Wyman & Inslee certify 2014 election
Secretary Wyman and Governor Inslee share a laugh before certifying election results in his office.
It’s one for the history books: Secretary Wyman and Governor Inslee have certified the 2014 elections.
The governor and the state’s chief elections officer met in Inslee’s office Tuesday to certify the returns, including races for Congress and Legislature, ballot measures, and the courts. Counties certified other results last week. Democrat Inslee and Republican Wyman bantered as they signed individual election certificates.
Inslee, who was in a jovial mood, said “By definition, the voters made wise decisions — it was the people’s will.”
With no statewide partisan elections on the ballot this midterm year, turnout was less-than-stellar 54.16 percent, with 2.12 million ballot returned and counted. That is similar to the turnout for the last midterm election without a Senate race — 56 percent in 2002. The most recent two midterms, with hotly contested Senate races, had turnouts of 65 percent (2006) and 71 percent (2010).
Voters kept the U.S. House delegation the same — six Democrats and four Republicans. All nine incumbents who ran again were re-elected. In the only open seat, the 4th, where Doc Hastings retired after 20 years, Dan Newhouse edged Clint Didier by less than 2,500 votes. Both are Republicans, and this was the first congressional election under the Top 2 system that featured two finalists with the same party preference.
Republicans made gains in the Legislature, winning a 25-24 majority in the Senate and drawing to within 51-47 in the House.
All four incumbent Supreme Court justices were elected, either with no opposition or only token challenge. Other jurists also were elected.
Voters approved two ballot measures and rejected one. The most heavily publicized battle was between rival gun background check initiatives. Voters gave landslide 59-41 approval to I-594, which will expand background checks; and rejected I-591 by a 55-45 margin. That plan would have retained the status quo and tied future changes to federal law.
Voters also approved I-1351, mandating lower K-12 class sizes, with a pricetag of over $4.7 billion.
The two successful initiatives are effective Dec. 4. To amend or suspend either during the next two years would require a supermajority two-thirds vote in both houses.
For the first time since I-960 began mandating public advisory votes on taxes raised in Olympia, voters opined that they would retain both revenue measures passed earlier this year.
They signed proclamations for the three state ballot measures — two passed and one failed.