About 14 percent of the 105,063 ballots for the Whatcom County Aug. 1 primary election have been returned, according the auditor’s office. Ballots must be postmarked by election day and require 49 cents postage. Fifteen free drop boxes around the county are available until 8 p.m. on Aug. 1.
Only races with three candidates are on this ballot. The top two finishers from each race, along with pairs of candidates for other offices, will appear on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.
The Whatcom County Council, Bellingham City Council and Port of Bellingham offices are non-partisan.
Whatcom County Council
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Candidates for two of the county’s new five council districts, which voters approved in 2016, appear on the primary ballot. Only voters who live in the district will elect district representatives.
County Council District 2, North Bellingham, candidates are Daniel Collick, Amy Glasser and Todd Donovan. Donovan, who holds the current District 1, position B, would retain his seat until 2019 if he is not elected to the new district. If he is elected, the council would appoint a replacement for the two years remaining on his term in the old district.
Both terms are for four years. County Council members are paid $30,000 a year, plus county health benefits.
Two Port of Bellingham races are on the primary ballot. The port continues to use the old County Council districts, with one commissioner in each of three districts.
Both terms are for four years. Port commissioners are paid $8,400 a year, plus health benefits.
Bellingham City Council
The term for the at-large seat is two years. Bellingham City Council members are paid $25,000 a year, plus city health benefits.
Several other small cities and district positions are also on the ballot for voters in those districts.
The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office website has links to help you register to vote, get a ballot, find a ballot drop box and check if your ballot has been received.
Some dates to remember about the 2017 elections:
- Primary election is Aug. 1.
- Last day for registered voters to update their information for the general election is Oct. 9.
- General election ballots will be mailed Oct. 18.
- Last day for people new to the state to register to vote is Oct. 30.
- General election is Nov. 7.
See your districts online:
The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office also provides these resources:
Whatcom County district changes
Voters approved ballot measures in 2016 that changed districts starting in 2017:
- There will be five districts, instead of three.
- There will be one representative elected from each district, rather than two.
- Only voters who live in a district will vote for their representative.
- All voters will elect two at-large positions. Previously there was only one at-large position.
The districts are:
- District No. 1, South Bellingham;
- District No. 2, North Bellingham;
- District No. 3, Foothills – Chuckanut, Lake Samish, Lake Whatcom, Sudden Valley, and areas east of the Guide, including Van Zandt, Acme, Deming, Kendall, Maple Falls, Glacier;
- District 4, Farmlands – On the south end starting near Bellingham International Airport and west of Guide Meridian, Lynden, Everson, Nooksack, Sumas;
- District 5, Coastal – Lummi Island, Lummi Reservation, Ferndale, Birch Bay, Custer, Blaine, Point Roberts.