We may very well know a number of winners and losers tonight in Washington state. According to the Secretary of State's Office, 60 percent of the statewide vote is expected to be counted and posted on www.vote.wa.gov -- somewhere between 8:15 and 8:30 p.m., said state election's co-director Katie Blinn.
Don't expect any further results to come in after that first massive tally is released. That will be it for the night, save for a few smaller counties that may update their count, Blinn added.
At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the state will post an additional glut of ballots, bringing the total of statewide votes counted to 80 percent.
In King County, 1.6 million ballots were mailed Oct. 17. As of 10 a.m. this morning, the county had gotten back 746,000 ballots, of which about 500,000 will be counted tonight. The results are expected to be posted at 8:15 on www.kingcounty/gov/elections, according to King County Elections spokeswoman Barbara Ramey.
As with the state, another huge block of King County votes will be posted at 4:30 on Wednesday and again the following day at the same time.
Recent polls indicate the governor's race is a dead heat and will not likely be determined tonight -- or perhaps for days or weeks. This is due to the fact that thousands of ballots from residents who mailed in their votes yesterday or today will continue to arrive at King County Elections through the week.
Here's one primary indicator, however, to look for tonight:
If Rob McKenna is failing to garner at least 40 percent of the King County vote, which represents nearly one-third of the state electorate -- and a vast majority of them are solid Democratic voters -- this could spell trouble for the Republican.
Then again, though a Washington Poll released last week a showed Democrat Jay Inslee with a 3.5 percent lead among those who said they had already voted, a number of political analysts believe that a majority share of undecided and late-voting residents are casting their ballots for McKenna.