Below is the auditor's proposed ordinance in regards to Whatcom County precinct boundary changes will be introduced to the council on Tuesday, March 22 and will be on the agenda for April 5 for adoption.
PROPOSED BY: AUDITOR
INTRODUCTION DATE: March 2022
ORDINANCE NO. ________
REPLACING WHATCOM COUNTY CODE SECTION 1.14, ELECTORAL PRECINCTS, WITH
NEWLY ESTABLISHED VOTING PRECINCT BOUNDARIES FOR WHATCOM COUNTY
WHEREAS, changes to the Congressional boundary lines removing District 1 and modifying the boundary line of District 2 have been passed by the Washington State Legislature based on the decennial census information and recommendations of the State Redistricting Commission; and
WHEREAS, the State Legislative boundary line between the Forty Second (42nd) and the Fortieth (40th) have been altered by the Washington State Legislature based on the same decennial census information and the recommendations of the State Redistricting Commission; and
WHEREAS, the Whatcom County Districting Committee has recommended and the County Council has adopted changes to the Whatcom County Council District boundaries based on the decennial census information; and
WHEREAS, RCW 29A.16.050(1) requires every voting precinct must be wholly within a single congressional district, a single legislative district and a single district of the county legislative authority; and
WHEREAS, RCW 29A.16.040(2) limits precinct size to 1,500 registered voters and some of the precincts were close to that limit; and
WHEREAS, it is desirable to balance the number of registered voters within precincts and some of the precincts were very small; and
WHEREAS, it is desirable to limit the number of “splits” within a precinct due to the number of taxing districts within a precinct insofar as is practical; and
WHEREAS, RCW 29A.16.040 provides the county legislative authority shall divide the county into precincts and establish boundaries for the precincts; and this statute further provides that no precinct boundary changes may be made starting fourteen (14) days prior to the first day candidates may file for the primary election through the period ending with the general election; and
WHEREAS, RCW 29A.16.070 provides the County Auditor shall transfer and notify any registered voters that may be affected by the change in boundaries.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Whatcom County Council that all previous ordinances establishing voting precinct boundaries for Whatcom County are hereby repealed.
BE IT FINALLY ORDAINED that Whatcom County Code Section 1.14 is hereby replaced in its entirety with newly established voting precinct boundaries and substituted into the “Book of Election Precinct Maps”; said revised Book of Maps available through the Whatcom County Council Office and online through the Election page at the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office homepage.