Monday, July 24, 2017

Am I Eligible? Can I vote?

As I've been meeting and chatting around Bellingham WA this election season, more than any question about pertinent topics, has been this incredibly simple one. 

Can I vote?

The number of ways I've been asked this simple question is manifest.

Q: I'm just 18, and I'm attending college in the fall out of Bellingham. I should wait to register till I move, right?

 You could wait but right now, you are here and you likely have family here.  By all means, register now for the primary vote in Bellingham,by Monday 7/24 by 4:15pm at the County Auditor's office inside the County Courthouse on Grand Street.
Then when you move, re-register if you choose.  Unless you are certain that the move is permanent, as a college student, you can remain registered at your family home.

Q: I'm going to be living abroad for at least a year, but I'll be back before the Presidential election.  No need to register now, is there?
Local Elections are more important for your day to day involvement with government. The local choices are who handle zoning, water rights, funding for housing and much more.
Please register as an abroad voter if you have one address while abroad, or register with a US address and make sure the folks at that address send you your ballot as soon as it arrives.  You will have just enough time to get it back to count.

Q: In my past life, I made some mistakes, resulting in a felony conviction.
I've been out for years, no parole or supervision.  I've heard once a felon, never a voter again.  
Is that true?
The quick answer is if you have completed your jail sentence and have no further interactions with the criminal justice system, then your ability to vote has been restored.
From the Secretary of Washington State website:

When the right to vote is restored

  • If you were convicted of a felony in a Washington State court, your right to vote is restored automatically once you are no longer under the authority of DOC (in prison or on community custody). If you have questions about your status with DOC, call at (800) 430-9674.
  • If you were convicted of a felony in another state or in federal court, your right to vote is restored automatically as long as you are not currently incarcerated for that felony.
  • You do not lose the right to vote for a misdemeanor conviction or a conviction in juvenile court.
  • You do not need a certificate of discharge (COD) to have your voting rights restored.
The right is restored but you do need to re-register to vote.
Time to go to the County Auditor for this primary cycle or use for the general.

You can verify that you are registered on
If you are, and have lost or damaged your ballot, you can use this site to print a replacement

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Ballots are out for the primary.

It is time to express your opinion for the elected officials to guide the City, Port and County.

Each citizen has the responsibility to choose their representative to each office.

I'd like to remind you that the ballots are due in Drop Boxes on 8/1 by 8pm.
If you mail, you need to have them postmarked by 8/1, so mail by 7/30 to be sure it gets to Seattle on time.

If you have not registered yet, you have till 7/24 to register at the County Auditor in the County Courthouse on Grand Street

If you haven't received your ballot yet, make sure your registration address is correct at, and go to the County Audit.or in the County Courthouse on Grand Street to get a ballot for this election.

You can get a replacement ballot if you damaged/lost your ballot here

Don't forget to vote for Jean Layton for Bellingham City Council at Large

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Shareable Brochure

As I've been doorbelling in Bellingham, I've had citizens ask for extra brochures for friends in other areas.
So I decided to make brochure available online for sharing, the request is simple and fits well with my zero waste lifestyle.

Feel free to share at will

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lake Whatcom Reservoir - Questions asked in Endorsements

8. What strategy do you think is missing when it comes to protecting and restoring the water quality in the Lake Whatcom Reservoir?
We need to get motorboats off of our reservoir  to eliminate engine oil and fuel contamination both from use and from refueling.
We need to stop possible exposure to aquatic pests when boats are moved between water sources.The inspection process is too expensive to maintain and does not see every boat. There are other launches into our reservoir than Bloedel, all under County control.
The increase in Asian Clam contamination in Lake Whatcom will directly affect our water quality as mitigation treatment increases.

We need to ban fertilizer use in the drainage area to the lake, including banning sales in the City, and work with the County to ban sales county wide.

We need to carefully control logging and the resulting hillside flow of phosphorus from loose soil.