After this afternoon's vote count, Nick Licata aide Lisa Herbold remains slightly behind Joe McDermott aide Shannon Braddock by just 95 votes in the tight West Seattle District One race. Herbold took 51 percent of today's count which is actually a reversal of her upward trend; Herbold had been steadily increasing her percentage take of each batch, going from 46.48 of the initial election night count to taking 55.7 of last Friday's count, for example.
Friday's count had put Herbold at 49.54 percent overall, trailing Braddock by just 104 votes—and apparently setting Herbold up for another last-minute win. Herbold, seen as the antiestablishment candidate to Braddock's establishment pet, came from behind to win the August primary over Braddock.
The two candidates—I'd call Herbold a populist and Braddock a liberal—are now locked at 49.99 to 49.57, slight advantage Braddock with about 3,000 ballots left to count. (PubliCola endorsed Herbold.)
King County Elections counted just 449 ballots in the Braddock/Herbold race today and the reversal of the trend could be explained by the fact that they have started to count a "blend" of ballots according to spokeswoman Kim Van Ekstrom—meaning many of the ballots they counted today were hard-to-read ballots (with cross outs and notes from voters, for example) that have come in over the course of the whole election. The elections division starts on day one with the easiest ballots to process, setting aside the damaged and trickier ones for now.
The latest count was similarly out of sync with the trend in the Southeast Seattle District Two race, where two-term incumbent Bruce Harrell had been quickly losing ground to challenger Tammy Morales; she had gotten 55 percent of the last count on Friday, for example, pulling her to within 378 votes. (This, after getting 44.9 percent on opening night.)
However, Morales got just 46.6 percent of today's count of just 339 ballots, and she now trails by 401 votes with an estimated 2,500 ballots to count.