Whatcom Democrats Logo

What We Do:

  • Find and register voters who share a progressive agenda. They are among our friends, community groups, recreation clubs, work colleagues.
  • Identify a short list of crucial issues in each of our communities that will motivate people to vote.
  • Get these issues in front of people-letters to the editor, door-to-door, email, informal discussions and meetings.
  • Provide our candidates with solid, dependable tools for their campaigns. An accurate database of persuadable voters, dependable walking lists, support for mailings and canvassing-all must be in place by the campaign season.
  • Make sure every PCO understands and is trained to do the work essential to getting people elected.
  • Make sure that every voter we have identified as a supporter does vote! 

Voter Registration:
Every Vote Counts!

Do-It-Yourself Voter Registration Drive Guidelines

Know The Deadlines

The deadline for all change of address re-registrations within Washington is 28 days before an election. Anyone may register on-line.

NEW VOTERS to Washington State only, have more time – up until 8 days before an election – BUT must register in person during these last 8 days at the Whatcom County Courthouse, 311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham

Get The Forms

Print the forms off the web HERE, and read the information about registering people to vote

Pick A Location

Democrats trend lower income, more likely renters, two-paycheck families, so they are busy, more likely to have moved recently, and have little time to think about registering. Go where they go:

  • Grabbing dinner at Grocery Stores
  • Picking up kids at schools and Daycare Centers
  • Waiting for a bus
  • Food Banks
  • Transitional Housing

Young people are also strongly trending Democrat.

  • High School lunch periods
  • Bars and restaurants nears schools and colleges
  • Bus stops near campuses and park & ride lots

Get Permission

Outside, if you stay on the public sidewalk you can collect registrations without anyone’s permission, but don’t block traffic into a business, or you’ll generate complaints.

To stand in front of a business, between the door and their parking lot, you are on private property, and must get permssion. Politely check in with the management, saying that you would like to offer people the opportunity to register to vote, and see what happens. Some businesses are fine with it, others aren’t. Don’t argue, just pick another location. Most will ask you to be totally non-partisan, meaning no Democratic buttons or t-shirts. If you’ve pick a good Democratic area, non-partisan is fine.

Draw Attention

Print and post signs ON YOUR BODY or nearby so people will know what you are doing without having to ask you or you to “accost” them. Also place the poster on the back of your clipboard, and hold your clipboard so people can see it, when you don’t have customers. POSTER

Gather Your Materials

  • Clipboard (we have clipboards to loan, at the office 215 W. Holly, Suite B-27, Bellingham)
  • Forms
  • Pens
  • Posters
  • Register Everyone Who Is Interested

If someone says they’re a Republican or otherwise voting against your favorite candidates, DO NOT DENY them a registration form. Hand them a form and let them fill it out. If they want you to turn it in for them, YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO TURN IN ALL FORMS. We definitely want you to collect and turn in completed forms yourself, rather than relying on the voter to do it.


  • Check over each form before letting the new voter get away.
  • Turn In Completed Forms IMMEDIATELY
  • Bring completed forms to the Auditor’s Office or put them in the mail right away.


Call us at 360-647-7661, or call the Whatcom County Auditor At 360-676-6742.

Thank you for helping empower people to VOTE.


Have a question?

Your Vote Counts

Running for Office

Public Service and Running for Office

The Whatcom Democrats’ Candidates Committee works year-round networking and talking to prospective candidates. Their goal is to ensure that in every race in which the Whatcom Democrats wants a presence, that we have at least one “Good Democrat” candidate who is likely to get the party endorsement and receive strong party rank and file election support. The Candidates Committee includes a number of past elected officials and experienced campaign managers. Find the committee chair.

The Candidates Committee is not the Endorsement Committee, but it plays an important role in helping prospective candidates understand the values of the party and the requirements of running for office. They look for candidates that reflect our politics and our diversity.

Other qualities that are important for a successful candidate include being capable of serving fellow citizens, understanding the duties of office and having the competence to carry out those duties. But before they can have the position they will need to run a campaign, so the committee is also looking for people who are committed to do the hard work to be elected including fundraising and wanting to work with other party-endorsed candidates and the Campaign Committee to get our entire slate elected.

When the committee discusses the efforts needed to campaign for and then serve in office, some prospective candidates decide they are not prepared to run at this time. In other cases, there may be two or three candidates ready to run for a position. One of the biggest challenges for the committee is convincing people that getting elected is possible, that they can grow into the public role, and that the party will provide support. Our efforts to organize in every precinct in Whatcom County will go a long way toward providing the party support candidates need to win election.

Official candidate filing is done during a one-week period in May of each year, for the August Primary Election. Contact the County Auditor for specific information.

Party Endorsement

The Candidates Committee also explains to the candidate the endorsement process, but does not play any role in making endorsements. A special meeting of the membership of the Whatcom County Democratic Central Committee will be held prior to Primary Elections to give candidates an opportunity to present their case for endorsement and election. The membership votes at this meeting on any endorsements they want to make. Democratic candidates may be able to access party resources prior to endorsement; see the Endorsement Policy.
Candidate and Ballot Measure Endorsement Process

Difference Between Party Endorsement And Party Nomination

A political party endorsement is a statement of support of a candidate for public office. It is also an internal policy decision saying where the organization’s resources will be spent. It is no different than a PTA, voter’s league, or labor union picking which candidates they want to support and work for, as an organization. This is why we require membership in the Whatcom Democrats, as an organization, in order to vote on our endorsement decisions.

A party endorsement has no direct effect on which candidates may run for office. Endorsement does not decide which candidates qualify for the general election ballot, the way a party nomination normally would.

State election law governs the rules of the Primary Election, and currently in Washington State, primary elections are run like non-partisan primaries, advancing the top two vote-getters to the General Election ballot, regardless of party affiliation. Primaries (in WA State) for partisan offices do not constitute a party nomination process.

Only voters casting a ballot in a Primary Election have the power to eliminate, or advance, a candidate to the general election ballot.

Since we do not hold public nominating primary elections in Washington at this time, the Washington State Democratic Party has adopted its own process and rules to designate who is the nominee of the “Democratic Party” in partisan races in Washington. These rules have no direct impact on the endorsement policy of the Whatcom Democrats.
Rules for the Selection of Candidates and Nominees

Elective and Appointed Positions in Whatcom County

Here are some helpful links

Candidate and Ballot Measure Endorsement Process

Whatcom Democrats Endorsements  

  • Whatcom County Proposition 2017-6 (Jail Tax):
    Reject – Vote No

    County Council at Large:
    Barry Buchanan
    Visit website

    County Council District 1:
    Rud Browne
    Visit website

    County Council District 2:
    Todd Donovan
    Visit website

    County Council District 3:
    Rebecca Boonstra
    Visit website

    Port of Bellingham District 1:
    Michael Shepard
    Visit website

    Port of Bellingham District 2:
    Barry Wenger
    Visit website

    Bellingham City Council at Large:
    Roxanne Murphy
    Visit website

    Bellingham City Council Ward 2:
    Gene Knutson

    Bellingham City Council Ward 4:
    Pinky Vargas
    Visit Website

    Bellingham City Council Ward 6:
    Michael Lilliquist
    Visit Website

    Ferndale City Council Position 6:
    Kate Hansen
    Visit Website

    Bellingham School Board Pos 4:
    Jenn Mason

  • President:
    Hillary Clinton

    US. Senator:
    Patty Murray

    US Congressional Dist 1:
    Suzan DelBene

    US Congressional Dist 2:
    Rick Larsen

    Jay Inslee

    Lieutenant Governor:
    Cyrus Habib

    Secretary of State:
    Tina Podlodowski

    State Treasurer:
    Duane Davidson

    State Auditor:
    Pat McCarthy

    Attorney General:
    Bob Ferguson

    Commissioner of Public Lands:
    Hilary Franz

    Insurance Commissioner:
    Mike Kreidler

    Supreme Ct Justice Pos 5:
    Barbara Madsen

    40th Leg Dist Senate:
    Kevin Ranker

    40th Leg Dist House:
    Kristine Lytton

    40th Leg Dist House:
    Jeff Morris

    42nd Leg Dist House:
    Sharlaine LaClair

    Superintendent OSPI:
    Erin Jones

    Recommended by the Whatcom Democrats Executive Board:

    Supreme Ct Justice Pos 1:
    Mary Yu

    Supreme Ct Justice Pos 6:
    Charles Wiggins


Ballot Measures  

  • Whatcom County Proposition 2017-6: Jail Tax
    Vote: NO/Reject

  • State Initiative 732: Carbon Emissions Tax
    Vote: YES
    Results: FAILED

    State Initiative 735: Reverse Citizens United
    Vote: YES
    Results: PASSED

    State Initiative 1433: Minimum Wage/Paid Sick Leave
    Vote: YES
    Results: PASSED

    State Initiative 1464: Campaign Finance Reform & Limits on Lobbying
    Vote: YES
    Results: FAILED

    State Initiative 1491: Extreme Risk Protection Orders
    Vote: YES
    Results: PASSED

    County Proposition 2016-1: EMS Levy
    Vote: YES
    Results: PASSED

    City of Bellingham Proposition 2016-1: Greenways IV Levy
    Vote: YES
    Results: PASSED