Volunteers for the Nikkita Oliver mayoral campaign are scouring Seattle for residents whose votes remain uncounted because of problems with their ballots in an attempt to close an increasingly tight race between Oliver and her nearest opponent, Cary Moon.
The process, called “curing,” allows people who erred while filling out their ballot to fix their mistakes and get their vote counted.
Issues with ballots could include filling it out with the wrong color of ink or an unconfirmed signature.
By Aug. 8, Jenny Durkan led the race with 28 percent of the vote. Cary Moon came in second, with 17.6 percent, followed by Oliver at 16.9 percent. The top two candidates in the primary advance to the November general election.
Oliver trailed Moon by less than 1 percent, just 1,362 votes behind. King County Elections reported 1,813 outstanding signature challenges in Seattle, and roughly 1,600 “alternative format” ballots in all of King County.
To edge out Moon, most of the uncounted ballots would need to originate from Seattle voters, and Oliver would need to take the vast majority.
In a statement released Aug. 7, the campaign signaled optimism and a commitment to continue fighting for the election until the last ballot was counted.
Even if Oliver doesn’t make it to the general election, the campaign’s goal to raise up new issues and voices has been accomplished, Oliver said in the statement.
“Because people see themselves in our campaign, we’ve activated folks who would otherwise not have participated in the political process,” Oliver said
“Because people see themselves in our campaign, we’ve activated folks who would otherwise not have participated in the political process,” Oliver said. “We’ve fundraised the second most amount of any mayoral candidate with over 1,200 donors. So while today marks the closest we’ve been to moving on, we’ve arrived this moment after months of hard work.”
Oliver entered the race earlier than many of her opponents. Most candidates declared their candidacies only after it became clear that Mayor Ed Murray would not run as a result of allegations of sexual abuse of teenagers in the 1980s.
Her reputation as an organizer, educator, attorney and artist preceded her, and she had an energized following from the outset.
Her campaign message was strongly anti-displacement at a time when an increasing number of households, particularly in communities of color, are under pressure from rising rents and gentrification in areas to which they were confined by racist redlining practices in the early- and mid-20th century.
She also focused strongly on the needs of marginalized communities,
including the homeless population, which continues to grow despite the tens of millions of dollars in resources directed from the city of Seattle and King County to get people indoors.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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