County results certified: One-third of those eligible voted

EVERETT — The 2016 primary is officially in the books for Snohomish County.

County election officials on Tuesday certified the results of the Aug. 2 election in which 146,601 voters participated for a turnout of 33.6 percent.

“I was disappointed at the low turnout,” Auditor Carolyn Weikel said. “Many important local measures for cities and fire districts were passed with less than 35 percent participation from eligible voters. These local measures are very important and impact our daily lives. I wish the turnout had been higher.”

One of the closest contests involved Proposition 1, the proposed countywide sales tax hike. It lost by 348 votes out of 130,888 cast, or a margin of 0.26 percent. To the vexation of supporters, another 15,696 voters who participated in the election did not cast a ballot on Proposition 1.

The proposed tax increase of 0.2 percent would have helped the county avoid budget cuts while paying for more law enforcement officers and social workers to better deal with an explosion of heroin use and associated crime.

Voters in Marysville rejected a separate proposal for a one-tenth of a penny increase in the city’s sales tax to pay for five additional police officers.

Mayor Jon Nehring said Monday he knew of no plans to try again. The city, with its growing population, will eventually need to enlarge its police force and he said he would talk with council members on possible next steps.

“We’ll think this through in the next couple months and see if there is a way to do this,” Nehring said. “We need more police officers and this was one way to do it.”

In Mountlake Terrace, voters approved an increase in their property tax to pay for a new City Hall and to provide a permanent source of funding for parks and recreation programs. City leaders warned of potential cuts in service had the measure failed.

With a couple of exceptions, the order of finish in most contests did not change between the initial and final tallies of votes.

One of those came in the race for a state Senate seat in the 1st Legislative District.

On election night, Rep. Luis Moscoso, D-Bothell, held a slim advantage on Guy Palumbo of Maltby, a Snohomish County fire commissioner and fellow Democrat.

In the ensuing days Palumbo moved ahead and wound up second behind Republican Mindie Wirth of Bothell. The two will duel in November with the winner replacing retiring Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell.

A similar situation occurred in the 7th Congressional District, which includes a sliver of south Snohomish County and the city of Seattle.

King County Councilman Joe McDermott on election night led state Rep. Brady Walkinshaw for second. But Walkinshaw, a Democrat, moved ahead in later counts and will face the top vote-getter, Democratic state Sen. Pramila Jayapal in November. The winner will succeed retiring Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott.

The primary results show that the newest member of the Snohomish County Council is in for a battle if he wants to keep his seat.

Sam Low, a Republican and Lake Stevens City Councilman, got more votes than County Councilman Hans Dunshee, a Democrat and former state lawmaker. Dunshee was appointed to the council in February.

Low finished with 51.7 percent to Dunshee’s 48 percent, a margin of 1,095 votes. The pair will face off again in November in a contest that will determine the ultimate victor.

Final ballot counts in Snohomish County can be found at www.snoco.org/elections. Results of statewide races can be found on the Secretary of State website at www.sos.wa.gov

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com Twitter: @dospueblos

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