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Candidate filing for 2024 election open through Friday

Candidate filing deadlines, ballot initiatives, important dates to know

Registered voters wanting to file their candidacy for office have until Friday, May 10 to file the paperwork and pay the fee. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)
By Annie Todd Criminal Justice/Enterprise Reporter

This election reporting is provided free to all readers as a public service by the local ownership of Cascadia Daily News. Thanks for supporting truly local news by donating to CDN or subscribing here.

More than 230 people have filed for either federal, state or county office within Whatcom County as of Thursday, May 9. Registered voters have until Friday, May 10 to file for office.

While registered voters will be voting for several state initiatives and myriad down-ballot offices for the state Legislature, they’ll also be picking the new governor after Gov. Jay Inslee announced his intention to not seek re-election, as well as voting for who will occupy the White House for the next four years. President Joe Biden will likely face presumable GOP nominee and former President Donald Trump for the second time.

Other eligible offices for people to file their candidacy include the U.S. Senate, challenging Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell and the U.S. House, for Democrat Rick Larsen’s seat. As of Thursday afternoon, Larsen had filed his candidacy for his House seat.

While Cantwell has not yet filed as of Thursday, seven people across the state had filed their intention to challenge her for office.

The top two candidates who collect the most votes in the August primary will then face each other in the November general.

Nineteen candidates have also filed for the gubernatorial race including Attorney General Bob Ferguson, former Republican U.S. House Rep. Dave Reichert and state Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah.

For statewide offices, registered voters can file for secretary of state, typically the position that oversees the state’s election, as well as business registrations, state treasurer, state auditor, attorney general (the highest law enforcement position in the state), commissioner of public lands, superintendent of public instruction (oversees schools), and insurance commissioner. 

Three Supreme Court justice positions also are up for election.

Sen. Maria Cantwell’s seat is up for election in 2024. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)

Whatcom registered voters can also file for state house races including District 40 Senate, occupied by Sen. Liz Lovelett, and District 40 and District 42 House, occupied by representatives Debra Lekanoff, Alex Ramel, Alicia Rule and Joe Timmons.

All five have filed for office.

District 40 includes portions of Whatcom County, Skagit and Island counties.

Skagit County registered voters also have state house races up for grabs including District 10 Senate, challenging Sen. Ron Muzzall; and District 39 Senate, for Sen. Keith Wagoner’s seat. In the House, two District 10 seats are occupied by representatives Clyde Shavers and Dave Paul, and two District 39 seats occupied by representatives Sam Low and Carolyn Eslick are also up. All of the incumbents have filed for office.

Additionally, four Superior Court judge positions are up for election each in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Those wanting to file for candidacy must pay a fee equal to 1% of the position’s annual salary for the offices that pay more than $1,000 a year. The highest fees in Whatcom County are the four Whatcom Superior Court judge positions at $2,173, the four state house races for Senate and House at $602, and the Whatcom Commissioner District 1 and 2 positions at $388.

The federal and state races have filing fees over $1,000, with Cantwell and Larsen’s seats costing $1,740, and the governorship costing $1,982. 

If a candidate wishing to file cannot afford the fee, they can gather petition signatures equal to the dollar amount of the filing fee, according to state law

If someone wants to withdraw their candidacy, they have until Monday, May 13.

Ballot initiatives

Voters will also see at least three statewide initiatives on their 2024 ballot in November.

The first is Initiative 2109, which would repeal the capital gains excise tax on long-term capital assets by people who have more than $250,000 in capital gains.

Ashley Butenschoen talks to a passerby April 23 about repealing Proposition 5, or the Healthy Children’s Fund, at Safeway in Lynden. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)

Initiative 2117 would ban carbon tax crediting training and repeal parts of the 2021 Washington Climate Commitment Act.

Initiative 2124 would allow all employees and self-employed individuals to opt out of paying the tax and receiving benefits under WA Cares, the state’s long-term service and supports trust health care program.

Expect the Whatcom County ballot to include a couple of ballot questions such as repealing Prop 5, or the “Healthy Children’s Fund,” which is currently gathering signatures.

Important dates to know

Referendums are due to the Washington Secretary of State office by June 6, while all initiatives to the people must be filed by July 5.

Dates for testing the Whatcom County voting systems for the primary and general election have not yet been set. 

Ballots for the Aug. 6 primary election, which includes nonpartisan offices with three or more candidates, will be mailed on July 17 from the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office. Vote centers and drop boxes will also open that day.

Anybody wishing to register as a Washington voter either online or by mail must register by July 29, or they can register in person at a voting center before 8 p.m. on Aug. 6.

On primary election day, voting centers and drop boxes will be open until 8 p.m. 

Results from the primary election will be certified on Aug. 20.

For the general election, ballots will be mailed out on Oct. 16 and voting centers and drop boxes will open at the same time.

Those wishing to register to vote in time for the general election must do so online or by mail by Oct. 28 or in person before 8 p.m. on Nov. 5.

The general election will be Nov. 5. People can drop off their ballots postage-free in U.S. mail, drop them in a county ballot box, or vote in person by 8 p.m. that day.

The Washington general election will be certified by Nov. 26, while the presidential election will take longer to be certified. 

Any questions about the election process can be sent to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office or the Washington Secretary of State office.

This story will be updated with candidate filings throughout the week.

Annie Todd is CDN’s criminal justice/enterprise reporter; reach her at; 360-922-3090 ext. 130.

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