Voters in Washington Tuesday rejected limits on government spending, but by Thursday morning it remained unclear whether domestic partnership rights would be expanded.
The "Everything but Marriage" measure was leading by about a 51 percent margin, with many votes still yet to be counted in King County, where it was supported by a 2 to 1 margin.
In Seattle, the race for mayor remains too close to call, while in Vancouver Tim Leavitt appears to have edged out incumbent Royce Pollard with 72 percent of precincts counted.
Dow Constantine appears to be the new King County executive, while in Vancouver, Jack Burkman, Jeanne Seward, and Jeanne Harris appear to have won their City Council seats.
The election results are not official until they are verified.
Gov. Chris Gregoire issued an immediate release last night after activist Tim Eyman conceded defeat for his bid to cap government spending on social services.
"Voters understood that this misguided proposal would have precluded our ability to recover from these extraordinarily difficult economic circumstances and would have made providing quality health care and education to our citizens virtually impossible," Gregoire said.
"Although we still face a $1.7 billion shortfall that needs to be addressed in the coming legislative session, passage of this initiative would have made the problem in the short and long term significantly worse."
"We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief tonight with the apparent defeat of Initiative 1033," said Northwest Progressive Institute Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve. "I-1033 would have trapped our state in a permanent recession, making an economic recovery impossible."
Villeneuve noted the defeat of Initiative 1033 "marks the first time voters have turned down a Tim Eyman initiative in an odd year, and it is the first time voters have consecutively rejected Eyman initiatives two years in a row on the ballot."
Meanwhile Referendum 71 supporters were optimistic that the so-called "everything but marriage" measure would pass in the final count.
"Based on the results we saw tonight, we will be making history in moving forward toward full equality for gay and lesbian Washingtonians and their families," said Approve 71 campaign Chair Anne Levinson. "It was profoundly wrong for some to try to eliminate the rights of others."
Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed reported that out of a total of 3,583,278 registered voters, voter turnout was 28.52 percent. As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, 1,021,816 ballots had been processed statewide and an estimated 389,665 remained to be counted.
To check continually-posted elections returns around the state, go to http://vote.wa.gov