OLYMPIA -- Although Spokane County has some recounting to do, state officials certified the election results Monday for the Nov. 8 election.
Anyone paying any attention knows how things came out: Initiative 1183, that gets the state out of the liquor business, passed big time. I-1163, requiring training and background checks for home health care workers, passed even bigger time. I-1125, which put new limits on tolls for roads and bridges, failed. And a bunch of folks in cities and towns and districts all over the state got elected to various offices.
So what's the news here? The official state turnout -- or turn in, considering the state conducts the entire ballot by mail so no one has to "turn out'' to a poll site -- was 52.95 percent. That's about 6 percentage points higher than Secretary of State Sam Reed, the state's top elections official, predicted before the election.
Reed said the interest on the initiatives, and record spending on the liquor proposal raised the visibility of the issue and drove more turnout.
Highest turnout was 70 percent in San Juan County. Garfield, Lincoln and Pend Oreille counties were above 60 percent, and Spokane County came in at 56.5 percent.
And in case you're wondering, recounts don't effect turnout. Those ballots are already part of the total, whether they were marked for one candidate or the other...or neither.