Whatcom County voters will decide today whether or not to save their bus service with a .02% sales tax increase. If the measure does not pass Whatcom Transportation Authority will be forced to cut service by around 15%.
I'll report here live with the first returns. If the election is close it may be too close to call tonight. They need a 50%+1 vote to pass the modest sales tax increase to save service.
For election results directly from the source here is the link you will want.
For great coverage of the campaign (and I'm sure result analysis as well) check out the Traffic Blog on the Bellingham Herald's website.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a majority of Whatcom County voters will decide to step up to save their great smaller transit system.
Win or lose, I think the pro-transit campaign did a great job getting the word out about the importance of bus service in the community and rallying a diverse spectrum of organizational and individual supporters.
Stay tuned here as the first round of results arrive in 30 minutes or so.
Jared from the Bellingham Herald reports that 39% of voters have voted as of yesterday in the special election. I think this is probably a good sign for the measure. Also according to his blog there will be only one release of numbers tonight at 8:30pm. The next one will not be until tomorrow.
With 41.75% of the registered voters counted the measure is failing by a minuscule amount, 274 votes out of 47,536 counted.
Wow. This is very very tight. With these being the only ballots counted today it is way to close to call. This means ballot chasing and very likely a mandatory recount could be in order, unless things swing strongly one way or another. Wild.
According to the auditor they have 48,355 ballots returned as of today. That means they have about 800 more ballots to count as of today. Another few hundred ballots will come in over the next few days, probably meaning there is about 1,400 or less ballots to count. Very very tight.