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Voting & Tax Information

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

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, starting October 14 through November 3, 2020.

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 Washinton residents’ daily lives. [Please make ‘Washington State Wire’ the link to ]

ProQuest
Find articles from thousands of magazines, journals, and newspapers on local and national issues and elections. Access from home requires a library card number and PIN (usually the last four digits of your phone number).

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

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

Patrons can use library computers, WiFi, and printers to download and print tax materials, and find helpful tax preparation resources.

Due to Internal Revenue Service cutbacks, taxpayers seeking printed tax forms will find fewer of them in public libraries.  Any materials we receive are located near the Help Desk on the main floor of the Central Library.

UPDATE 3/11/2020: AARP TAX FILING ASSISTANCE SUSPENDED.

The Tax-Aide Program of the AARP Foundation provides free tax preparation assistance in Bellingham.  Please note: These services are being provided at this location:

AARP Tax-Aide Services 2020
First Congregational Church of Bellingham
2401 Cornwall Avenue
Map to First Congregational Church

Tax preparation volunteers will help people with federal income tax returns. Days, times and other details about the assistance program are available on the Tax Filing Assistance page.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide national website

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