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Washington state voters said "yes" to a higher minimum wage, said "no" to what would have been a history-making state carbon tax and rendered a split decision on several campaign finance reform ideas in Tuesday's general election.

If the presidential race was a stunner, Washington state’s elections were not. Gov. Jay Inslee cruised to re-election as expected. And there were no upsets further down the ballot either.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee was cruising to re-election Tuesday night with 56 percent of the vote over Republican challenger Bill Bryant. But several other statewide races were still too close to call, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

A boy cheers at the Republican watch party in Bellevue on Tuesday night, as Donald Trump clinches Florida.
Daniel Berman for KUOW

The Republicans in the ballroom at the Hyatt in Bellevue weren't expecting this. They showed up late, and bowls of popcorn sat alone on tables. The scene was glum. 

Friends hug at the Republican watch party on Tuesday night in Bellevue.
Daniel Berman for KUOW

Federal | State | Legislative | Measures | Transportation | Other

Last updated: 11/9/2016, 10:05 a.m.

Oregon voters had plenty of other measures to vote on aside from Measure 97. And they approved nearly all of them. Here's a rundown:

Oregon Measure 94 was going down. It would have allowed state judges to serve past age 75. The Constitutional Amendment repeals the state's mandatory retirement age for judges in Oregon.

Momo Nikaido, 33, of Bellevue says she always thought herself a Democrat, but this is first election she has voted.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

There are two types of people in the country on Election Night:

The people like you, at home, curled into an anxious heap, rising every five minutes to refresh the New York Times homepage. (You can also refresh our maps for local results.)

From the wide-open lobby-lands of Olympia to the lush cash-forests of Seattle, a complex ecosystem of money and influence shapes how we vote — and how we live — in Washington state. Most of us only catch glimpses of it, when politicians display their plumage in TV ads or glossy mailers.

Sorting bins upside-down in a secure area of the King County Elections headquarters.
KUOW photo/Abe Epton

There’s a room on the second floor of King County Elections headquarters that the priests of ancient Jerusalem might recognize.

Like the biblical Holy of Holies, this is a room that only a select few may enter; a room that symbolizes something important about the society that created it.

In our case, a casino-security company helped build it to house the computers that count our election results. (You can watch livestreams of the counting in action at King County Elections HQ here.)

Kim Malcolm talks with UW historian Margaret O'Mara about the 2016 presidential election. She says in a historical context, this election isn't as polarizing and vitriolic as it's being made out to be.

Steve McMinn ducks into the hollow of an old maple tree and tears a chunk of wood from its insides. It’s not easy to find the perfect tree.

“Sometimes your fingers can tell you more than your eyes,” he said. “It has to be a straight tree, a fairly large tree, a tree that didn’t grow too quickly nor too slowly.”

It also has to be flexible enough to vibrate, pleasing to the eyes and ears, and strong enough to hold a musical instrument together.

From left: LeCriesha Lewis, Elizabeth Haile and Mia Wolde-Maskell at the Seattle Union Station, one of the few in-person voting centers in King County.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Today’s the last day to mail in your ballot or drop it off at one of the drop boxes around King County.  Also, there are a few places where you can vote in person.


Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence won the White House on late Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Follow this story for live updates throughout the day. NPR coverage on air begins at 5 p.m.

St. Mark's Dean Steven Thomason says the cathedral has a civic mission as well.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

A moment of peaceful contemplation: That’s what some Seattle-area churches and community groups are trying to offer on the eve of this election. They say people are feeling anxious after a year of harsh political rhetoric.

Campaigns are still holding "get out the vote" rallies. They say they’ll be canvassing for voters through dinner time on Election Day. 

Opponents of a possible water bottling plant in the Columbia Gorge are weighing their options now that a judge has approved a water rights transfer that's key to the plant's existence.

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