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Problematic Ballots May Decide Fate of SeaTac's $15 Wage

Elaine Thompson
Associated Press
In this Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 photo, 16-year veteran skycap Fred Harris prepares multiple baggage tags for a traveler at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash.

Dozens of problematic ballots may determine the fate of an initiative to establish a $15 minimum wage for many workers in SeaTac.

The ballot measure was winning by just 43 votes Tuesday as officials in King County resumed counting ballots. There are likely hundreds more votes to count due to the lengthy ballot-collection process caused by the state's vote-by-mail system.

The campaigns say they also have a list of about 150 voters who had signatures on their ballots that did not match records.

"That’s a big difference," said Heather Weiner, spokesperson for the Yes for SeaTac campaign. “If you ever thought your vote didn’t count, this is a great example once again, in Washington state, about how every vote is important.”

Both sides are working to contact favorable voters who have signature problems, asking them to return paperwork that will "finalize their ballots. Other ballots in which the voter's intent is in question will be resolved during a canvassing process in the coming days.


Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to