After gay marriage ballot initiatives have suffered 32 defeats, polling in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota gives hope that 2012 one or more of these states might just create a significant the a turning point in the history of the marriage equality movement.
Some are even wondering which will be first to claim the rainbow brass ring? East coast states have the advantage of earlier poll closing times.
Washington state has factor however that is highly likely to mean Evergreen staters will be turning in without a definitive verdict from the people: voting by mail.
All ballots that are post-marked by Nov. 6th will be counted... eventually.
Getting this information out there may save people unnecessary angst, drama and rending of garments. The vote will be close we all know it. And it will be important that all the mail-in ballots that are POST-MARKED by Nov. 6 get counted.
Obviously the marriage equality side has been aggressive about banking as many mail-in votes as possible (as I'm sure their opponents have too). But there will be little conclusions to be made on Tuesday night about what a "no-verdict" means.
It won't mean marriage equality lost. It won't mean much except there will still be a lot of votes in the hopper to be counted. In close elections, it is common to not know the outcome for as much as a week after the election.
Tuesday night, Washington counties will "drop" their pre-counted and in-person voting. But many more will be left for counting the next day.
"Be prepared for several days of vote counting," Washington United for Marriage Campaign manager Zach Silk says, "it's likely to be a long few days, not just a long night."
Washington's Secretary of State website is a quick, responsive, easy to navigate and well-maintained resource.