The Kshama Sawant for Seattle City Council campaign has just sent out a press release that breaks down a late-return ballot trend heading their direction. The results on election night showed Sawant earning only 46 percent of the vote; she took 53 percent of the latest batch, slowly inching her toward the halfway mark. The campaign says if the surge holds up as more ballots are counted, Sawant could win the race against incumbent Richard Conlin, and they are preparing for a possible recount. Their explanation is after the jump.


November 7, 2013 – Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant today increased the rate at which she is drawing closer to incumbent Richard Conlin, in the Seattle City Council Position 2 race. Contrary to Conlin's own claim of victory and the reports of many local media outlets, post-election returns now clearly indicate that Sawant has a good chance of beating Conlin in the Position 2 race.

The new numbers include 6,950 new votes for Sawant (52.79 percent) and 6,174 new votes ( 46.90 percent) for Conlin, bringing the overall total to 56,313 (47.60 percent) for Sawant and 61,717 (52.17 percent) for Conlin with slightly less than 60 percent of ballots now counted. Sawant would win the election with 53 percent of remaining ballots in her favor (see below). The arc of support in later ballots is expected to continue to swing in Sawant's favor.

King County Elections has now released four tallies of ballots in three days. Increasingly, these releases will correlate with when voters sent in their ballots, with late votes counted correspondingly late in the process - thus, an increased total for a candidate over time indicates a late surge that can reasonably be expected to continue or strengthen as ballot-counting continues.

Here are the Seattle City Council Position Two votes for each of the releases:

Sawant Conlin

Election Night (Tues. 11-5) 38,116 46.13% 44,252 53.56%

Day Two Afternoon (11-6) 7,862 49.69% 7,949 50.24%

Day Two Evening (11-6) 3,385 50.21% 3,342 49.57%

Day Three (11-7) 6,950 52.79% 6,174 46.90%

Total 56,313 47.60% 61,717 52.17%

If we assume that 200,000 non-write-in votes will eventually be counted in this race, 59.01 percent have been counted so far. In order for Sawant to win (reach 100,001 votes), she would need to win 53.3 percent of the remaining ballots. She is nearing that percentage already, and the trend is clear as ballot releases continue. All of the remaining ballots will have been cast in the final days of the election, when the Sawant campaign was surging.

"This isn't over," Sawant reiterated. "The final result will clearly be very close. We are preparing for a recount if one is needed. Even as we prepare for future efforts, we are keeping a close eye on the unfolding election results."

The next ballot tally release by King County Elections will be tonight (Thursday) night at 8:30 PM, followed by Friday afternoon. The campaign will issue another update after tonight's numbers.