5 Things To Know About Today’s Election In Our State

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(flag image courtesy washington.gov)

(flag image courtesy washington.gov)

GOP LOSING STREAK OVER?
Rob McKenna, the state’s attorney general, is trying to become the first Republican to win a gubernatorial race in Washington since John Spellman prevailed in 1980. Polling shows McKenna and former Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee are essentially tied heading into Election Day. To prevail, McKenna will need to do well in voter-rich King County.

IS THE EVERGREEN STATE THAT GREEN?
Washington voters will decide whether to possibly make Washington the first state in the nation to legalize recreational pot use. Initiative 502 would establish a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and retail stores for adults over 21. If the measure passes, look for a state-federal fight, as Uncle Sam still backs the drug’s prohibition.

GAY MARRIAGE
Referendum 74, if passed, would uphold a same-sex marriage law passed earlier this year by state lawmakers. A win for R-74 would mean gay couples could start picking up marriage certificates and licenses Dec. 6.

STATE SENATE CONTROL
Democrats now control the Legislature’s upper chamber by a 27- to 22-seat margin. Republicans are looking to flip enough seats to tilt the Senate back to their favor. Democrats hope to hold on, or even expand their advantage to shed the influence of conservatives in their ranks, which has made their control of the Senate tenuous.

WILL WE HAVE A WINNER?
While most of the country will know who won major races Tuesday night, there’s a decent chance Washington residents won’t learn who ultimately prevailed in close races like the gubernatorial contest for days. That’s because mail-in ballots in the state only have to be sent by Nov. 6. Hundreds of thousands of ballots will remain to be counted after Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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