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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

December 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Huge win for Seattle council districts; narrow loss for public financing

District Elections

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SeattleProp1

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Two Seattle ballot measures seeking to shake up City Council elections fared quite differently at the polls.

The proposal to elect most councilmembers by geographic districts — Charter Amendment 19 — won big throughout the city.

An analysis of precinct vote returns by The Seattle Times’ Justin Mayo shows the districts measure lost in only five of Seattle’s 952 precincts. The proposal received nearly 66 percent support citywide. The result was a surprising turnaround for Seattle, which had repeatedly rejected similar measures in the past.

Seattle Prop. 1, which would have enacted a public-financing system for City Council candidates, failed narrowly — the ‘no’ side won just 50.4 percent of the vote.

The measure had broad support in many areas, winning more than 60 percent of the vote in Capitol Hill, Wallingford, Fremont, the Central District, Ravenna and the University District.

Its broadest opposition was in West Seattle, Fauntleroy and Magnolia.

The narrow loss means a similar plan could be back on the ballot as early as next year. Rory O’Sullivan, a spokesman for the Prop. 1 campaign said backers are considering all options — including possibly expanding the measure to apply to mayoral contests.

“I think the message we found is that there is a lot of energy behind this issue, a lot of energy to go forward,” O’Sullivan said.

Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: district elections, public campaign financing, seattle city council

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