast 56 percent turnout countywide. But turnout was lower: 53.55 percent. The county Canvassing Board met Nov. 24 to certify the election results, the final step in a quiet campaign season for Issaquah voters.

Although four City Council races appeared on the ballot, only two were contested. Councilwoman Eileen Barber and newcomer Mark Mullet were elected unopposed. Mayor Ava Frisinger was elected to a fourth term without opposition.

In the contested races, incumbent Council President Maureen McCarry bested challenger Joan Probala, 68.47 percent to 31.21 percent. Final election results show McCarry received 4,634 votes and Probala took 2,112 in the Position 5 race. The remaining percentage went to write-in votes.

In the Position 7 race, Tola Marts beat Nathan Perea, 60.42 percent to 39.21 percent, while the remainder went to write-ins. Marts pulled in 4,014 votes and Perea drew 2,605.

The school board contest between first-time candidates Marnie Maraldo and Wright Noel ended with Maraldo ahead, 58.24 percent to 41.31 percent. Maraldo garnered 12,261 votes, while 8,697 ballots were marked for Noel. The remaining percentage went to write-in votes.

Voters also elected Chad Magendanz — appointed to the school board last October — and won the seat unopposed.

Former County Councilman Dow Constantine took office as county executive only hours after the Canvassing Board certified the election results. Constantine, who bested former KIRO-TV newscaster Susan Hutchison in the race for the executive post, was sworn in during a ceremony at Seattle’s elegant Daniels Recital Hall.

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