Tacoma voters on Tuesday said no to the controversial – and sometimes confusing – Initiative No. 1.
The passage of Initiative No. 1 would have repealed the City Councils April 23 passage of an antidiscrimination ordinance for sexual minorities.
The ordinance adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the city law that prohibits discrimination based on race, age, gender, disability, religion, marital or familial status or national origin.
According to unofficial election results from the Pierce County Auditors Office there were 17,414 no votes (58.2 percent) and 12,506 yes votes (41.8 percent).
Those in favor of Initiative No. 1 cited religious and moral objections to homosexuality, as well as concerns that small businesses would be subjected to unfair discrimination lawsuits.
Opponents of the initiative claimed sexual minorities are being discriminated against and need the protection of the law.
Some were confused by the wording of the initiative; a yes vote meant repealing the law and removing those protections for sexual minorities, while a no vote meant keeping those protection on the books.
In other results from yesterdays general election:
Tacoma Municipal Court, Position No. 1: David Ladenburg, 21,177 votes (98.25 percent), no opposition.
Tacoma Municipal Court, Position No. 2: Jack Emery, 20,709 votes (98.74 percent), no opposition.
Tacoma Municipal Court, Position No. 3: Elizabeth Verhey, 20,385 votes (98.64 percent), no opposition.
Pierce County Council, District No. 1: Shawn Bunney (R), 9,264 votes (47.29 percent); Jerry Hartley (D), 8,038 votes (41.04 percent); Jay Argo (I), 2,232 votes (11.39 percent).
Pierce County Council, District No. 5: Barbara Gelman (D), 10,605 votes (96.34 percent), no opposition.
Pierce County Council, District No. 7: Terry Lee (R), 12,089 votes (49.95 percent); Wes Pruitt (D), 10,998 votes (45.44 percent); Dough Butcher (I), 1,073 votes (4.43 percent).
State Rep. – 27th Legislative District, Position No. 1: Dennis Flannigan (D), 15,519 votes (96.66 percent), no opposition.
State Rep. – 27th Legislative District, Position No. 2: Jeannie Darneille (D), 12,481 votes (68.44 percent); William Chovil (R), 6,169 votes (31.32 percent).
State Rep. – 28th Legislative District, Position No. 1: Georganne Talcott (R), 12,393 votes (55.94 percent); Deborah Srail (D), 9,688 votes (43.73 percent).
State Rep. – 28th Legislative District, Position No. 1: Mike Carrell (R), 11,990 votes (54.48 percent); Darrell Reek (D), 9,952 votes, (45.22 percent).
State Rep. – 29th Legislative District, Position No. 1: Steve Conway (D), 11,121 votes (96.82 percent), no opposition.
State Rep. – 29th Legislative District, Position No. 2: Steve Kirby (D), 10,938 votes (96.72 percent), no opposition.
Returns from Pierce County mirrored the results from across Washington in the statewide ballot measures.
Washington voters gave a thumbs down to Referendum 51, a transportation improvement measure touted by Gov. Gary Locke and former Sen. Slade Gorton as a solution to some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation.
Sixty-four percent of voters statewide said no and 36 percent said yes to the referendum that would have raised gasoline taxes by 9 cents a gallon over two years. The referendum also would have increased vehicle sales tax and trucking fees.
The measure would have raised $7.7 billion over 10 years for highways and transportation improvements.
Initiative 776, the latest anti-tax effort from Tim Eyman, had garnered 56 percent of the vote. The initiative is a plan to roll back the cost of registering cars to an actual $30 a year in Pierce, King, Snohomish and Douglas counties.
Voters defeated Referendum 53, the Legislatures recent overhaul of unemployment insurance taxes. The new law would have imposed higher taxes on homebuilders and other small businesses.
Initiative 790, regarding the overseeing of pensions of police and firefighters, was passing.
House Joint Resolution 4220, a constitutional amendment allowing local fire districts to ask voters for multiyear special levies instead of annual levies, was leading comfortably.
In national election news, Republicans rolled to big wins, holding control of the House of Representatives and scoring key Senate victories.
There are 347,702 registered voters in Pierce County, according to the Auditors office, with 131,550 ballots (35,465 poll, 96,085 absentee) cast, for a voter turnout rate of 37.83 percent.
The next update of election results from the Auditors office is Thursday, Nov. 7, at 4 p.m.