The second count of ballots in the District 3 race for the Seattle City Council knocked out a smaller chunk of the collected ballots than expected but the updated numbers have helped provide an even more clear look at where this race is likely to finish. Joy Hollingsworth has a commanding, probably insurmountable lead.
CHS reported here on the Election Night triumph for the Hollingsworth campaign that saw the Central District and Mayor Bruce Harrell-endorsed candidate post a 17-point lead.
There have been no declarations of victory or concessions yet but Wednesday’s second day of ballot counting showed Alex Hudson’s expected strength with later, more progressive voters as she narrowed Hollingsworth’s lead to a just under 15-point gap, claiming the lion’s share of the more than 1,400 D3 ballots counted in the second update.
The totals now stand at Hollingsworth with 57.25% of the total vote vs. Hudson’s 42.39% on 19,684 ballots counted, a turnout of just under 27%.
About 10,000 ballots are left to count if voters reached anywhere near predicted turnout levels of around 40%.
Hudson will need to claim about 60% of those remaining ballots if she is to close the gap. Wednesday, she tallied just over 55%.
Hudson’s campaign performed well with late voters in the August primary but a full turnaround in November would be epic. Even Kshama Sawant’s incredible reversal in late voters in the 2019 race didn’t come to close to the needed 60% threshold.
If Hudson continues to tally about 55% of the remaining ballots, depending on turnout, she’ll end somewhere around six points behind Hollingsworth.
King County Elections, meanwhile, was slowed Wednesday along with elections offices in Pierce, Skagit, and Spokane counties after workers were evacuated over “unknown powdery substances” delivered to the facilities.
“Local, state, and federal authorities are investigating the incidents, which occurred while workers were processing ballots from the Nov. 7 General Election,” Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State said in a statement.
According to state officials, during the state’s August primary, King County and Okanogan County election officials received suspicious substances in envelopes. The envelope and letter received by King County Elections were turned over to the United States Postal Inspection Service which performed an analysis that detected trace amounts of fentanyl. The substance found in the Okanogan County envelope was determined to be unharmful.
King County Elections says it again received a piece of mail that contained white powder Wednesday morning forcing an evacuation of the facility.
The resulting delay produced a slightly smaller than expected ballot count but daily updates will continue starting Thursday, elections officials said.
In a CHS survey of voluntary respondents, more than 96% of those who said they supported Hollingsworth in the race said public safety was an important factor in their decision. Just under 30% of Hudson supporters said the same. Instead, Hudson supporters were more likely to be driven by priorities around streets and transit, affordability, and homelessness. 60% of those who supported Hollingsworth also said homelessness was a priority issue in their choice. Overall in in the unscientific, self-selected survey, public safety ranked as the number one priority at 70% of respondents, followed by homelessness (57%), and streets and public transportation (30%).
Corporate money flooded into the race — though nowhere near the spending seen in 2019 in the unsuccessful bid to unseat Sawant. CHS reported here on the massive boost in contributions to Hollingsworth supported by independent expenditure committees including a committee from the National Association of Realtors and labor-associated groups. Hudson’s campaign also benefitted from the spending.
Hollingsworth and Hudson leapt forward from the August primary, emerging from an eight-way District 3 race for the Seattle City Council.