The Seattle City Council general election results have not been announced nearly one week after election day as the elections committee continues to count votes.
Election results will not be made official until Nov. 28, although the King County Elections (KCE) will continue to update the unofficial results daily until all votes have been accounted for, according to the KCE website. Most voters could only submit their ballot through the mail or at a drop-box location, meaning many ballots will not be received until days after the official election day. (RELATED: Seattle City Council Rejects Bill Criminalizing Drug Use)
Good morning King County! We estimate around 150,000 ballots were returned to drop boxes last night! First step in processing is getting those ballots “trayed” which means aligning them so they can go through the sort machine. The goal is to get ~50,000 more ballots opened today. pic.twitter.com/0D4wU1aRE6
— King County Elections (@kcelections) November 8, 2023
Only three out of the seven original council members up for reelection ran in the 2023 race — Democrats Tammy Morales, Dan Strauss and Andrew Lewis — leaving four seats open to newcomers, KIRO 7, a local news network, reported. Initial reports showed that the incumbents were all trailing in their races, but Morales and Strauss quickly gained more votes as mail-in ballots trickled in on the days following the race.
Almost all of the leading candidates — Joy Hollingsworth, Maritza Rivera, Cathy Moore, Bob Kettle and Dan Strauss — listed public safety as one of their main priorities on their campaign websites and pledged to expand the police department or provide it with more funding. Roughly 65% of Seattle residents said in September that they would vote for a city council member candidate who plans to increase the Seattle Police Department (SPD), and 68% said they viewed homelessness as a major issue, according to a poll conducted by Crosscut and Ellway.
Only 63% of residents in Seattle reported that they feel safe in the city, while many listed crime as their top concern in the area, according to a survey conducted by the SPD. Meanwhile, the department only has 931 officers available for deployment which is the lowest number in over 30 years, KOMO News, a local outlet, reported in October.
Members of the Seattle City Council initially pushed for police reductions in 2020 as Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots gripped the city, with seven of the nine in office at the time advocating to reduce the department budget by 50%. BLM protesters created a riot camp in Seattle — the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) — where they occupied roughly six blocks in the city’s downtown area for several months and prevented police officers from entering the zone, resulting in “lawlessness” and violent crime.
Violent crime in Seattle jumped roughly 20% between 2020 and 2022, the most recent year available for statistics in the city, according to data from the SPD. At least 53 people have already been murdered since January, the most violent on record in over 15 years and the most the city has had in one year since 2020.
Each of the seven districts have counted between roughly 40% to 50% of the estimated eligible votes, with three leading candidates within less than 500 votes ahead of their challengers, the unofficial results showed on Monday. Candidates with stronger stances on public safety continued to lead, although the race remained close as of this writing.
The KCE did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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