Ready for Important “Hidden” Voting
Whatcom Conservation District Board Holds Election
Citizens get ready to activate. All Whatcom County registered voters are responsible for electing a Supervisor Board Position to the Whatcom Conservation District (WCD). This district represents one of the first agencies responsible for environmental protection in the state, according to WCD Executive Director George Boggs. The WCD was originated long before the EPA. Yet, not many people know about this election or these state districts. I’ve been writing about the WCD for Whatcom Watch for many years (see below “Further Reading”).
Case in point: before Whatcom Watch published articles about past WCD elections, did you know that the number of people voting for the position was less than 50! (1)
Because of Whatcom Watch and other alternative websites and publications, I believe voting numbers in the 2012 election increased and were more than 2,000. For the 2015 election, votes numbered more than 4,000. In both of these instances, the progressive candidates tightly tied with the more conservative.
This fall, The Bellingham Herald published 200-word ads announcing the election on the following dates: Oct. 22, Nov. 4, and Dec. 10, each costing $124. The district office wrote and paid for the ads.
Currently serving in an elected position is Richard Yoder. As of December, he says he is undecided on whether he will run again. Joy Monjure, the progressive candidate of 2014, also says she is undecided but strongly considering the challenge.
As voters, let us exercise our right to vote in the upcoming election (see sidebar for details). Contact WCD for your ballot or go to the polls on Tues., March 15. Let’s hope voting numbers will triple in 2016.
(1) As an example, according to the Whatcom County Auditor Election Division, there were 129,345 registered voters in 2015, therefore 50 people voting is about 0.04 percent participation. Source: http://results.vote.wa.gov/results/20151103/whatcom/
Previous Articles by Barbara Perry
“Whatcom Conservation District Board Election Certified, August/2015 (v24i8)
“Request for State Review of Conservation District Election,” May/2015 (v24i5)
“Question: How Many Requested Ballots Not Returned to Conservation District?” April/2015 (v24i4)
“The Whatcom Conservation District Election Is Coming,” December/2014 (v23i12)
Vote in the Whatcom Conservation District Supervisor Election
Here is important information regarding the 2016 Whatcom Conservation District (WCD) Supervisor Election.
First, candidates are desired for the WCD. According to the WCD website: “Conservation District Supervisors are public officials who serve without compensation and who set policy and direction for the District. Candidates for this seat must be registered voters residing in Whatcom County. A Supervisor’s term of office is three years. Supervisors are expected to attend 12 regularly scheduled board meetings per year, committee meetings, and other special meetings, for an average of 20 days/year.” The filing deadline to become a candidate is Friday, January 29, 2016, at 4 p.m.
Second, to vote in the election, you have two choices:
In person: go to WCD office at 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden on election day, Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Polls are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
By mail: You may request a mail-in ballot by visiting the WCD office. Or you can request a mail-in ballot by completing a form online (see To request a ballot below). Or you can call the WCD and ask them to send you a mail-in ballot. Call (360) 526-2381, ext. 101.
Either way, requests for mail-in ballots must be received by Feb. 16, 2016, at 4 p.m. Keep in mind that WCD will send out ballots in one bulk mailing after Feb. 16, 2016, so don’t expect to receive it in your mailbox until after that date, according to the WCD. If you do not receive your ballot by the end of February, contact the WCD at (360) 526-2381, ext. 101.
Once you have completed your ballot, return it either in person to the WCD office (by 6 p.m. on March 15, 2016) or by mail (postmarked on or before March 15, 2016) to be counted. WCD will verify voter eligibility from the information that you provide in the form by comparing it to the Whatcom County voter registration list.
For more information: http://www.whatcomcd.org/board-elections