Voters who haven’t mailed their ballots for the 2018 midterm election are being urged to use one of 18 free drop boxes placed around Whatcom County.
Ballots must be postmarked by 8 p.m. Tuesday or deposited in the drop boxes in order to count, according to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office, which conducts local elections.
Ballots can arrive in the mail after the 8 p.m. Tuesday deadline, but they still must have a postmark before 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Postage is free, paid for by the state to encourage turnout because Washington votes entirely by mail.
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But simply mailing a ballot on Tuesday doesn’t guarantee a timely postmark.
Auditor Debbie Adelstein said in a phone interview Wednesday that if voters don’t mail their ballots by the weekend, they should drop them before 8 p.m. Tuesday into one of the ballot collection boxes.
Some 142,497 Whatcom County residents are registered to vote this year, compared with 139,813 registered voters in the Aug. 7 primary — an increase of 2,684 voters.
Registration closed Monday and the Auditor’s Office was busy with first-time applicants who registered in person, Adelstein said.
Some 54,736 ballots had been returned by 2 p.m. Thursday, according to the Auditor’s Office website.
Whatcom ballot box locations
Drop boxes close at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
▪ Acme Elementary, 5200 Turkington Road.
▪ Blaine Library, 610 3rd St.
▪ Birch Bay (North Whatcom Fire & Rescue), 4581 Birch Bay-Lynden Road.
▪ Custer Elementary, 7660 Custer School Road.
▪ Courthouse South Parking Lot, 201 Grand Ave.
▪ Deming Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Highway.
▪ Everson WECU, 106 E Main St.
▪ Ferndale City Hall 2095 Main St.
▪ Lummi Nation Administration Building, 2665 Kwina Road.
▪ Lynden Library, 216 4th St.
▪ Meridian (Laurel Grange), 6172 Guide Meridian.
▪ Kendall (North Fork Community Library), 7506 Kendall Road.
▪ Point Roberts Marketplace (8 a.m.-10 p.m.), 480 Tyee Drive.
▪ Sehome Haggens, (northeast corner of the parking lot), 210 36th St.
▪ Sudden Valley Sudden Valley Security Turnaround, Gate One.
▪ Sumas, 534 Railroad Ave.
▪ Whatcom Community College, 237 W Kellogg Road.
▪ WWU (outside Wade King Student Recreation Center), 1880 Bill McDonald Parkway.
Here’s what’s on the ballot
Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney
County Council At-Large Position B
Public Utility District 1 All Commissioner District 2
Congressional District 1 - U.S. Representative
Congressional District 2 - U.S. Representative
Legislative District 40 - State Representative Position 1
Legislative District 42 - State Senator
Legislative District 42 - State Representative Position 1
Legislative District 42 - State Representative Position 2
City of Bellingham Proposition 2018-5 Low-Income Housing Levy
Ferndale School District 502 Proposition 2018-7
Would issue $112 million in bonds for up to 22 years. Funds would be used to build and furnish a replacement for Ferndale High School, modernize the performing arts center and provide district-wide maintenance. The rate of the property tax to repay the bond will vary over its lifetime taking into account state school tax changes, local levy rates and existing bonds expiring.
According to the Ferndale schools website: “... education-related property taxes would decrease by approximately $45 in 2019 (for $300,000 assessed home value), increase by approximately $45 in 2020 and then should hold steady in 2021 and 2022. The bond rate will increase in 2023, but not by as much as the expiring 2006 bond, meaning that education-related property taxes will likely decrease. After that, over the rest of its 20-year life, bond rates will vary by only a few cents.”
Glacier Fire and Rescue Proposition 2018-4
Authorizes a regular property tax levy of 84 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
Columbia Valley Park and Recreation District Proposition 2018-6
Authorizes a property tax levy of 44 cents or less per $1,000 of assessed value for 2019-2024.
Initiative Measure No. 1631 concerns pollution
Initiative Measure No. 1634 concerns taxation of certain items intended for human consumption
Initiative Measure No. 1639 concerns firearms
Initiative Measure No. 940 concerns law enforcement
Advisory Vote No. 19 Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6269