Presidential primary ballots to be mailed across Whatcom County


Ballots for the upcoming presidential primary were scheduled to be mailed to all 160,021 registered Whatcom County voters starting February 21, with an election day deadline set Tuesday, March 12.

Voters will be asked to choose who they want in the race for the nation’s presidency, in what is appearing likely to be a rematch of the 2020 election with incumbent Joe Biden to face former President Donald Trump in the November general election.

Presidential primary elections in Washington state require voters to declare an affiliation with either the Democratic or Republican party in order for their primary vote to count. Voters do not have an option to identify as unaffiliated or independent, and their party choice will not affect how they can vote in future elections.

Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips will appear alongside Biden on the Democratic ballot, while former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley joins Trump as the only two actively campaigning Republican candidates on the ballot.

A number of candidates who announced the suspension of their campaigns after Washington state submission deadlines will also be on the primary ballots.

Democrat candidate Marianne Williamson, and Republicans Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy will appear on the primary ballot, despite all dropping out of the race in recent weeks.

Ballots can be returned as soon as they are received, and will be accepted by mail or in official ballot drop boxes by 8 p.m. March 12. Stamps are not needed to mail a ballot, but must be postmarked by March 12.

Blaine’s ballot box is located at the Blaine Public Library parking lot at 610 3rd Street, Birch Bay’s drop-off is at the North Whatcom Fire and Rescue parking lot at 4581 Birch Bay-Lynden Road, and Custer’s drop-off is located at Custer Elementary School, 7660 Custer School Road.

People may register to vote until 8 p.m. Election Day. Whatcom County residents who would like to register to vote or update their voter registration may do so online, at, by Monday, March 4. Starting Tuesday, March 5, people must visit the auditor’s office to register to vote or update their information.

Voters should receive a ballot by Tuesday, February 27 at the latest, according to the auditor’s office. Registered voters who don’t receive a ballot should contact the auditor’s office.

The auditor’s office will hold the following public meetings at its election center in the auditor’s office. The meetings are subject to change, and updated information will be available at and by calling the office.

• Logic and accuracy test of ballot counting equipment at 11 a.m. Monday, February 26

• A hand count of six randomly selected ballot batches at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 14

• A risk-limiting audit at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 20

• A canvassing board meeting/review challenged ballots at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 21

• A canvassing board meeting/certification of election at 10 a.m. Friday, March 22

The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office can be contacted at 360/778-5102, or by visiting the auditor’s office at 311 Grand Avenue, suite 103, in Bellingham. 


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