Late tallies likely to take Kshama Sawant recall vote down to the wire

Dec 8, 2021, 5:26 AM | Updated: 11:50 am
Kshama Sawant recall...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Although the initial tally shows a recall vote for Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is currently passing, the end result will likely end up coming down to the wire.

Attempt to recall Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant passing in early results

As of Tuesday night, the recall is succeeding by a 53.1% to 46.9% margin, separated by roughly 2,000 votes. The November election showed us, though, that sizable late swings for progressive candidates have effectively become the norm for Seattle elections.

The prevailing theory explaining that phenomena has been a simple one: Seattle’s older, moderate, and conservative voters tend to turn in their ballots earlier, thus allowing their votes to be counted first. Conversely, younger progressive voters turn their ballots in closer to (or directly on) Election Day, leaving their votes to be counted in the final tallies.

In 2019, Sawant overcame an 8 percentage point Election Night deficit to eventually defeat challenger Egan Orion by 4 percentage points by the time all votes were counted. For the recall, things might end up being even tighter.

King County Elections says there are roughly 8,825 ballots left to tally, with final turnout ending up just short of 53%. In order for Sawant to overcome Tuesday’s early deficit, she’ll need to win around 63% of the remaining ballots at minimum.

Sawant recall could see District 3 voters buried in ballots over next two years

On Tuesday night, she expressed confidence in her chances.

“In every one of our elections, there has been a dramatic swing after election night in our direction,” she told a crowd of supporters.

It will still likely be close in the end, given that taking the requisite number of remaining ballots would only put Sawant a fraction above the 50% threshold, separated by a razor thin margin.

The next tally is expected to be announced Wednesday at 4 p.m., totaling roughly 6,000 ballots.

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Late tallies likely to take Kshama Sawant recall vote down to the wire