14 more votes tallied, Klahanie annexation tightens to 28 from 34

Fourteen more votes were tallied by King County Elections today (Feb. 19) and the Klahanie annexation vote spread tightened to 28 from 34, still favoring “Against Annexation” over “For Annexation.”

The vote count now is:

For Annexation: 1,500 or 49.54%

Against Annexation: 1,528 or 50.46%.

This is still outside the mandatory recount criteria.

The election is certified Feb. 25.

No Klahanie vote update today; Friday’s rejection lead stands

The King County website is down (at 4pm), so I called the Elections department to get an update on the Klahanie vote.

I was told there wasn’t going to be an update today anyway because so few ballots had been received to count; this is county-wide, but obviously has application to the Klahanie vote.

So we are left with Friday’s results, where the “Against Annexation” is leading “For Annexation” by 34 votes.

This also suggests there are no appreciable ballots left to be received (unless there is a flood of votes from the military service personnel overseas who are focused on the annexation issue).

Thus, as I did on Friday, I continue to “call” the election: the Klahanie annexation to Issaquah was rejected.

The result is outside the automatic recount. Issaquah could pay for a recount, but I see little point in doing so.

Klahanie annexation vote, Day 4: “Against” Margin widens; Issaquah gets the boot

Friday’s election count returns in the Klahanie annexation vote for Issaquah saw the “Against Annexation” vote widen to 52.3% 50.56% to 47.7%, 49.44% and a 349 spread.

For annexation: 3,575 1,490

Against annexation: 3,922 1,524

I accidentally put the Bag Ban figures in there. The spread and trend still widened, with “For” picking up 19 votes and “Against” picking up 24 votes. Unless there is a flood of votes to be counted, which I don’t believe is the case, the trend continues to be against annexation.

I’m declaring the annexation defeated, even though final results won’t be certified until Feb. 25. The trend has been negative from the second day and the spread is too great.

This result is outside the requirements for a mandatory recount:

(From King County Elections website:)

Required (mandatory) recounts

Recounts are mandated by law when votes for offices or statewide measures fall within a certain range. State law does not provide for a mandatory recount of local issues.

Mandatory machine recount

Any office or state measure must be recounted by machine when the difference between two candidates or choices is:

  • Less than 2,000 votes difference AND
  • Less than ½ of one percent

Mandatory manual recount

Statewide offices or measures must be recounted by hand when the difference between two candidates or choices is:

  • Less than 1,000 votes AND
  • Less than ¼ of one percent

For all other offices, ballots must be recounted by hand if the difference between the two candidates is:

  • Less than 150 votes AND
  • Less than ¼ of one percent

*****************

Meantime, one of the local newspapers continues to miss the fact that if the annexation vote passes by 50%+1 (an increasingly unlikely prospect), Issaquah could still annex the area. The city posted this on its website Feb. 13:

Posted on: February 13, 2014

Klahanie Area Vote: What’s Next

During the Feb. 11, 2014, election, the Klahanie area voted on whether to join the City of Issaquah, or remain in unincorporated King County.

The results will be updated most weekdays and finalized on Feb. 25, after they are certified by the King County Canvassing Board.

Since the annexation proposition included authorizing both an annexation and an assumption of indebtedness, it requires a 60 percent majority to pass.

However, if the proposition instead passes by a simple majority, the City Council would have an option to:

• Accept the annexation, which means that the Klahanie area would not assume a proportionate share of the City’s existing indebtedness.

• Decline the annexation.

More information about the proposed Klahanie area annexation is available online.

For more information on the state’s full annexation process, visit the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington’s website.

Klahanie vote, day 3: Voting shifts against annexation

It’s Thursday, and Day 3 of election returns for the unexpectedly tight results of the proposed annexation of the Klahanie area to Issaquah. The results today:

 

For Annexation: 1,471 49.51
Against Annexation: 1,500 50.49

Klahanie vote results, day 2: 1 vote apart

Voting results on the day after the Klahanie annexation election showed a tightening from the six vote margin on election night in favor of annexation to just one vote.

The day two results:

1,365 for annexation

1,364 against annexation.

The Issaquah Reporter has the reaction of Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler, who says the city faces a policy decision whether to annex Klahanie without having the area assume a portion of the city’s debt, should annexation pass. His comments affirm our report from last night that this election isn’t over yet.

A recount is almost certain.

Klahanie vote update: debt assumption out, but annexation still possible and too close to call

The idea of the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area assuming Issaquah debt failed miserably in the vote tonight–60% acceptance is required–but if the vote to annex to Issaquah ultimately passes, then the Issaquah City Council has the option of going ahead with the annexation without assigning past debt to Klahanie.

The State Boundary Review Board says:

If assumption of indebtedness is proposed, the notice and proposition may be on the same ballot or be separate. Generally, a 60% majority of voters (totaling at least 40% of the total votes cast in the last preceding general election) must favor assuming indebtedness. Election requirements may vary slightly depending on circumstances and/or ballot language.

Although the debt assumption was not a separate ballot issue, as it was in 2005 (and which failed then, too), it was incorporated within this year’s ballot. The Issaquah City Council still can decide to proceed with the annexation if the final vote is 50%+1.

However, if the annexation fails to achieve 50%+1, it done. Sammamish will then go after the Potential Annexation Area by agreement with Issaquah or to demand a change and reassignment of the PAA from Issaquah to Sammamish.

Sammamish has also proposed splitting the PAA, with the southern part going to Issaquah and the majority of the remaining area going to Sammamish.

Klahanie area annex to Issaquah too close to call: Yes leads by six votes on election night

Residents of the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area are evenly split whether to annex to Issaquah; the Yes vote leads by only six votes on election night, making the election too close to call and creates the possibility of a recount.

For Annexation: 1,168, or 50.13%

Against Annexation: 1,162, or 49.87%

Based on my history of participating in elections from 1998-2011 in campaigns and watching voting trends, election night results haven’t varied by more than 1% from the final results, posted about two weeks later. This vote will likely be too close to call for days to come and may require a recount.

The vote is a cliff-hanger for Issaquah and the City of Sammamish. Issaquah is counting on the annexation to give it greater bonding indebtedness and to spread its current debt across the PAA. Issaquah was damaged in its fight with the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, when public documents and a highly public dispute revealed Issaquah’s government wanted to inject storm water into a treatment area near a drinking aquifer that the District believed would be inadequately filtered. Issaquah was caught cyber-squatting the District’s websites. Further, Issaquah’s history of demonstrating it couldn’t be trusted with respect to Klahanie was revealed, including a signed Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Issaquah Mayor to turn over the PAA to Sammamish, only to renege a short time later.

For Sammamish, the City Council salivates over the prospect of annexing Klahanie and City Council members campaigned actively to kill the annexation.

Sammamish city officials promised the 10,000-resident Klahanie area tens of millions of dollars in road and parks improvements and pledges of a more sensitive and representative government, better police protection and other services.

On the surface, Sammamish may have had the better case. But hardball tactics threatening to close the fire station 82, more commonly known as the Klahanie fire station, during its bitter negotiations with the Eastide Fire and Rescue District, and a ham-handed last minute effort in the State Legislature to deny annexation transition funds to Issaquah, offended PAA residents. The outcome of the election may well hinge on this last minute tactic and how last minute voters react to it.

Sammamish Councilman Don Gerend objected to our post over the weekend that included a report that four Sammamish city council members were doorbelling in Klahanie against the annexation; he says only one was doorbelling, which is contrary to what we were told by another city council member.

Gerend, a member of the Klahanie Choice anti-annexation group, also objected to our criticism of the city’s tactic supporting a bill in the Legislature seeking to deny funding to Issaquah to ease the transition of the annexation. The Seattle Times has this story, noting that Gerend and Sammamish Mayor Tom Vance testified in favor of the bill.

The Vance-Gerend testimony, and Sammamish’s hand in the bill, will no doubt futher sour already testy relations with Issaquah, and it is an inauspicious start to Vance’s term as mayor.

The King County Elections division will update voting daily in the late afternoon. Election results are scheduled to be certified February 25 if a recount proves unneeded.