It’s Election Day in Washington, with voters making choices in county and local races.
Whatcom County voters have gone to the mail-in “polls” since ballots were mailed Oct. 18 to narrow the fields for public seats including Whatcom County executive, Bellingham mayor, school boards, and county and city council seats.
Initial results from the county are expected sometime after 8 pm Tuesday. Voters have until 8 pm to drop their ballots off at one of the counties’ drop boxes.
The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office reported that 43,988 ballots from the county’s 159,573 registered voters had already been received and accepted by Tuesday. Initial results will be a partial tally of those early votes. Results from additional counts of incoming ballots are expected to be posted daily by the auditor’s office.
Results of the primary election will be certified Nov. 28.
In the meantime, check back here for a look at Election Day in Whatcom County, updated live.
Preliminary results are in.
Bellingham mayoral candidate Kim Lund reacts after hearing results from the first round of counted ballots Tuesday, Nov. 7 at an election night party at Penny Farthing in Bellingham. Lund, with 49.28% of the votes, trails the race against Seth Fleetwood, who received 50.11%.
(Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)
Whatcom County Council candidate Jon Scanlon takes a selfie with state Rep. Alicia Rule Tuesday, Nov. 7 at Hotel Leo in Bellingham. Scanlon received 55.28% of the votes in the preliminary count.
(Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)
Polls close in one minute.
Whatcom County Council candidate Mark Stremler chats with supporters during a party at Faber Construction in Lynden prior to the release of election results.
(Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)
The crowd mingles at Ponderosa Beer and Books where Bellingham City Council candidates Liz Darrow and Eamonn Collins gathered for election night. Collins received 35.73% of the votes in the preliminary count.
(Andrew Ford/Cascadia Daily News)
Voters have 45 minutes left to submit their ballots.
“The biggest thing that brought me out is the fact that I can’t afford my rent anymore. That, and I’ve been here four years now and I feel like it’s my community now,” said Arthur Marshall, 29, who brought his dog, Julius, to the ballot drop box.
Josephine Hegeberg, 28, rode to the ballot box with another person on a tandem bicycle.
When asked why the tandem, she said, “Because I convinced him to take it! And we haven’t ridden it in like a year and a half.”
About 12 cyclists in the Black Cat, a group that rides every Tuesday around Bellingham, rolled up to the downtown ballot drop box on Tuesday.
“It just happens that whenever it’s time to vote, we make a loop around the ballot box for anyone who hasn’t dropped off their ballots yet,” said Amanda Rhine, 41.
“I live in Ferndale. The school board races went from being total snoozers to absolutely sinister. There are no off years anymore. We can’t have boring politics anymore, so you’ve got no choice to be involved, and if not speak your voice, cancel out some nut job’s vote,” said Matt Hansen, 39.
Rebecca Felker, 44, showed up to vote with her dog, Tank.
“We’re local renters — we live downtown,” Felker said. “A lot of the issues are important to us. We’re lifelong Bellingham residents, so it’s really important to get involved in our civic duties.”
“I actually had a friend who was put up in the jail for a little while. It was an awful situation. He’s a mixed martial artist so no one was going to mess with him. He had a pull-up bar in his house and for his warm-ups, he’d do 200. But you don’t want to have that qualification just to go to jail,” said Myron Shekelle, 59.
Paul Nipp, 40, parked down the road from the ballot box and dropped his vote with his dog Zephyr.
“I always come out and vote,” he said.
“I’m just trying to sneak my ballot in,” said Riley White-Brainard, 37. “One time, I had just dropped off my ballot and I tripped over the curb over there and tore six ligaments in my ankle. out of work for three weeks. I really cared about the Satpal race that year. My friends at Kismet gave me a glass of wine and helped carry me to my apartment.”
“This is her first voting experience, even if she doesn’t get to vote,” Holden Hewitt, 37, said of his 4-year-old daughter, Autumn.
The two came with Elizabeth Hewitt, 35. They are new to town and walked to a downtown ballot box to drop off their vote.
The line of vehicles waiting to drop off ballots at the downtown drop box went around the block.
Dee Ebergson, 56, works for Whatcom County and said she “always votes.”
“I have voted probably 20, 25 times,” Ebergson said. “Taxes are probably the most important issue right now.”
“Honestly, I feel like a lot of the candidates have a lot of great things to say about housing, which to me is the biggest issue,” said Noble Solana Walkinshaw, 24, while voting at the Whatcom County Courthouse Tuesday night. “So I voted pretty much entirely on that and for people who seem to have a good plan to address our obvious housing crisis.”
Voters are swinging by the Whatcom County Courthouse this evening to drop off their ballots before the 8 pm deadline.