It’s summer time in Whatcom County, but don’t forget about voting while you’re soaking up the sunshine. Monday, July 3, is the last day in Whatcom County to register to vote online or by mail for this year’s primary election. This year’s election on Tuesday, Aug. 1, may be a bit confusing, so be sure to stay informed about candidates and registration dates.
Primary Election: Important Dates
-Any resident who has not registered in Washington by July 3 may still register until Monday, July 24, but must do so in person at the County Auditor’s Office, located at 311 Grand Ave. #103. After July 3, those already registered to vote will be unable to change the address on your ballot until the end of the election. The county auditor encourages voters to update their addresses at the Wash. Secretary of State voter registration website.
-On Wednesday, July 12, ballots will be mailed out and accessible voting units will be available. Ballot drop boxes will be located at the Western bookstore, the Sehome Haggen, Meridian Street and Whatcom Community College.
Visit the County Auditor’s website for more information on locations.
-The primary election will be held Tuesday, Aug. 1, for Whatcom County Council, Bellingham City Council, and Port of Bellingham commissioner seats. The top two candidates advance to the general election on Nov. 7.
-The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7. The deadline for mail-in and online registration and address changes is Monday, Oct. 9. Voting units will be available in the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office beginning Wednesday, Oct. 18 and new Washington state voters only may register in person until Monday, Oct. 30.
This year, county council member positions will be distributed differently as the redistricting of Whatcom County has gone into effect. There are now five districts instead of three:
District 1 — South Bellingham, District 2 — North Bellingham, District 3 — Foothills, District 4 — Farmlands, District 5 — Coastal.
This leaves seven county council member positions, one for each district plus two council members elected at large. Whatcom County as a whole will elect the two council members at large, and each of the five new districts will vote for one council member to represent them.
The positions being filled in the primary election are:
County Council Districts 2 and 3, Port of Bellingham Districts 1 and 2, City of Bellingham Council at large, positions in the City of Blaine, Meridian School District 505 director District 2 and Water District 13 commissioner.
Here are all candidates for the 2017 general and primary elections for positions in Whatcom County Council, Bellingham City Council and the Port of Bellingham.
Whatcom County Council
All positions: four-year term
District 1 candidates: Rud Browne, Philip J. Morgan
District 2 candidates: Daniel Collick, Todd Donovan, Amy Glasser
District 3 candidates: Rebecca Boonstra,Tyler Byrd, Cliff Langley
Council at-large candidates: Barry Buchanan, Mary Kay Robinson
The District 1 office and council member at-large position A will be filled following the general election on Nov. 7. An election will be held in 2019 to fill the remaining district offices and council member at-large position B.
Bellingham City Council
Ward, court judge candidates: four-year term
At-large candidates: two-year term
Council at-large candidates: Eric Bostrom, Jean Layton, Roxanne Murphy
Council Ward 2 candidates: Gene Knutson
Council Ward 4 candidates: Pinky Vargas
Council Ward 6 candidates: Michael Lilliquist, Quenby Peterson
Bellingham Municipal Court candidates: Debra Lev
Port of Bellingham — commissioners elected to four-year term
District 1 candidates: Current President Dan Robbins, Michael Shepard, Nicholas Kunkel
District 2 candidates: Ken Bell, Doug Karlberg, Barry Wenger
Elections are also being held for the cities of Ferndale, Lynden, Blaine, Everson, Nooksack and Sumas, and a variety of school and fire districts. For the full list, visit this website.
For general information about the upcoming election and individual candidates, visit the County Auditor’s website here.