SAN FRANCISCO — Voters in Washington State last week rejected a ballot measure to limit governments’ revenue growth, while voters in Seattle split nearly down the middle in trying to pick their next mayor.
According to returns posted by the secretary of state’s office, more than 57% of the state’s voters said no to Initiative 1033, which would have limited the revenue growth of state, local, and county governments to a formula based on inflation and population.
Perennial ballot measure promoter Tim Eyman was behind the measure, which qualified for the ballot after a signature-gathering drive.
Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, opposed the measure.
“Voters understood that this misguided proposal would have precluded our ability to recover from these extraordinarily difficult economic circumstances and would have made providing quality health care and education to our citizens virtually impossible,” she said in a statement after results were released.
Standard & Poor’s, in its October affirmation of Washington’s AA-plus rating, said, “Credit quality could come under pressure” if I-1033 passed.
Eyman claims credit for qualifying 12 statewide ballot measures over the years.
Voters have passed eight of them, but after last week, they have now rejected two in a row.
Eyman promised to qualify another measure for next year, according to the Associated Press.
In Seattle, it is not yet certain who the next mayor will be, though Mike McGinn has a narrow lead over Joe Mallahan, according to the most recent ballot results.
In Washington’s vote-by-mail election system, final results can take some time to emerge, particularly in close races. And the nonpartisan mayoral race is close — as of Friday, McGinn had 50.31% of the vote to Mallahan’s 48.91%, a margin of less than 2,300 votes.
The two are competing in a runoff after both finished ahead of incumbent Greg Nickels in an August primary.
McGinn, a former Sierra Club chairman, positioned himself as more of an outsider than Mallahan, a T-Mobile vice president.
Their most substantive disagreement was over plans to excavate a tunnel to replace part of the aging Alaskan Way viaduct along the city’s viaduct.
During the primary, McGinn said it was a bad, expensive idea. Mallahan supported it.
In September, after the City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the tunnel in cooperation with the state, McGinn said he would not attempt to undo that agreement.
The city has agreed to contribute $927 million to the $4 billion-plus project.
If the current results hold in the mayoral race, there would be no automatic recount. Such a recount is required if the margin is less than half a percentage point or 2,000 votes.