Latest vote counts reveal front-runners in close county, port races

Voters in Blaine and Birch Bay took a different stance on the jail facilities sales and use tax than voters in the rest of the county. Our community, voted 51.5 percent in favor of the tax versus the remaining precincts in the county, which voted  60.1 percent against the measure. Countywide, the tax was defeated with 58.7 percent (35,583) voting against and 41.4 percent (25,088) voting for.

Proponents of the Blaine-Birch Bay Parks and Recreation District 2 six-year property tax levy renewal will be happy to know the measure passed with 71.2 percent of the vote. As of 5:02 p.m. on November 9, 3,165 people voted ‘Yes’ for the measure while 1,281 voted ‘No’ – a total of 4,446 voters. In order to pass, the levy required a minimum turnout of 40 percent of the last general election, or 3,441 voters, and a super majority vote of 60 percent voting in favor.

The Whatcom County Council at large seat appeared to be won by Barry Buchanan, who received 52.2 percent of the vote (31,161) versus Mary Kay Robinson, who received 47.8 percent (28,581).

Two Port of Bellingham commission races had very close results; Michael Alvarez Shepard took 51 percent of the vote (30,189) against candidate Dan Robbins with 49 percent of the vote (28,969). Ken Bell held a close lead with 51.2 percent approval (29,974) against Barry Wenger who received 48.8 percent of the vote (28,523).

According to Whatcom County Auditor Debbie Adelstein, tallies for Blaine City Council write-in candidate Rachel Hrutfiord are currently being counted and will be released once that has been completed.

“We only tally for the races that the write-ins become a factor (this is under state statute),” she said. “We have not yet gotten to that race so I don’t have anything to report at this time.”

Only 20 ballots are left to be counted. The next count will take place on November 27. The final election results will be certified on Tuesday, November 28. To view the latest results, visit bit.ly/2zvgKqt.

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