Another slow day at election central

Maddeningly, Wednesday's mayoral results mean exactly nothing.
Maddeningly, Wednesday's mayoral results mean exactly nothing.

Now that there is nothing more to be done, no more ballots to be taxied to Sea-Tac, no more signs to staple-gun on the walls, no more calls to feisty undecideds to be made by fleets of unsung volunteers, we who have signed on to volunteer for one of the mayoral campaigns (I am a McGinn guy) can begin to wax on about the results.

Except that Wednesday's results, which dropped at 4:30 p.m. on the King County Elections website, mean precisely...nothing. Consisting mostly of ballots received last week (and how can it be that those earnest folks at King County Elections can work all day and still manage to count only 20,000 ballots in an entire shift?), these numbers showed a surge — or not. They showed a pattern like the primary — or not. Or they showed what they truly showed: randomness in the process in which people vote, mail, and stuff things into counting machines.

This all makes for high quality TV reporter standups day after day but doesn't come close to telling us who our next mayor will be. Those in the trenches have their hunches and hopes, for sure. But that is pretty much all we're gonna have until the final results are in. Which is probably why the candidates themselves took a very sensible day off Wednesday to be with their families and otherwise stay private.

This wacky fake suspense thing is a flaw of the mail-in ballot system. More accurately, a flaw of the mail-in ballot counting system. Surely there is a better way to do this. Here's an idea for you, Executive Constantine: overtime.


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About the Authors & Contributors

Matt A. Fikse

Matt A. Fikse

Matt Fikse-Verkerk (Twitter: @mattfikse) covered urban affairs, politics, tech, and business at Crosscut from 2009 to 2014. He lives in Seattle and works for a biotechnology firm in Redmond, WA.