Electoral College casts Washington’s 12 votes for president, vice president

December 17, 2012

NEW — 10 p.m. Dec. 17, 2012

Washington’s Electoral College cast the state’s 12 votes for president and vice president Monday for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Each state is afforded the same number of electors equal to the number of senators and representatives a state has in Congress. Washington possesses 12 electoral votes, one from each congressional district and two at-large electors. Democrats chose the electors from the state’s 10 congressional districts at caucuses in May, and chose the at-large electors at the state Democratic Party convention in June.

Obama and Biden received 56.16 percent of votes in Washington. Republican Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan pulled in 41.29 percent statewide.

The dozen Electoral College members voted in the State Reception Room at the Legislative Building in Olympia.

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Parks task force recommends 2013 property tax measure

December 10, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012

King County voters could decide next year on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.

Late last month, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.

The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Constantine convened the task force to explore options future funding.

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Washington’s presidential electors to cast votes for Barack Obama, Joe Biden

December 9, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 9, 2012

Washington’s Electoral College members plan to cast votes Dec. 17 for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Each state is afforded the same number of electors equal to the number of senators and representatives a state has in Congress. Washington possesses 12 electoral votes, one for each congressional district and another two for each senator. Democrats chose the electors from the state’s 10 congressional districts at caucuses in May, and chose the at-large electors at the state Democratic Party convention in June.

The group plans to gather in Olympia to cast votes for Obama and Biden. The incumbents received 56.16 percent of votes in Washington. Republican Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan pulled in 41.29 percent statewide.

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John Urquhart takes office as King County sheriff

December 4, 2012

John Urquhart

John Urquhart assumed office as King County sheriff Nov. 28, months after retiring as the agency’s longtime spokesman.

Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant, defeated the incumbent sheriff, Steve Strachan, 56 percent to 43 percent, in the Nov. 5 election after a contentious campaign.

Strachan, a former Kent police chief, and Urquhart debated how to lead the sheriff’s office after a series of audits lambasted how the agency operates.

The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.

Urquhart won election to fill the remaining year in former Sheriff Sue Rahr’s unexpired term, and is due to face voters again next year.

King County matches turnout record in election

December 4, 2012

King County matched the record for voter turnout in a presidential election, and achieved other milestones in the Nov. 6 contest, officials announced late Nov. 27 after certifying the results.

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Office solves voters’ ballot signature issues

December 4, 2012

King County Elections solved signature problems on more than 13,000 ballots.

If Jonathan Doe is registered to vote as such, but signs the ballot as John Doe, the elections office contacts the voter to resolve the signature issue.

Signatures on the ballot and in the registration information must match. Washington State Patrol-trained elections staffers contacted voters to resolve problems on signature-challenged ballots.

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King County turnout reached 84 percent in November election

November 28, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 28, 2012

King County matched the record for voter turnout in a presidential election, and achieved other milestones in the Nov. 6 contest, officials announced late Tuesday after certifying the results.

Countywide, voters returned 993,908 ballots for about 84 percent turnout, a similar figure to the record turnout set during the 2008 presidential election, although the elections office received more ballots in 2012.

The county set records for registered voters — 1,170,638 — and for the number of ballots tallied on election night — about 556,000.

“Voters responded to our messaging this year and returned their ballots early,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement. “We counted a record high of 556,000 ballots on election night and the number of ballots received too late to process was down 76 percent.”

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In local legislative contests, outside spending reshapes races

November 27, 2012

Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet raised $315,166 in the race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate and garnered 36,630 votes throughout the 5th Legislative District.

The total raised amounts to about $8.60 per vote for the ubiquitous campaign mailers, yard signs and TV spots, and online advertising in Mullet’s successful race against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft.

Toft collected $306,599 and received 30,683 votes districtwide — or about $9.99 per vote.

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How much did Issaquah legislative candidates raise?

November 27, 2012

The candidates to represent Issaquah in Olympia raised a combined $1.5 million to fund legislative campaigns.

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Students choose Barack Obama, Jay Inslee in mock election

November 27, 2012

Students statewide and in the Issaquah School District chose the same candidates as grown-up voters — Barack Obama for president and Jay Inslee for governor.

The exercise included 38,848 students statewide, including classes at Cascade Ridge Elementary, Endeavour Elementary, Sunset Elementary, Pine Lake Middle and Issaquah High schools in the Issaquah School District.

The number of students participating statewide shattered the record for participation — about 18,000 students — set in 2008.

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