The first of two King County ballot drops scheduled for today shows the anticipated late ballot trend to Mike McGinn and Kshama Sawant, but not enough to suggest they can ultimately close the gap with their respective opponents. McGinn won only 43.08 percent of the votes counted last night, but 46.65 percent of the 17,527 ballots in today's 4:30 p.m. drop. Sawant won 46.13 percent of the election night results, but 49.69% of the 15,821 ballots tallied in this afternoon's drop.
The total vote now has Ed Murray leading McGinn 55.61 percent to 43.66 percent, and Richard Conlin leading Sawant 53.03 percent to 46.71 percent.
In somewhat disturbing news, this afternoon's somewhat small drop in the SeaTac Proposition 1 battle nearly reverses the election night percentages. The $15 minimum wage initiative led 53.98 percent to 46.02 in the first drop of 3,283 ballots, but trails 47.1 percent to 52.9 percent in this afternoon's drop of 414 ballots. The total now stands at 53.21 percent to 46.79 percent in favor of Prop 1. "I'm not worried," Working Washington's Sage Wilson tells me. And he shouldn't be. Yet. This is a tiny sample, and it's not at all clear what it represents. But if this trend continues through tomorrow's drop, I'll start shitting bricks.
The Wednesday drops are always a bit iffy in terms of establishing trends. For the most part, ballots are tallied chronologically in the order in which they are received, but due to the backlog at King County Elections it is hard to make definitive assertions about the chronology of the Wednesday ballot drops.
UPDATE: KCE released a second, smaller ballot drop at 8:30 p.m., and the late ballot trend we saw in this afternoon's drop both continued and accelerated. McGinn won 48.22 percent of the 7,601 additional ballots counted, and Sawant crossed the 50 percent mark for the first time, winning 50.26 percent of the 6,735 additional ballots counted in her race. The updated returns now have Murray leading McGinn 55.35 percent to 44.95 percent, and Conlin leading Sawant 52.81 percent to 46.93 percent. With about half the ballots now counted, flip those percentages for the remaining ballots and that's what's needed to change the lead.
As for SeaTac Prop. 1, well, a trend is less clear. The two sides split a batch 245 ballots pretty much 50-50. Tomorrow afternoon's drop should provide some clarity.