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Election 2012 | Election Night on Capitol Hill — UPDATE: Obama, R74 celebration on E Pike

(Image: Alex Crick for CHS)

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: As Barack Obama was declared victor in an Electoral College landslide and state vote tallies showed marriage equality solidly on its way to approval in Washington, another election night dance party broke out on Capitol Hill. Progress for marijuana initiative 502 also helped get things started.

The red SUV loaded with a booming mobile sound system showed up at 10th and Pike as West Coast polls shut down for the night and the network calls began to be made. By 9 PM, R74 had surpassed the 52% “it’s OK to party” target — though it seemed likely the crowd would be ready to dance regardless. It was a night of riches for left-leaning Capitol Hill voters. Even Democrat Jay Inslee was on track to win the governor’s race. And, to put a flourish on the liberal-minded ballot bubbling, Socialist candidate for the 43rd legislative seat Kshama Sawant managed an unheard of 27% in early returns, noted below. We’re assuming Sonicsgate backlash also might have taken a bite out of Frank Chopp on his way to a still-easy victory.

Swelling at times to hundreds of people, the 2012 version of the Capitol Hill Victory dance party — here’s what it looked like in 2008 — was smaller and more controlled but equally enthusiastic, the party filled the same space on E Pike as the summer Capitol Hill Block Party music festival. Earlier, revelers had filled bars and restaurants in the area to watch the preliminary results roll in on big projection screens and with a drink or two in hand.

Dancing lasted until just before 2a when the party busted up — and some attempt at cleaning up was made. Police activity remained mostly on the edges as people popped celebratory corks in the street and lit up the occasional celebratory joint. There were a small handful of reported incidents including a man who collapsed near 10th and Pike, theft from a store at Pike/Broadway and an assault near Broadway involving pepper spray. No significant property damage was reported.

TV crews descended on the area around the Lobby Bar to cover R74’s march to approval. The camera lights added to the surreal scene — along with the fireworks and a Barack Obama impersonator.

CHS election coverage:

  • High turnout predicted, latest polling, cupcake democracy, Romney support
  • A first person account from R74 call center for marriage equality
  • When R74 passes: a guide to your belated Capitol Hill gay marriage
  • Approve R74 makes a home on the Hill and gets in on Block Party
  • What happens on Capitol Hill if I-502 passes
  • What charter school initiative 1240 means for Capitol Hill kids
  • Images: Alex Crick for CHS


    ORIGINAL REPORT: We’ll post updates, notes, observations, pictures, videos, Tweets, Facebook posts, graffiti, posters, songs, etc. from tonight’s *start* of the culmination of the 2012 presidential election. Expect a possibly more clouded affair than we found at Broadway and Pike in 2008 — close races could leave people looking to party in a bit of electoral limbo. We have high hopes for R74, though — people close to the campaign are watching for early results around 52% approval before they say they’ll start popping corks tonight. The state expects to have 60% of the total Washington vote tallied tonight. That number won’t approach 90% until Friday.

    Useful Links

    CHS has photographers and friends around the Hill tonight. You can follow @jseattle on Twitter to find out about many of their updates, etc. We’ll also post here along the way as well as sharing on

    You can help out by sharing your pictures with us via mail [email protected] or by sending along a Tweet or three. You can also call/txt CHS at (206) 399-5959.

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    […] CHS reported on Sawant in November when she lost against Democratic state House Speaker Frank Chopp, but still walked away with a strong showing for an ardently left-wing candidate. […]