BELLINGHAM - With close to 70,000 countywide ballots now tabulated as of Wednesday, Nov. 7, a proposition to expand the Port of Bellingham commission to five members is still facing defeat by a 51-49 percent margin.
That was the margin after the initial vote count on Election Night, and the Wednesday tally of about 9,000 more votes resulted in almost no change.
A glance at precinct-by-precinct results across the county shows the port commission expansion measure getting majority approval inside the city limits of Bellingham, but it is being rejected in all but a handful of precincts in the smaller cities and unincorporated areas.
The Whatcom County Auditor's office estimates thousands of ballots remain to be counted. The expansion measure would have to overcome a deficit of more than 1,300 votes to shift the outcome.
The countywide port district is now governed by three commissioners elected from the same three districts that choose County Council members. The expansion proposition asked voters to approve carving up the county into five port commissioner districts, with two new commissioners to be chosen at the polls in November 2013.