The Nov. 8 general election is officially in the books as King County Elections certified the final results on Nov. 29.
In the election, Mercer Island’s Proposition 1 parks levy renewal passed with 64.27% of the votes. A simple majority was required for passage, and the 16-year levy will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. There were 8,133 yes votes and 4,521 no votes, which gave the latter group 35.73%.
“This levy provides critical funding to maintain and strengthen our parks and public spaces,” City Manager Jessi Bon said. “We are honored Islanders passed Proposition 1 with a strong majority — this investment represents a commitment to top-notch public spaces for all on the Island, and I’d like to personally thank our community for the support.”
In the race for United States Representative in Congressional District 9, which covers Mercer Island and other cities in the region, incumbent Adam Smith (D) was victorious with 71.61% (171,746 votes) over Doug Basler (R), 28.20% (67,631 votes).
Legislative District 41 incumbents Tana Senn and My-Linh T. Thai won their races in a district that covers the whole of Mercer Island and Newcastle and parts of Bellevue, Renton, Issaquah and Sammamish.
In the Representative Position No. 1 race, Senn (D) amassed 75.91% of the vote (46,624 votes) while Mike Nykreim (Election Integrity Party) garnered 23.75% (14,586 votes).
The race for Representative Position No. 2 had Thai (D) winning with 68.43% (43,512 votes) and Al Rosenthal (R) following with 31.48% (20,016 votes).
According to Halei Watkins, King County Elections communications officer, 65.8% of countywide voters returned 911,000 ballots in a county with 1.38 million registered voters.
The Mercer Island turnout was 73.25%, the Congressional District 9 King County portion was 57.29% and Legislative District 41 amassed 68.28%. Locally, voters delivered 6,934 ballots into the Mercer Island Community and Event Center drop box during the voting period of Oct. 20-Nov. 8. The Island location was one of 76 county drop boxes that opened one day after ballots were mailed.
“In this election, 60% of voters returned their ballot using a drop box. 244,590 ballots were collected from drop boxes on Election Day alone, and drop boxes were heavily favored by those who waited until the last day or two to vote,” said Watkins, adding that 39.3% of voters went the United States Postal Service route, and overseas and service voters accounted for 0.6% by emailing or faxing their ballots.
King County Elections also hosted a record number of 316 official observer visits from those in the non-partisan, bi-partisan and non-politically affiliated realms.
During their shifts, observers “have open access to watch the process and ask questions. Our ballot processing team spent hundreds of hours explaining the laws, processes, and procedures that go into accurate, secure, and accessible elections,” said Watkins, who noted that transparency is crucial to the voting process.
At Vote Centers in Bellevue, Federal Way, Kent, Kenmore, Renton and two in Seattle during the voting period, 7,680 voters were offered in-person assistance to register, receive a replacement ballot or use an assistive device.