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Library bond vote still too close to call
ARLINGTON Advocates for a new Arlington Library were holding their breath Monday waiting for the final 50,000 or so county-wide ballots to be counted, hoping there will be enough positive votes to reach the 60 percent supermajority required by state law.
As of Monday evening at 5:30 p.m., the count was 59.37 percent in favor of a new library.
We just jumped almost a whole percentage point, said George Boulton, coordinator of the Community for a New Arlington Library campaign.
The $8.1 million bond request would add 20,000-square-feet of new library to be built across Washington Avenue from the current library, which was built in 1986.
The auditor told me last week that it is reasonable to assume that all ballots will be counted by the end of the day Monday, said Mary Kelly, community relations manager for the Sno-Isle Library System. But Bob Terwilliger was not so encouraging.
Terwilliger said the county had about 50,000 55,000 ballots to process as of 2 p.m. Monday, and might finish 30,000 by the end of the day.
We are sorting through the uncountable ballots, he said. There are some who didnt sign their ballots. There are those whos signature doesnt match the one we have on record, and there are about 1,000 ballots with problems, such as a vote for both candidates in one race, Terwilliger said adding they call all the voters that sent the uncountable ballots and give them the opportunity to prove their identity, but about half of them dont return the call.
Boulton said they counted 18,000 votes on Saturday which contributed to a slight increase in the percentage for the library, so he was feeling optimistic. By Monday evening they were up to 59.37 percent
Terwilliger said he has noticed a distinct pattern among the 39th District ballots.
In most of the 39th District races the spread gets wider with each additional report.
Nonetheless, Boulton continued to think positive.
Its looking good, he said as he was trying to keep his mind busy working in his garage.
I cant get it out of my head, Boulton said. Ive been dreaming about it every night. Boulton said he couldnt imagine a more positive campaign effort.
It goes without saying that the campaign was a huge team effort, he said. We had a group of about 30 people who met regularly and contributed ideas and a lot of time, he said noting that in the two months of campaigning, he never met a single person against the library.
The thing most on his mind, he said, is those 2,680 people who voted no.
I just really wonder who they are, he said. And why are they not willing to give up one tank of gas for the benefit of the community. Were never going to get a new library for less money.
A member of the campaign as well as the Arlington Library Board, Karen Hopson was walking on the beach at Ocean Shores Monday.
I dont want to say anything yet. Im just trying to think positive thoughts, Hobson said.
As of Monday, 29,000 votes countywide remained to be counted. The election will be certified Nov. 28.