"You're driving up from redwood country, in the most beautiful park in America ... and when it's not on your radar, you have no idea it exists," says photographer H. Lee — referring to the marijuana industry that has proliferated, though unofficially, in that region of Northern California.
"I just phoned our son up in Bellingham and said, get ready for the wedding."
Washington United for Marriage has declared victory in the same-sex marriage referendum. Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote last night.
“This is a clear win,” the group's campaign manager Zach Silk said in a press release.
“We have run the numbers every which way, and we can now confidently say that we have won. This is an historic day for Washington, an historic day for our country and, most of all, for families across the state who have dreamed of this day and the wedding celebrations to come.”
So far, official “Yes” votes have a slight advantage of 52 to 48 percent. Counties were expected to post additional vote results Wednesday afternoon.
However the group said in the press release:
With 60 percent of the vote counted, R74 already has the support of 65 percent of King County and is performing well in key Eastern Washington counties. Simply put, it’s now impossible for opponents to overcome the 52-48 percent spread for R74.
Video: KPLU videographer David Kellogg captured the hopes and tensions of election night as one same-sex couple waited for elections results:
Washington joined Colorado in voting to become the first states to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use, but people shouldn't expect to be able to buy a bag of legitimate weed any time soon.
Nor should they expect the law to go into effect with out a fight with federal law agencies, said Sam Kamin, professor of law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
“My gut feeling is that the federal government won’t currently tolerate the commercial recreational sale of marijuana, that is they will not allow it to be regulated like alcohol. That just seems a bridge too far,” he said.
Seattle voters have approved a $290 million, 30-year bond measure to rebuild the seawall along the downtown waterfront on Elliott Bay.
And King County voters have approved a $119 million, six-year renewal of a levy to pay for fingerprint processing system for law enforcement. The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/RPHYiZ ) the two measures will increase property taxes on a $360,000 home in Seattle by $68 a year. The seawall is a necessary part of the project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel and renovated Seattle waterfront.
Transcript of President Obama's victory speech in Chicago. Source: Federal News Service
Editor's Note: NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future.
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: (Chanting.) Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
Washington state's race for governor remains too close to call, with hundreds of thousands of ballots left to count.
Early results Tuesday night showed Democrat Jay Inslee with a slight lead over Republican Rob McKenna. The two candidates have been competing in one of the most watched and most expensive gubernatorial races in the country, with the campaigns and outside political groups raising and spending some $40 million in the race.
Washington voters are narrowly approving same-sex marriage in the state, following the lead of voters in Maryland and Maine, where ballot measures on same-sex unions also are holding slim leads.
With about half of the expected vote counted Tuesday night, Referendum 74 was passing with 53 percent of the vote.
The referendum asked voters to approve or reject the state's new law legalizing same-sex marriage. That law was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire earlier this year, but it's been on hold pending the election's outcome.
Americans elected Barack Obama to a second term Tuesday, with the president capturing or on the verge of winning all of the key states that had been at the center of his hard-fought campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.
"Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you," Obama said early Wednesday at a speech before thousands of supporters in Chicago. "I have learned from you. And you've made me a better president.
Still unsure how you want to spend your evening as the exit polls arrive? KPLU has you covered. We have aggregated multiple events around Seattle tonight, so take your pick or enjoy an evening of bar hopping around the city.
A look at preliminary results from exit polling in Washington state conducted by Edison Media Research for The Associated Press and television networks:
ECONOMY: Washington voters were focused on the economy with a majority calling it the top problem facing the country — though more voters say it's on the mend than think it's getting worse. Just over 1 in 5 say the economy is now excellent or good.
-- Starting between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., we'll be live-blogging. Not here in The Two-Way, but right on the homefront of NPR.org and on our "Election Night 2012" results page. If all goes as planned, our updates should flow on to your screen automatically.
People in Seattle City Hall live and breathe politics. For the past few months, they’ve also been able to eat politics. Obama and Romney sugar cookies have been selling well at the City Grind Espresso stand at Seattle City Hall, although owner Jon Streeter says there hasn't been quite the same hype as in 2008.
"They've been steady, and I think there are more places to get them, so I think overall they're probably selling as well, but for us they're not nearly the big deal they were four years ago," Streeter said.
As the voting day has progressed, we've seen some reports of irregularities.. Throughout the day, we'll be surveying our reporters and other news organizations and keep track of significant irregularities in this post.
So far, the big problem has been long lines. Some voters have had to wait hours in line to cast their ballot in battleground states like Florida and Virginia and those affected by Superstorm Sandy like New York.
This is the first presidential election in which no one in Washington is voting in a voting booth. Lots of people prefer voting by mail – it’s convenient, they don’t have to rush from work to get to the polls before they close. But in downtown Seattle, KPLU found lots of people who wax nostalgic for the good old days of voting in person - among them, Terri Vail, Antonio Hicks, Brad Bloomquist, and Peter Orange.
An alleged case of ballot tampering in Oregon’s Clackamas County has implications for races statewide. Officials say a volunteer elections worker is suspected of marking votes for Republicans in races a voter had left blank.
Clackamas County is considered a key swing area in statewide races in Oregon. It's also home to several hotly contested legislative districts that could determine the balance of power in the Oregon House.
**Refresh this page often for the latest updates.**
A quick head's up on what this is. The Battleground is an aggregation of NPR member stations' content produced during election night. It's curated by the staff at NPR Digital Services, including Eric Athas, Teresa Gorman, Will Snyder, Kim Perry and Erin Teare Martin. The list of participating stations and states is posted at the bottom.
On the final day of the 2012 campaign for the White House, President Obama and Mitt Romney are making the last push for votes in states each believes critical to achieving the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory.
Obama was scheduled to campaign in three swing states, while Romney had events planned in four. The only overlap was in Ohio, considered the linchpin of the election.
All you political junkies with iPhones and Android devices … there’s an app waiting for you.
The election results mobile app from the Washington Secretary of State’s office will give you up-to-date results for all federal, state and local races. The secretary of state’s office released the iPhone app two years ago and added the Android one this year because of strong demand.
The final days of an election cycle bring an obsession with the short term — the very short term. Daily tracking polls. A relentless get-it, post-it, blog-it news cycle. Trending topics on Twitter telling us something (though it's not always clear what).
But for just a moment, let's slow it down, look at what's happening over a somewhat longer time frame, and see what it tells us about what the country will look like for the winner of the presidential race.
Tuesday, as those who follow politics probably know, is Election Day. The battle between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney has been contentious, expensive, personal, illuminating, ugly, frustrating, petty, enlightening and, above all, long. And it is expected to be close.
This week's Political Junkie column is an attempt to guide you to what's at stake on Tuesday, both in the contest for the White House as well as the 33 Senate and 435 House seats on the ballot.