Wednesday, November 7

Initial Election Observations

As of the insanely early writing of this post (yes, I am an election junky), the Tribune is posting some early election results.  Right now, the following information is available;

7,164 votes have been cast, which represents about 79% of the total.  A little basic extrapolation, and we see that about 9,068 votes were cast in this election.

The votes for Mayor recorded thus far are as follows:
  • Dona Stebbins; 2,867 votes
  • Ed McKnight; 2,697 votes
  • Susan Kahn; 985 votes
  • Larry Steele; 455 votes
The votes for City Commission recorded thus far are as follows:
  • Mary Jolley; 3,561 votes
  • Bill Bronson; 2,981 votes
  • Diane Jovick-Kuntz; 2,427 votes
  • Stuart Lewin; 2,404 votes
  • Elna Hensley, 1,465 votes

Now, tempers ran hot in this race, and everyone seemed to have an opinion.  This number isn't so different from two years ago and two years before that.  I was expecting a higher number of votes cast, especially due to the wonderful weather yesterday.

Why is the vote so low?  I submit to you that a lot of that blame can be placed on the boneheaded decision of the Cascade County Clerk and Recorder to combine the voting locations at the Expo Park.  While it might have made her job easier to count the 4,000 votes made at the polls there, there could have been more votes to count if she had decided to do the job we elected her to perform.

So, I will fire the first shot for the 2008 elections; Lance Olson's job for county commissioner will be up for re-election next November.  My vote will go to a competent candidate that will vote to give me back my local polling place.  I hope that this becomes an issue in that race.

Now, of the 7,164 votes counted and published by the Tribune, the race for City Commission seems to be a pretty done deal.  There is a 500 vote gap between Bronson and Jovick-Kuntz; I don't think that Lewin or Jovick-Kuntz are going to be able to overcome that kind of vote gap with only 2,000 votes left to be counted.  I could be wrong, but I think that we can safely say that we have winners in that race, and they are Jolley and Bronson.  I don't think this result is a real surprise to anyone.

However, look to the 3,561 votes achieved by Jolley.  As the most level-headed coal plant opponent in this race, I think that those votes most cleanly represent the side of our electorate that want a change in our city government.  With that in mind, look to the mayoral race.

You can see that McKnight and Kahn, together, represent about 3,600 votes.  That voting block would have been enough to catapult any single candidate to the mayoral position.  However, as GeeGuy observed last week, as two candidates they split the vote.  McKnight is the clear choice of that bloc; and the 985 votes siphoned by Kahn make her the spoiler in this race if McKnight doesn't pull a rabbit out of his hat.

Don't get me wrong; this is still a horse race.    There are only 170 votes separating Stebbins and McKnight.  Let's see what news the morning brings.

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