It’s official: McCain, Obama win here

John McCain and Barack Obama may not care much by now, but it’s official: They won the Island County presidential primary votes for, respectively, the Republicans and Democrats.

The Auditor’s Office still had 20 votes to count Tuesday, but got the job done Wednesday as the Feb. 19 primary election was signed, sealed, certified and delivered to the state treasurer’s office by the canvassing board.

County results reflected the statewide vote in Washington. In Island County, the Republicans heavily favored McCain, giving him 5,779 votes while Mike Huckabee received 2,220 and Mitt Romney 1,693. Voters here showed some interest in minor Republican candidates, with Ron Paul receiving 501 votes, Rudy Giulani 95, Fred Thompson 95, Alan Keyes 35 and Duncan Hunter 21.

Island County Democrats were partial to Obama, who easily outdistanced Hillary Clinton, 6,604 to 4,862. John Edwards attracted 216 votes, Dennis Kucinich 89, Bill Richardson 38, Joe Biden 33 and Christopher Dodd 11.

In local elections conducted along with the presidential primary, the official vote count showed North Whidbey Fire and Rescue’s levy proposal lost with 70.1 percent of voters against it. The hope was to raise the levy to $1 per thousand from 66 cents per thousand, but 3,120 voted no and only 1,328 voted yes.

Voters on South Whidbey were much more amendable to tax increases. The school district’s three levies passed, all with more than 60 percent of the vote even though only 50 percent was needed. The levies will fund maintenance and operation, transportation and technology.

South Whidbey Park and Recreation also found success, with 65 percent of voters favoring continuation of a 15 cent per thousand maintenance and operation levy, while 60.55 percent supported a $1.6 million bond issue for capital improvements. Those proposals needed at least 60 percent support to pass.

Voter turnout in Island County was 58 percent. There were 25,027 ballots counted and 355 were rejected.

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