Election Night 2013 has come and gone, but the outcomes of some very important races have yet to be determined.
In the Seattle-area city of SeaTac, home of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and allow workers to earn paid sick days looked victorious on Election Night with roughly 54 percent. But with Washington’s vote-by-mail system, votes are still trickling in, and the result is far from over.
After the totals were updated on Wednesday night, the “Yes on Proposition 1” vote to raise the wage lead by only 19 votes out of roughly 6,000 cast, about 0.3 percent. On Thursday night, the “Yes” lead climbed to 53 votes — still an outrageously slim margin.
City of SeaTac Proposition No. 1 Yes 50.47% – 2837 votes (winning by 53 votes) No 49.53% – 2784 votes
— KIRO 7 (@KIRO7Seattle) November 15, 2013
As the Slog reports, there are about 300 ballots left to count “but since these could come from anywhere, they defy prediction.”
The vote SeaTac has big implications. More immediately, it could influence the chances of a similar brewing $15 minimum wage proposal in nearby Seattle. But it could also serve as a model for other small municipalities, particularly those with airports or other large low-wage institutions, to launch their own pro-worker SeaTac-esque campaigns.
The Koch Brothers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Restaurant Association are all well-aware of this. That’s why even in his small city of 25,000 people, spending on the Proposition 1 race equaled roughly $300 per voter.
The remaining 300 ballots will be counted in the next few days, after which the measure will certainly go to court. But the no amount of money can change this: idea has been planted.