Here's a bracing corrective from reader Patrick Higgins, arguing that "the people" didn't really speak, as we pundits like to say, since the large majority of voters stayed silent. Mr. Higgins, you have the microphone: Before we all get too far along with our pronouncements about what "the voters" of Washington have just said, let's be honest about the numbers when we're assessing election results and trying to determine what "the people" want. There are roughly 5 million voting-age people in Washington state of which just 3.3 million are registered to vote (let's not even stray into the issue of registration hurdles that still exist in Washington and every other state). The Secretary of State says that less than 1 million ballots were cast in this election, for a (pathetic) turnout of 28 percent of registered voters, which of course is really just a 20 percent turnout of potentially eligible voters. This frequently unreported turnout figure is quite typical for elections in off-years. The idea that we just had a state "referendum" on transportation issues and tax policy – implicit in virtually all the coverage this morning -- is an absurd and dangerous notion. Instead of making sweeping guesses at what "the people" might be thinking about taxes and infrastructure based on how something like 200,000 voters reacted to the RTID package, why don't we instead reflect on just how bad an idea it is to be constantly putting funding measures on the ballot? Even if we had 100 percent voter participation, asking people whether or not they want to pay more taxes would be dicey. Considering our faltering democracy and our ridiculously complicated initiative and referendum ballots, it's a recipe for disaster. To which I would add that the reason these complicated measures are on the ballot is that the Legislature, including both parties, is terrified of Tim Eyman and the backlash he has unleashed on the state for years. So they punt on big tough issues, saying it's up to local regions to craft a measure and get the voters' approval. That way our "leaders" in Olympia have deniability. Until you fix that, we'll still have these big fat spending issues that get big fat raspberries.