Voting; Rejected Ballots; More Halloween; Song: Bringing Mary Home

CONTENTS 10/27/2020
From Our County Auditor
Rejected Ballots
Halloween
  Virtual Pet Parade
  Lundquist Woods Closed For Halloween
  Halloween Songs From Zeke
Radio Free Fl!p: Bringing Mary Home

FROM OUR COUNTY AUDITOR

With the General Election just 7 days away, voters are reminded to vote and return ballots by Tuesday, November 3rd.  As of Monday, October 26th, 82,765 ballots have been received by the Auditor’s Office.   If you haven’t received your ballot, please immediately contact the Auditor’s Office at (360) 778-5102.

Citizens can still complete or update their registration but must do so in person at the Whatcom County Courthouse.  The Election Division of the Auditor’s Office will be open on Saturday, October 31st, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, to facilitate in person registrations or to access a ballot.  Anyone completing or updating their registration in person will be required to wear a mask, maintain the 6-foot social distancing standard and can expect long lines.

If returning your ballot by mail, a stamp is not required.  Ballots being returned by mail need to be postmarked no later than November 3rd. Voters waiting until election week to turn in their ballot are encouraged to use any of the 18 official elections drop boxes. Ballots can be returned in an official elections ballot drop box until 8:00 pm on Election Day. Drop box locations are listed on the insert enclosed with the ballot, in the Local Voters’ Pamphlet, or on the Auditor’s website at www.whatcomcounty.us/1574/Elections.

Voters wishing to know if their ballot has been received by the Auditor’s Office can go to www.VoteWA.gov to view their ballot status. The website www.votewashington.info is not an official site of the Secretary of State or it’s County election partners. The site is not an official verifiable source of election information. Voters with challenged ballots will be contacted by the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office to cure the ballot. Voters can check the status of their ballot by visiting the official source of information – www.VoteWA.gov.

For additional information contact: Auditor Diana Bradrick at (360) 778-5105.

REJECTED BALLOTS

If you took the time and energy to vote, and found out too late that your vote wasn’t accepted, would you be bummed? It turns out you can help your friends and neighbors make sure their votes are counted.

Here’s how it works: When your ballot arrives at the Auditor’s office, before it is ever opened, your signature is compared (by machine I think) to the one on your voter registration. If it doesn’t match closely enough, the machine spits out the envelope to be checked by a human. The workers who check them are very highly trained in signature matching. But sometimes the envelope wasn’t signed at all. Or it was signed by the wrong person. Partners and housemates mix up their ballots more than you might expect. You, yourself can go online to www.VoteWA.gov  to check your ballot status. But not everyone does that.

Who you voted for is a matter of absolute privacy. If they can’t figure out your signature and “cure” it – your envelope will never be opened or counted. And if your ballot isn’t in the little privacy envelope, it can’t be counted either because someone might be able to link your ballot to your name.

On the other hand, whether or not you voted is a matter of public record. This is a good thing because it’s how we can tell there aren’t “non-existent people” voting. It’s transparent. Anyone can check to see who has voted.

No one but the trained workers can get at the ballots. That vote counting area is really, really secure! When Zeke and I trained as election observers, there was serious security clearance. We had to sign in, show ID, get a button, and be let into the space. Workers made sure we could see what was going on, and explained all the processes to us, but we couldn’t get anywhere near touching a ballot.

But back to those rejected ballots: You can cure yours. At this point I think it’s a matter of going into the auditor’s office, or but you could phone and check online first. And the sooner the better! They try to make it easy. But you have to know there’s a problem. And here’s where friends can help.

You yourself can go online and click on the list of rejected ballots, and then scroll down and look for people you know. If you see someone, contact them and let them know to call the Auditor’s office. Often a pair of people from the same household have both had their ballots rejected – that’s where they accidentally signed each other’s envelopes.

Right now there are 1091 rejected ballots sitting at the auditor’s office. That’s only 1.2% of the ballots turned in so far, but it’s still a lot. We can help each other make sure everyone’s vote is counted. Here’s that list:
https://www.votewashington.info/voter/wa/wm/ballot/rejected

Here’s a map, broken down by precinct. Our neighborhood overlaps into four different precincts: 208, 209,201, and 222:
http://documents.co.whatcom.wa.us/weblink8/100/doc/4400508/Electronic.aspx

Voters in Precinct 210 have already turned in 72.6% of all the ballots sent to them.
Voters in Precinct 222 have turned in 72.0%.
Voters in Precinct 209 have turned in 68.4%.
Voters in Precinct 208 have turned in 60.8%.
https://www.votewashington.info/voter/wa/wm

I haven’t quite learned enough yet to be able to tell you how many ballots in our neighborhood have been rejected, but I bet we could reduce that number!   Love/Fl!p

VIRTUAL PET PARADE

Happy Halloween Week! We are partnering with Whatcom Humane Society to create a virtual Costume Parade with your four-legged friends. Cats, dogs, llamas and lizards, frogs, donkeys . Go to the Garden Spot Nursery facebook page and post  a picture of your pet in an awesome costume, and let’s have a blast! For the first 50  (heck! let us make a 100)  pets who post a photo, we will donate $5 per pet to Whatcom Humane Society. Donations help sustain and support our Humane Society’s programs to care and find homes for animals in Whatcom County. ~ Marcy Plattner

LUNDQUIST WOODS CLOSED FOR HALLOWEEN

With Halloween coming up very soon, we thought we should notify our neighbors that due to the pandemic, our ‘destination Halloween house’ will not be open for trick or treating this year.  We have not put up any outside Halloween lights like we normally do, and we will not be carving and lighting pumpkins, nor handing out treats. We have LOVED  being a great place to trick or treat for decades, but this year, it just isn’t the right thing to do, so we are not.  No one on the West end of Jefferson will be offering treats to our great neighborhood kids, but we think everyone will understand. And we thought we should save people a trip down our street! We do plan to light up for Christmas though!! Thanks. ~ Pat and Bob Lundquist, Jefferson Street

HALLOWEEN SONGS FROM ZEKE

Zeke has decided not to carve his traditional jack-o-lantern this year, but that didn’t stop me from digging out a couple of songs he’s written over the years. Do not assume these are children’s songs. I think both of us were warped by listening to Tom Lehrer as children, but at least our senses of humor match. I don’t tend to let mine out in public, but oh well, just for tonight..

Skeleton Inside  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSUHiksj5NI

Blood On The Pumpkin http://home.openaccess.org/flipandzeke/zeke/recordings/bludpkin.mp3

RADIO FREE Fl!P: BRINGING MARY HOME

Sung by the Country Gentlemen. This song is where I first met the Vanishing Hitchhiker. And one of my first introductions, at age 18, to Bluegrass music, by the inimitable fiddler Vivian Williams. (She and her husband Phil founded the Seattle Folklife Festival.) Vivian dug through her record collection, handed me this one and said she thought I’d enjoy it. She was right. I still sing it. A perfectly crafted story!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhOapbNhriM

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street flip@columbianeighborhood.org

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