August Primary Elections: Basics Win Voter Support

Local governments presented 57 local funding measures to voters on the recent August primary ballot in Washington, with an overall success rate of 79 percent.  This unusually high approval rating can be  attributed partly to the predominance of EMS and fire district levy renewals on the ballot, measures that typically enjoy enthusiastic voter support.  Other measures that won voter approval could be characterized as “back to basics,” including funding for transportation, libraries, and parks maintenance and operations.

Voters were more wary of capital expenditures on new discretionary projects, such as a proposed aquatic center in Walla Walla and playing field upgrades in Port Angeles.   Both the Port Angeles bond measure and a Mountlake Terrace Civic Center measure that appears to be failing would have passed handily with a 50 percent threshold for approval, but are falling short of the 60 percent approval rate required for authorization of general obligation bonds for capital purposes.

The following tables summarize the August election results.

August Primary Election Summary

Type of Measure # of measures # Passing % Passing
Fire/EMS

31

24

77%

Parks and Recreation

9

7

78%

Transportation

4

4

100%

Police/Criminal Justice

3

2

67%

Library

2

2

100%

Other

8

6

75%

Total

57

45

79%

Results from Top Ten Funding Measures on the Ballot

Jurisdiction Funding Measure Outcome
College Place Major Street Improvements Approved
King County Juvenile Jail-Justice Center Approved
Mountlake Terrace Civic Center Failing
Ocean Shores Library Operations Passing
Port Angeles Playfield Improvements Failed
San Juan County Criminal Justice Sales Tax Approved
Seattle Library Operations Approved
Sequim Criminal Justice – Police Station Approved
Walla Walla Aquatic Center Failed
Yakima County Jail Funding, Improvements Failed

About Tracy Burrows

As MRSC’s Executive Director, Tracy seeks out innovations in local government, tracking trends in management and technology that impact your work. She has over 20 years of local government and non-profit experience, specializing in growth management, transportation, and general city management issues.
This entry was posted in Elections, Finance, Levies, Parks and Recreation, Public Safety, Transportation and Infrastructure. Bookmark the permalink.