Voters in Washington approved I-1183 by a 59:41 margin – yes, 1,111,999; no, 779,455. The measure will take effect June, 2012. The margin was higher than recent polls had suggested, perhaps partly because of the state’s financial woes. I’m inclined also to credit Ken Burns’ documentary series on Prohibition for part of the yes vote. That series tended to mark Washington’s monopoly liquor sales system as archaic and unnecessary. CostCo is said to have spent over 22 million dollars on TV ads favoring the measure; liquor distributors – wishing to retain the favorable economics of state control – ponied up about half that much for TV ads against. It is said to have been the most expensive pre-election campaign in the state’s history.
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