Sunday, February 17, 2019

School Bonds and Levies for February Special Election 2019

School Bonds

A first look at the Bond and Levy Results for School Districts across WA shows good results. Important bonds in Bethel, Yelm, Kennewick, Renton, Ferndale and Yakima made the 60% 'super majority'. Some of these bond results are multi-county with split school districts. For more information check the individual county results at .

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Weather Forecasting

We are in a snow/rain winter pattern. Some forecast links:

Bellingham Forecast (Check Forecast Discussion)

U.S. Graphical Forecast (mouse over 'Loop')

PAC NW Jet Stream Forecast

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Last Weeked for the School District Elections

The complicated geometry of the three school districts requesting your support this election. Note how school districts snug borders, trail rivers, and sometimes split precincts (!!) If you have any questions whether or not you should receive a ballot, check and/or call Whatcom County Elections. Click to enlarge the map.

Please Vote. Ballots were mailed 1/23/2019 for the Ferndale SD and Nooksack Valley SD bonds as well as the Concrete SD Levy.  You should have your  ballot by now. If not, contact Whatcom County Elections. Seven drop boxes are open for this election, but like the last two Whatcom County elections, this is a 'no stamp needed' election. Fill out your ballot early, set it on your mailbox and then check to make sure your ballot has been received and is 'ready for tabulation'.  If your vote is challenged in any way, please contact Whatcom County Elections.  

In Whatcom County (as in all of WA), there is an 18 day voting period. Votes are 'tabulated' (e.g. counted) starting on election day (February 12th) for this all school funding election.  The county estimates there are ~28K voters involved in this election. ~22K of these voters are in the Ferndale SD.  This is the third attempt at passage for the Ferndale School District. If you have any questions, please call or otherwise contact Whatcom County Elections. For more information on the Ferndale School District  and Bond please see my previous posts:
 Please Vote. More information (under construction) below the break.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

More thoughts on School Bonds...

Ruminations on voting or not voting for school bonds are below. It is a big, neglected topic. I am just scratching the surface. - RMF

The activists that have been trying (dutifully) to pass a bond for the Ferndale School District are holding public meetings this month around Ferndale:
The problems Ferndale activists are having passing their school bond are now endemic to small cities and county areas in WA.  To see this, type "Bonds WA failing" into the Google search bar. Ferndale has failed to pass this bond (primarily designed to rebuild the High School) in 2014 and GE 2018.  They are trying again this month.   Reading through the committee documents the local activists, parents, advocates have produced is more than anguishing. Type "ferndale school district bond" into google or just read through this document here.  I spent the week looking at some of these problems . I think the problem set for these WA communities trying to pass school bonds in rural and small city areas has common components:

(1) Many times the  60% 'supermajority' provides an insurmountable obstacle to the passage of school bonds (not school levys) in WA State.Type "Bond WA 60% supermajority" into the Google search bar to see more on this.

(2) Anti-tax advocates have been dealt greater ammunition with (recent) accelerating property appraisals. This clearly leverages the anti-tax fears of older, retired populations, especially those on fixed incomes.

(3) There is clearly an urban Democrat vs. rural Republican split on this. The local Republican party almost never explicitly takes an anti school bond position. But many conservative and many older voters adopt anti-tax positions anyway.

(4) The supermajority bond approval rules mean that without some Republican support, school bonds will not pass in may rural school districts.

(5) For any community, the a school bond issue should be an easy pass, but school infrastructure and bond interest costs are so expensive that the residents of many smaller school districts are right to be wary of increases in property taxes.

More information, tables, charts and analysis below the break.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

School District Bond and Levy Elections

The Ferndale School District is outlined in white above . FSD has 24 full precincts and 4 partial precincts shown in shaded multi-color. FSD schools and other Whatcom County surrounding schools are labeled in white print. Click to enlarge the chart.
Post Under Construction. Please see for current information, registration deadlines, and voting periods:

"Deadline for in-person, mail-in & online registrations or address changes is January 14th"
"Ballots Mailed: January 23, 2019"
"This Special Election includes Ferndale School District 502, Nooksack Valley School District 506, and Concrete School District No. 11. "
More analysis after the break. You will need wide screen...

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Presidential Election Turnout Chart:1920:2016

An  historical Presidential Election Turnout chart. The data is  from Willem M. van der Wal Elections (R) package. Plot functions for lines: blue = lowess(), red = smooth(), purple = smooth.spline(). Click to enlarge the chart.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Last Year and Last Election Voted Percentages

From left to right: Last Year Voted Percentages from the 2018 WA VRDB for 2018, 2016, and NULL (e.g. Never Voted)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Age and Turnout in WA GE 2018


For Whatcom County and the state as a whole, age bins under 40 (with few exceptions) continue to  chose to let late GenX, Boomers and Postwar generations decide political realities. However, Whatcom County shows much greater youth participation than WA State as a whole. Furthermore, migratory patterns of youth voters suggest that housing stability or "a stable residence address" my be a strong determinant in youth voting patterns.
Whatcom County had 77% turnout of registered voters which was 5% points higher than the state average. Whatcom County also had higher turnout for Millennial and GenX age bins. Left axis is votes, bottom axis represents age bins, top and right axis represents turnout percentage per age bin as delineated by the blue line. For all of WA State, see charts below the break. Click to enlarge the charts.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Posteriors: That 42nd LD Race

The WA 42nd LD races this year can be described as bittersweet for the Democratic Party.  On the one hand, these three races were as close as the Democrats have come to Republican totals since 2010 when Kelli Linville and Al Jensen both lost close races to Jason Overstreet and Vincent Buys. In 2012, 2014 and 2016, the Democrats were shut out of the 42nd despite often ferocious and relatively expensive campaigns. Note that these numbers for this post are pre-recount totals.  The recount changed little. -RMF 11:05 AM 12/7/2018

But this year,  one narrow (981 votes) victory for Sharon Shoemake sends a lonely Whatcom Democrat to Olympia matched with Republicans Doug Ericksen and Luanne VanWerven. The Ericksen(R)/Vargas(D) contested State Senate seat which was lost by 46 votes is particularly poignant. All the more so since Pos. 2 winner Sharon Shewmake(D) had aggregated contributions and independent expenditures that were only 30% of the same for losing Senate candidate Pinky Vargas(D). Campaign expenditures were a comparatively minimal $48K for the losing Pos. 1 candidate Justin Boneau(D). Mr. Boneau lost by only 80 votes to Luanne VanWerven(R):

Friday, November 30, 2018

Recount underway for LD 42nd

The hand recount is underway for the 42nd LD. "Final" certified results are here. A chart of the November 27th "final" (before recount) results is below as is a chart of all Whatcom County Results .Wide screen will be best for the second all county chart. Click to enlarge the charts.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tuesday 11/26/2018 Certified Matchbacks for LD 42 and Whatcom County

Ahead of today's WM 3:00 PM final certified results, below the break are this mornings certified matchbacks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

One of these All County races was not like the others...

Click to enlarge. The all Democrat Erb vs. Richey Prosecutor's race defied red vs blue precinct patterns.
Analysis currently under construction, but  more charts below. Note that my data is precinct derived from 11/20/2018 and will need to be updated after certification. Also two precincts (269, 271) are 'protected' due to low participation for the Senate and County race, My totals don't reflect those precinct contributions.  Requires wide screen. Click to enlarge the charts.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday 11/19/2018 Matchbacks for LD 42 and Whatcom County

Only 150 signature issues remain to be cured in LD 42 as of 11/19/2018.  That is remarkable.
I list the signature issues remaining in LD 42 by precinct 'series' and by precinct 'decade' + residence city below the break. This post will require a wide screen.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

GE 2018 Results: The 163x Initiative Measures

As of 11/18/2018 enough results have been returned to reasonably assess the WA state county results. Below are lattice graphs and a table for WA  GE 2018 Initiative Measures labelled by 163x ranked by county. These initiative measures were:
  • 1639 Gun Control
  • 1634 Anti Grocery tax
  • 1631 Pro Carbon Tax
The top 5 counties have such larger populations than the lesser 34 that concurrent display of different volumes obscures vote patterns. I segregate the county results in four different aggregated charts as labeled below. For each county, the three rows signify  'Yes' votes for  1639,1634 and 1631, ordered from top to bottom.   Subjectively, a pattern of 1634 (red middle bar) extending beyond 1639 (top blue bar) and 1631 (bottom blue bar) would indicate a conservative vote. Subjectively, the inverse would indicate a liberal vote.  For example, in the chart below, both San Juan and Jefferson have a more "liberal profile" than either "conservative" Walla Walla or Lewis County. In reality, these are second amendment, environmentalist, and sales tax issues such that any number of mixed votes might inhabit a largely independent or non-partisan voting populace as is much of WA state. All of the counties are backed off (left) the origin (0) an equal amount to make the smaller counties seem more visible. Click to enlarge the graphs.
Liberal vs. Conservative samples

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday 11/16/2018 Matchbacks for LD 42 and Whatcom County

This is our last dance
This is ourselves under pressure
Under pressure
David Bowie from "Under Pressure"

I have heard from third party reports of those who attended the Friday Canvassing Board meeting that the Auditor wants the rest of the challenged ballots in ASAP. This  week, Thursday and Friday are the Thanksgiving Holiday. Certification is Tuesday November 27th. Check to make sure your ballot has been accepted for tabulation and/or call Elections and/or talk with your political parties. Additionally, if the Auditor/Elections has sent you any mail or left phone messages, make sure to respond ASAP.  Matchback reports below the break.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

News links for the Great Misdelivered/Undelivered, Three County Ballot Scandal....

This year I covered the four county area (SK,SJ,WM,IS) because of the pertaining appellate judicial race. In the middle of the election a "ballot scandal" developed. I think all three counties most affected recovered. Skagit is having a slow count because of a "folded ballot" issue. When SK ballots are counted, they should join the 75% turnout club as well. Here is where those four counties stand as of the evening of  11/14/2018: From

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Friday and Tuesday matchbacks for LD42

No results different than Friday tonight for Whatcom County. Friday and Tuesday's matchbacks for LD 42 are compared below.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Did You Cure Your Challenged Ballot? The Close Vote in the 42nd LD!

WA Voters will have cast over 3.1M votes by the end of next week, simply one of the most fabulous mid term elections in WA history. In Whatcom County, we have already counted more votes than any other election in our history save GE 2016!  But there is always a dark side: The larger the vote, the larger the volume of challenged ballots! Most people probably don't check after casting their vote by mail (or dropbox) ballot in WA State and they really should. Because many thousands statewide every election have their ballots challenged and many don't receive any cures! It is hard to get an accurate number for this without looking at every county matchback, so let us examine Whatcom County's matchback for VBMReturnStatus and VBMReturnChallenge for 11/13/2018 in LD 42:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Four Rs and Four Ds in GE2018

Below are Cantwell, Vargas, Shewmake, Boneau (blue overlapped)  vs. Hutchison, Ericksen, Buys, VanWerven (red overlapped) for GE 2018 as of 11/08/2016 results. Bottom chart has Clinton+Stein vs. Trump+Johnson overlays. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

WA State Projections for CD, LD, County: 11/06/2018

Terrain (light green) colored areas here generally have less than 66 votes returned per precinct after  (11.06.2018) of the WA state midterm election.  However, turnout buckets for Kitsap are incorrect on this map along with some other precincts due to some 2016/2017/2018 precinct merge issues.  For more updated news on turnout see

Over 39M have early voted in the 2018 GE as of the evening of 11/05/2018 according to Michael McDonald at the U.S. Election Project.  This morning the latest WA data came in taking WA turnout over 2.3M votes. My latest projections show Schrier just ahead of Rossi in CD 8. I also show R's winning CDs 3 - 5 handily. And unlike the reported polls for CD five (McMorris-Rodgers vs Brown), my current CD 5 projections aren't even close. What's weird about Nate Silver's 538 collection of polls for CD 8 and other WA CDs: They are widely disparate depending on the pollster!My projections are really straightforward:

sum of   ( Clinton+Stein/ (Clinton+Stein+Trump+Johnson) * (Votes Good/Precinct) )

I make no attempt to deal with changed precincts or districts between 2016 and 2018 although there have been no County, CD , LD district changes in WA since 2010 of which I am aware. There have been plenty of precinct changes in many WA counties. So in many ways, if my projection of the GE2016 contest upon current races has any value, it is update us on who has voted more at this hour. More projections below the break. 

The Ballot Statistics page is always one morning ahead of the state wide matchback data. Statewide 2,305,405 good ballots have been returned as of 11.06.2018.  The Ballot Status data is responsible for my projections. I have that data currently showing 2,234,777.


   CD  Total      D      R
 1:  1 241150 132194 105033
 2:  2 222155 134088  87683
 3:  3 238541 100594 124864 #Long(D) vs. Herrera Beutler(R)
 4:  4 165799  57961 106644
 5:  5 226772  90361 130435 #Brown(D) and McMorris Rodgers(R)
 6:  6 221468 117469  99678
 7:  7 298565 247066  45399
 8:  8 234791 114097 115203 #Schrier(D) and Rossi(R)
 9:  9 202915 144438  53457
10: 10 182621  97888  81931