Election results certification yields a victory for the SeaTac minimum wage increase, litigation already underway

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

November 27, 2013

By Josh Altic

The highly contentious measure in the small city of SeaTac was one of the most narrow races on the November ballot. Although, according to initial counts, the proposition was ahead by a fair margin, the margin was reduced to as little as 19 votes in later vote count updates. Finally, on November 26, the results were certified and the measure was declared approved by a margin of only 77 votes, with 3,040 voting for the measure and 2,963 voting against it. Prop 1 had fallen into the national spotlight because it was the first municipal ballot measure that sought to raise the minimum wage; Prop 1 asked voters to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Many living-wage advocates think this measure might be the beginning of local movements, across the state and across the nation, to increase legally mandated wages of low-rank employees.[1]

Proposition 1 had produced a very disproportionately well funded battle in the small city of SeaTac. In the city of only 12,100 registered votes, support and opposition campaigns had received contributions totaling $1,585,763. This amounts to $131.05 per registered voter and, with the projected voter-turnout of 55%, this figure rises to about $238 per vote. Evidence of the strong support and opposition to this measure was also given by the litigation that already surrounds it. The measure drew an attack early on, when opponents, including Alaska Airlines and the Washington Restaurant Association, filed a lawsuit questioning the validity of the petition signatures used to qualify the measure for the ballot. After the election, even before results were certified, the same opponents have filed another lawsuit claiming the measure is unenforceable and lies outside the power of the city and the city's voters.[2][3]