Unexpectedly Intriguing!
08 November 2005

The 2005 special election in Washington state features the biggest anti-tax measure on any ballot anywhere in the nation this time around, as the voter's initiative I-912 would seek to repeal the largest fuel tax rate hike ever imposed in the state's history.

This race is also remarkable in that a Washington state judge has issued a ruling that talk-radio advocacy on the behalf of a political position represent "in-kind" contributions to political campaigns. The effect of the ruling has been to silence support in favor of repealing the state's fuel tax increases.

The tool below is designed to help you determine how the votes cast will have to break to decide the election on this issue one way or another. That being the case, you are more than welcome update the numbers yourself with the latest available election returns posted by the Washington state Secretary of State's office, should you find our already entered figures to be in need of updating. The initial default number for uncounted absentee ballots is the number of registered voters in Washington in 2004.

Update 8 November 2005, 8:30 PM PST: The initial returns released by the Washington Secretary of State's Office for I-912 show results for 16 of 39 counties, with 155,414 votes in favor of repealing the state's recent gas tax increase and 132,747 votes against. Assuming that the Secretary of State's prediction that the turnout for the statewide election would be 60% holds true, the number of uncounted ballots has been adjusted to reflect this figure, as well as reduced by the number of already counted ballots. The final results may take a number of days to determine given the state's large percentage of absentee ballots.

Update 8 November 2005, 9:00 PM PST: The tables below have been changed to reflect the results for 30 of 39 counties, with 339,199 votes in favor of repealing the gas tax and 350,395 votes opposed.

Update 9 November 2005, 5:30 AM PST: The tables have been updated to show the results for all 39 counties, with 581,159 votes against rolling back the state's fuel tax and 517,899 votes in favor. The count is still a long way from being over, as a large number of absentee ballots will need to be counted over the next several days.

Raw Vote Data
Input Data Values
Votes Counted in Favor of I-912
Votes Counted Opposed to I-912
Uncounted Ballot Totals
Input Data Values
Uncounted Absentee Ballots
Uncounted Provisional Ballots
Other Uncounted Ballots

Vote Totals
Calculated Results Values
Total Number of Uncounted Votes
Total Number of Ballots Cast
Votes Needed to Win a Simple Majority
Percentage of Uncounted Votes
Needed for I-912 to Pass
Needed for I-912 to Fail
Based on Current Totals, I-912:

How to Interpret the Results

  1. If the "Needed to Pass" or "Needed to Fail" percentage is negative, it means that the indicated measure can actually have votes taken away from its total and still be able to win a simple majority of votes cast in the election. In other words, the presence of a negative value indicates which position has won.

  2. If a position has a percentage that is greater than 100%, it means the measure cannot win a clear majority of the vote, although it may be possible to win a plurality of the votes cast.

  3. If the measure has percentages that are greater than 0% but less than 100%, the race is up for grabs. Polling data for the areas where votes have still not been fully tallied may be used to anticipate who will likely win the most votes.

  4. The position with the highest percentage needed to win is the least likely to do so.

While not a perfect tool, Political Calculations' Simple Majority Calculator does offer some insight into how the uncounted vote totals in an election have to break in order for a given measure to pass or fail.

About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

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