Gay rights groups are hoping Oregon will be the next state to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot. Washington did that this week. But to follow suit, Oregon voters would have to reverse themselves and repeal a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Voters passed that ban in 2004 after a campaign led by the conservative Oregon Family Council. Spokeswoman Teresa Harke says her group will oppose any efforts to overturn it.
"I think there are still a lot of people who support one man, one woman marriage. And we are ready to fight for that."
Exit polls show Latino voters helped push President Obama to victory on Tuesday. But there was another sign of the growing influence of Hispanics on election day: That was the actual names on many ballots.
A public radio analysis done before the election found that just 2 percent of the Northwest's elected officials were Latino.
Oregon may have nudged that up. Voters in the Portland area elected Jessica Vega Pederson and Joseph Gallegos, both Democrats, to the state House.
RICHLAND, Wash. – Energy Secretary Steven Chu is bolstering the scientific brain power at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. A memo released to employees Thursday says the aim is to solve nagging technical problems at the plant more quickly.
The massive factory at Hanford is supposed to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. That goo is currently in leaking, aging underground tanks near the Columbia River.
Seattle Public Schools will ask voters for property tax levies worth $1.2 billion in February. The school board unanimously approved renewals of the capital projects and operations levies Wednesday night.
As the vote count continues, Washington Republicans are preparing for possible losses in several key state races.
Democratic attorney general hopeful Bob Ferguson leads Republican Reagan Dunn. The two are vying for the seat left open by Republican Rob McKenna, who stepped down to run for governor. McKenna has held the office since 2005.
The race for Washington governor remains too close to call. But Democrat Jay Inslee said Wednesday he’s already forming a transition team to prepare to take office. The former congressman leads Republican attorney general Rob McKenna 51 percent to 49 percent.
When you talk to Madeline Fakharzadeh, a high school senior in Kent, you wouldn’t necessarily think American politics are all that divisive right now. At Tuesday's Republican election night party in Bellevue, she held a campaign sign for her local congressman, Republican Dave Reichert. But she has also volunteered for Democrats and for Washington United for Marriage, the group behind Referendum 74 to legalize same-sex marriage. And she didn’t think she was out of the ordinary in a Republican crowd on election night. “With times changing the way they are, it’s not a matter of, ‘I’m a conservative, I don’t believe in same-sex marriage.’ It’s changing,” she said.
This is Washington’s first presidential election after making the switch to all mail-in voting. Just over half of the ballots have been counted and many races are still undecided. KUOW’s Sara Lerner speaks with Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed.
Many races in Washington state are yet to be decided. In the highly contested race for governor, Republican Rob McKenna is trailing Democrat Jay Inslee by about 2.5 percentage points. The same-sex marriage referendum and the charter schools initiative are also too close to call. But the returns on the marijuana initiative are decisive: recreational use will soon be legal in Washington.
KUOW’s Sara Lerner speaks with our political reporter Austin Jenkins.
The initiative to allow charter schools in Washington is narrowly passing with 51 percent of the vote. This was the fourth time the state’s voters considered charter schools. Supporters said charters would expand students’ educational options because charters aren’t bound by district or union rules.
Two members of the King County Council waged an aggressive battle for the Washington Attorney General’s Office. Initial results show Democrat Bob Ferguson with a nearly six-point lead. His opponent, Republican Reagan Dunn, says he’s still “in the hunt.”
Correction: In the original story Steve Sarich was referred to as an attorney. He is not an attorney but a medical marijuana consultant and an opponent of I-502.
Hold off on that trip to Amsterdam. It appears recreational marijuana will soon be legal for adults in Washington, at least under state law.
The mood was jubilant at the official I-502 party at the Hotel Andra in downtown Seattle. In attendance was Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, a primary backer of the measure. He says this law change is about good government.