State ballot initiative to reduce class size now leads by more than 11,000 votes
OLYMPIA — A statewide initiative to lower class sizes was leading by more than 11,000 votes Friday night.
Initiative 1351 was on Tuesday’s election ballot. Ballots had to have a postmark no later than Tuesday, Nov. 4, for them to be counted.
In the latest results issued at 7:39 p.m. Friday, there were 902,596 yes votes for Initiative 1351 and 891,223 no votes — a difference of 11, 373, out of nearly 1.8 million counted.
For the latest results on this measure, click on this link to the Secretary of State’s results page.
A difference of 2,000 votes or less would trigger an automatic recount.
If I-1351 passes, the initiative requires fewer students per classroom in grades K-12. For Kindergarten through third grade, each class would be allowed no more than 17 students, and in grades 4 through 12, each class would have no more than 25 students. According to Ballotpedia.org, implementing the size restrictions would require the hiring of about 15,000 new teachers.
Critics of the initiative have argued the mandate is unfunded, and would require large cuts in other areas of the state budget, or an enormous tax increase to bring the initiative — expected to cost around $4.7 billion — to fruition.
Election results are certified by each county on Nov. 25. The Secretary of State certifies final results by Dec. 4.