King County’s too-close-to-call races in Tuesday’s election could be clearer Friday afternoon, when all but 5% of the ballots are expected to be counted.
A statewide measure on affirmative action may also be heavily influenced by Friday’s vote totals.
King County Elections will post updated results at 4 and 8:30 p.m. The first vote drop will include results from an additional 110,000 ballots and the second will have another 50,000 ballots. That will leave less than 30,000 King County ballots to be counted next week.
Voter turnout was 48.5%, which was higher than expected, according to King County Elections. About 216,500 ballots were returned to drop boxes on Election Day.
Several races are closely split. Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant gained ground Thursday, threatening to catch challenger Egan Orion in the race for the City Council seat. She trails by fewer than 1,000 votes out of 30,858 District 3 ballots counted as of Thursday afternoon. There are at least 12,662 ballots left to count in the contest.
In another close City Council race, Jim Pugel trails Andrew Lewis by 365 votes in the District 7 race. There have been 26,006 ballots counted and another 10,000 left to be tallied. Lewis took the lead on Thursday.
In Medina, a measure to increase the property-tax levy rate is trailing by just 10 votes. That race has 292 more votes to be counted.
Referendum 88, the statewide affirmative-action measure, continued to trail in Thursday’s vote count, but the margin narrowed as King County votes came in. In King County, 62% of voters are approving the measure, while statewide 49% of voters are saying yes.