By Jami Makan
The August 6 primary election is approaching, giving voters a chance to vote for candidates running for various offices in Whatcom County.
Offices up for primary election of interest to Point Roberts voters include Whatcom County executive, Whatcom County Council district 5, and Blaine school district director districts 2 and 4.
The goal of the primary election is to narrow the field of candidates. A primary election is only held for offices for which three or more candidates have filed. (Exceptions are park and recreation districts and cemetery districts; positions for these districts advance directly to the general election.) After a primary election, the two candidates with the most votes continue on to the general election, which takes place on November 5.
Those who wish to vote in the primaries must be registered to vote. One can register online at sos.wa.gov. A Washington state driver license or ID is required. Alternatively, one can print and mail registration forms, which are available in a variety of languages. A third option is to visit the Whatcom County auditor’s office during business hours, where a clerk can assist with the registration process. The office is located at 311 Grand Avenue, suite 103 in Bellingham. It is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The deadline to register online is Monday, July 29. Similarly, mailed registration forms must be received at the Whatcom County auditor’s office by July 29 in order to be processed. The deadline to register in-person is later; one can register up to and including election day.
Ballots were mailed out on July 17 and usually arrive three to five days after mailing. (Military and overseas ballots were mailed on June 21.) Ballots must be postmarked by primary election day in order to be counted. Alternatively, ballots can be placed in a designated drop box. Drop boxes will open on July 17 and close at 8 p.m. on primary election day. A map of ballot drop box locations is available online at whatcomcounty.us. No stamp is needed.
For voters with disabilities, accessible voting units will be available starting on July 17 at 311 Grand Avenue, Suite 103 in Bellingham. Large print ballots are available upon request.
Various resources are available on Whatcom County’s website, whatcomcounty.us. These include a sample ballot and an online voters’ guide. Those with questions or concerns about the primary election can contact Whatcom County’s election division at 360/778-5102 during business hours.