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Voting & Tax Information

Locate information for voting, tax forms, publications, and local sources of assistance.

Please be aware that tax assistance programs have all been impacted by COVID restrictions and that there are significant changes to how those services can be delivered.

Voting

There are three ways in Washington State to register to vote:

  1. Online
    Register online, 24 hours a day at the Washington Secretary of State’s VoteWA
    website. To register online you will need a Washington State Driver license or
    Washington State ID card.
  2. By mail
    Download and print a voter registration form and mail it to Whatcom County, PO Box 369, Bellingham, WA 98227-0369. Forms are available in Español and other languages.
  3. In person
    Register to vote in person at the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office, 311 Grand Avenue Suite 103.

Not sure if you are registered or need to change your address?

Go to Washington Secretary of State’s VoteWA website or check with the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office.

Former felons voting rights

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 the Department of Corrections. But you must register to vote, or re-register to vote.

Local

View your sample ballot, and the online Whatcom County Official Local Voter’s pamphlet.

State

View the General Election Voters’ Guide, the local voters; guide for your county, or login to VoteWA for a personalized Voters’ guide.

Whatcom County Auditor’s Office Ballot Drop Box locations

Your ballot will identify your voting districts. You can also check by map through the
Whatcom County Auditor’s Office.

Local
Find the dates for upcoming local elections, including registration deadlines.

State and Federal
Find the dates for state and federal elections, including registration deadlines.

Local
Results for Whatcom County.

State
Results for Washington State, both current and past election results.

Presidential
The Electoral College totals determine who wins a presidential election.

State
Find your district representatives in the Washington State Legislature and their contact
information.

Federal
Find your Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress and their contact
information.

Political Parties
Use Vote Smart to find a list of political parties in all states. Includes contact information and links to websites.

These resources help you verify facts and claims made by candidates.

Fact Check: A project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of
Pennsylvania. Nonprofit, nonpartisan, focused on being a ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.

OpenSecrets.org: Center for Responsive Politics. Nonprofit, nonpartisan, focused on tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on eections and public policy.

Politifact: Nonprofit, nonpartisan, focused on looking at specific statements made by politicians and rates them for accuracy. A companion website is PunditFact, a site devoted to fact-checking talking heads (tv and social media commentators).

ProPublica: Nonprofit, independent newsroom, focused on a range of topics including government and politics.

Snopes: Owned by Snopes Media Group, focused on investigating legends, hoaxes, folklore, and misinformation.

Other resources

AllSides: Not a fact-checking site, but a business that curates stories from right, center, and left learning media so readers can compare how bias influences reporting.

Ballotpedia: Nonprofit, nonpartisan, focused on providing a digital encylopedia of American politics and elections. Covers federal, state, and local politics, elections, and public policy.

Local
The League of Women Voters Bellingham/Whatcom County is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government. They hold General Election Forums throughout the county, and offer access to recordings of those
forums on their website.

Local Newspapers
Read and search local newspapers for election information. Newspapers are in various formats, including the option to read entire daily editions of the Bellingham Herald and other Washington newspaper in full-page image format.

State and National
Washington State Wire
The Wire is an independent nonpartisan news gathering organization focusing on Washington state government and the policies that affect Washington residents’ daily lives.

USA—Voting and Elections
Use this federal government website to find answers to common questions about voting in the United States, including the presidential election process and voting resources.

State
Explore your own voting district’s candidate financial information using the Public Disclosure Commission website. Go further and research financing for political committees, ballot measure committees, lobbying, and all types of candidates.

National
Explore financial contributions to candidates for the U.S. House, Senate, and Presidency on the Federal Election Commission website.

Taxes

Most income tax materials can be downloaded from the IRS website. They also can be ordered from the IRS for delivery by mail.

IRS help in 26 languages

AARP Tax Aid

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide will not be able to provide in-person tax assistance in Bellingham at this time.  Taxpayers who have access to a computer and internet, and who are willing to file their own return with the online assistance of a trained and certified Tax-Aide Counselor, may request service beginning February 9 at

http://www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide

Counselors will share your computer screen and guide you through every step of filing your return.

Opportunity Council’s Tax Hotline

Not sure where to start with your taxes or which site is the best to meet your needs? Call the tax hotline and let us help guide you through the process.

Opportunity Council will not be scheduling tax preparation appointments through the hotline, as we are unable to offer tax preparation services this year.

360-746-0100 | Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Please leave a message if calling after hours, or if no one is available to take your call. Messages will be returned within 2 business days.

VITA

VITA Tax Sites are IRS certified tax preparation sites that provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to households making less than $66,000/year.

VITA Northwest Indian CollegeBy appointment preferred, call 360-392-4345 or 360-255-4414

Services have been extended through May 17 and will continue to be socially distanced. Identification will be verified, and paperwork will be given to be filled out in your car; then, papers will be collected and interview will take place over the phone. More details available here

February 1 – May 17
Mondays and Wednesdays
8am – 12pm and 1 – 5pm
*Closed February 15
*Closed May 3 – May 7

2522 Kwina Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226
Cooperative Extension (BLDG #20)

TIP: This is the best option for anyone who does not have internet access and/or a computer, tablet, or smart phone, as services are provided in-person. Additionally, there is a computer on site for those who wish to self-serve.

VITA Western Washington University

Services have been extended through May 17. Preparation services will be virtual by appointment only.

Click here to register online

NEW DATES AND TIMES

April 16 – May 17, 2021
Mondays 4-8
Fridays 9-12

FORMER HOURS

February 8 – April 14, 2021
Mondays – Wednesdays
4 – 8pm
Fridays
9am – 12pm

TIP: This is a good option for anyone who has internet access and a computer, tablet, or smart phone, since communications will take place via Zoom.

Internal Revenue Service
Download tax forms, file your tax return, get your refund status, pay your tax bill, or get help.

Whatcom Asset Building Coalition
Locate all the free tax assistance available in Whatcom County

updated 6/04/2021