Pierce County's Prop 1 still too close to call

TACOMA, Wash. -- A proposition that would increase Pierce Transit funding by raising local sales tax is still too close to call, and officials say it could be days or even weeks before the final result is known.

Pierce Transit buses are running on time with a full schedule this week, but if Proposition 1 fails, night and weekend service could soon be gone.

That idea isn't sitting well with the Pierce County residents who count on the service.

"It's got me worried real bad," said rider Joe Aaron. "I'm totally worried about it. I hope they don't."

The proposition would fund Pierce Transit by raising the sales tax 3 cents for every $10 spent. A lot of locals don't like the idea, and they showed that displeasure at the ballot box.

The first returns Tuesday evening showed the measure losing by more than 1,600 votes, but that margin has narrowed to just over 800 by Thursday morning.

Those sitting on the bus are sitting on the edge waiting to learn their fate.

"How am I supposed to get to work and support my family," said bus rider Kashawn Johnson.

Riders say retailers should worry about customers at night and on the weekends heading into the busy holiday season.

"Why would anybody bother to go to the stores or take their kids there if you can't get home with it," said bus rider Mike Mitchum

Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson said it could be weeks before officials have every last vote tallied, including those coming from members of the military currently serving overseas.

"The closer it is, the longer you have to wait," she said. "It could be right up until the day before certification that we know we have all the ballots in and counted.

On top of that, if the final tally ends up close enough, the losing side could request a recount, as long as they're willing to pay the $200,000 bill.