No cost to vote, but million spent to influence it

We’ve reached the end of the 2019 election and there’s a degree of intrigue up and down most ballots.

Tuesday, Nov. 5, and as the votes continue to roll in, we will learn if voters want to revive use of affirmative action in college admissions and hiring of public workers after a long hiatus.

We also will find out if they desire to reduce the cost of tabs and repeal a 2016 voter-approved vehicle tax increase for Sound Transit’s light rail expansion plans.

In Seattle and Spokane, who holds the reins of power is at stake. In Mukilteo, the mayor could be replaced by a paid administrator under a restructuring measure. There’s tons of contests for leadership of counties, cities and school districts.

The most important numbers will be learned Election Night when the bulk of ballots are counted. But, as we near the finish line (this column was written before Nov. 5), here are a few notable numerals of this campaign season.

$1.45 million — This is the amount Amazon has invested into the effort to remake the Seattle City Council. Its checks went to the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy PAC which is working diligently to elect candidates with friendlier dispositions toward the business sector.

$4.4 million — This is what Keep Washington Rolling has shelled out trying to convince voters that Initiative 976 — Tim Eyman’s $30 car tab measure — is a bad idea. The PAC has yet to reach its final spending plateau. Will any amount be enough? Twice before voters passed initiatives to lower the cost of those tabs. Eyman sweetened the pot by letting voters extract a little revenge on Sound Transit. There are folks convinced the transit authority deceived them on the calculation of those fees and it’s payback time.

$0 — This is how much it cost to mail in ballots. Yep, no postage is required as the state intends to cover the tab. Ballots must have been postmarked no later than Nov. 5 to be counted. Lots of voters mess this up every election. Another option is to place your ballot in one of those designated drop boxes which were open 24/7 until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

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

 

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