Several issues on Washington state’s ballot this November garnered national attention. One of the biggest was an initiative that proposed mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically engineered ingredients. A similar initiative failed to pass in California in 2012, and food companies spent millions of dollars to prevent it from passing in Washington.
Another issue in the spotlight was the town of SeaTac’s minimum wage. Washington has the highest minimum wage in the country at $9.19 an hour, and preliminary election results have shown that the proposed increase to $15 an hour for hotel and airport workers in SeaTac will go through.
Voters in some parts of Oregon decided on issues directly affecting their daily lives. In Damascus, residents were voting whether or not to disincorporate. Though the majority of votes received were “yes” votes, the measure had to win a majority of registered voters. It fell short by less than 800 votes.
Residents of Curry, Polk, and Columbia counties voted down public safety levies. Similar proposals also failed in May. The votes failed despite findings from a recent survey that showed crime is the biggest concern of residents of Southern Oregon.
Which issues were you watching closely this election season?
- Amelia Templeton: Reporter for OPB
- Erik Hidle: County reporter for The Columbian
- Jim Brunner: Political reporter for The Seattle Times
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017