The Seattle Times reports a $60 million typo in Voters' Pamphlet on October 24, 1989.

  • By Alyssa Burrows
  • Posted 12/25/2002
  • Essay 4087

On October 24, 1989, The Seattle Times reports a typo in the November 1989 Voters' Pamphlet that causes a ballot measure for King County Parks to ask for $60 million more than intended.


King County Proposition 2, a proposal to buy open space and corridors on which to develop parks and trails, asked voters to approve a $117.6 million bond. The 1989 November general election voters' pamphlet, mailed to hundreds of thousands of voters, states that the measure asks for $177.6 million.

Gene Duvernoy, campaign manager for the Citizens for Open Space Committee, asked county elections supervisor Bob Bruce to mail postcards noting the correction to voters.

I Am Sorry, But My Lawyer Says...

Bob Bruce apologized for the mistake. He said he was considering adding a footnote to the official Notice of Elections published in the newspapers and posted at all polling places, but that the prosecutor's office had advised him that he was legally exempt from having to make a postcard mailing since the typo appeared in the explanatory paragraph, not in the ballot title. He said the cost of mailing the postcards would be $200,000 in postage alone.

It Wins Anyway

On November 7, 1989, voters approved Proposition 2 by a two to one ratio at the polls, despite the typo.


"$60 Million Goof in Voters' Pamphlet Irks Group," The Seattle Times, October 25, 1989, p. D-1.

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