King County election turnout beat estimates

December 6, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

King County officials certified the Nov. 8 election late last month, and closed the book on the contests for City Council and Issaquah School Board seats.

The tally also reflected a higher-than-expected turnout in the off-year election.

In local contests, the certified results differed little from the initial figures released on Election Day. Incumbents scored landslide victories against lesser-known challengers.

Turnout in City Council and school board races reached 52 percent. King County Elections predicted 52 percent turnout countywide in the days before the election.

In the contested council race, incumbent Joshua Schaer defeated newcomer TJ Filley by 1,871 votes — 4,448 to 2,577. In addition, 28 people cast write-in votes in the race.

Issaquah voters also chose incumbents Fred Butler and Stacy Goodman, and newcomer Paul Winterstein, in uncontested council races.

Suzanne Weaver, a school board incumbent, outpolled newcomer Brian Neville by 5,914 votes — 14,005 to 8,091. The race also included 73 write-in votes.

The other school board contest, between incumbent Brian Deagle and challenger Patrick Sansing, experienced a landslide, too. Deagle pulled in 6,710 more votes than Sansing — 14,230 to 7,520. People also cast 83 write-in votes in the race.

Uncontested candidate Anne Moore also earned a school board seat in the Nov. 8 election.

Countywide, voters returned more than 580,000 ballots for a 53.7 percent turnout. Statewide, turnout also beat pre-election estimates — and reached 52.95 percent — for the off-year contests.

“This was our first statewide election conducted completely by mail, and there was a flurry of interest in our statewide ballot measures, including Tim Eyman’s initiative dealing with tolls and light rail and the Costco-sponsored liquor privatization proposal,” Secretary of State Sam Reed said in a statement. “There was record spending on the liquor measure, including saturation advertising, and lots of people were talking about it.”

Washington voters returned 1.94 million ballots statewide. San Juan County experienced the highest turnout at 69.55 percent.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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