Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Your Ballot has arrived! At least it should have...

Cate Blanchett as  Lady Galadriel in "The Fellowship of the Ring"

 In addition to the official directions printed above, I am reprinting some advice (albeit with some edits) from a post I did four years ago on filling out your ballot and the insecurity of the vote by mail process:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How many will vote? Predicting Election Outcomes: Part III

The key question for the Democrats in the 2014 election is whether or not they can turnout votes as strongly as they did in either the 2013 or (best bet) the 2012 General Elections. Clearly, when the turnout increases, the Democrats win in the 42nd. Cantwell, Obama, and Inslee all either won or held their ground in the 42nd in the 2012 General Election. The turnout, with OFA (e.g. Team Obama) in town was spectacular.  The 2013 turnout under Whatcom Wins and the Washington Conservation Voters couldn't quite match it, despite the fact that the turnout was good enough for the Democrats to reclaim the County Council. Looking at active voters as of 05/08/2014, we see a ~28K difference between those who voted in these elections :

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fwd: Primary Election endorsements

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Greg Haffner, WA Democrats" <>
Date: Jul 18, 2014 12:20 PM
Subject: Primary Election endorsements
To: "Ryan Ferris" <>

Just a quick note —
Ballots for the Primary Election are in the mail this week. You have just a few weeks to get your ballot in the mail — Join Democrats across the state and mail your ballot by August 5th.
As a voter and concerned citizen, you know that every election matters. Your Primary ballot features critical races — for Congress, State Legislature, and local office — that will have a profound impact on our country and state.
If you're not sure which candidates should get your vote, we can help! There are Democratic Party endorsements for races up and down your ballot.
I Voted sticker
Just enter your name and location information, and you'll find a list of endorsements customized for your Primary ballot.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How PURPLE is my precinct? Predicting Election Outcomes: Part II

"Are you discontented with the part you have been assigned in the whole? Recall the alternatives: Providence or atoms, and how many are the demonstrations, that the cosmos is a city."  Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius as quoted here.

The 2013 General Election: The Democrat/Republican divide as seen from the cumulative precinct returns for County Council 1A, 2A, 3A races. This chart shows the classic BLUE/RED City/County split with high density Bellingham urban and near urban areas voting BLUE, while most of the county votes RED.  Click to Enlarge.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Voter Stability - Predicting Election Outcomes : Part I

The busy political map of Whatcom County. Click to Enlarge.
Updated with some minor changes 1:41 PM 7/15/2014 -RMF
How do we predict voter outcomes?  How do we create lists of voters in order to contact all the important "swing" votes? Two predictors for voters are (1) past voting participation history and (2) precinct performance. We can say that a group of voters that has lived in a precinct that votes reliably RED or BLUE for some number of years has some level of predictability. I am looking at precincts vs. precincts, but the same prediction could therefore be made for any voters inside any one given precinct.  These type of probabilities are not the highly granular and storied 'micro-targeting' of OFA ('Team Obama') that was used in 2012, but they are a first step toward such.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Make Sure to Register to Vote in the Primary!!!

July 7th is the standard deadline for online voter registration for the 2014 primary election in the state of Washington. If you have moved, you must update your voter registration address now. If you need to change your address, check your voting record, or print out voter pamphlet information, you can do that at MY Vote WA.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Why you should check your Voter Registration at My Vote WA today...

A voter registration list contains a number of fields that give information about the voter and their voting history.  One record is your unique registration number. When I query those registration numbers for changes I find that Whatcom County is averaging about five thousand simultaneous additions and deletions for each of the last two years. This "voter churn" is significant. We have about 126K registered voters currently. By such a measure our yearly rate of "churn" or "turnover" is ~4%.

The state of WA is an ERIC state. For our county, this means an examination of the voter database that results in a 'cleansing' of the voter list is done each quarter at the state level.  However, all processes can be flawed which is why I recommend logging on to My Vote WA and checking that your ID is valid, that your address is up to date (otherwise how are you going to receive your ballot by mail?) and that your voting history is correct.  To do this you simply need your name and birth date.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fwd: Downtown Plan - final public comment

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Cowles, Darby" <>
Date: Jun 19, 2014 9:02 AM
Subject: Downtown Plan - final public comment
To: "Cowles, Darby" <>

THIS IS IT!  City Council will hold a public hearing on the Downtown Bellingham Plan and associated documents next Monday, June 23rd.  The staff report and all attachments are available at this link:

If you have any final suggestions, or would like to recommend that Council approve the Downtown Plan, send an email to:

Please contact me directly if you have any questions or would like a summary or discussion of any particular issue of interest.

Thanks to everyone who has been involved in this process over the past 2½ years!  It's been a true pleasure working with so many who care about the vitality of Downtown.  Updates on City Center implementation projects will continue to be sent to this email list.  If you'd like to be removed, please reply with "REMOVE" in the subject line.


Darby Cowles, Senior Planner
Planning and Community Development
City of Bellingham, WA
Downtown Planning Website (including all background information):
My incoming and outgoing email messages are subject to public disclosure requirements per RCW 42.5

Looking at Primary Voting Patterns in Whatcom County: Part I

Under Construction 7:59 PM 6/19/2014. Technical  piece for this blog is ...
This piece starts an analysis of Primary voting patterns in Whatcom County. This means that we are looking at election turnout numbers only for those people currently registered to vote as of June 05, 2014. As of June 05, 2014,  the voter database for Whatcom County stood a126418 registered voters. I present graphs with analysis. Click on these graphs to enlarge.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Upcoming Democrat Kickoffs

Upcoming Democrat Kickoff Facebook Pages:

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Campaign Financing War 06.13.2014 : Why the Republicans will clobber the Democrats in the 42nd LD this fall.

42nd LD contributions to date: Democrats vs. Republicans reported as of 06.13.2014
After reading Riley's Sweeney post, I decided to dig into campaign financing for WA 42nd LD. The results show the Republican party outrageously 'out fundraising' the Democratic party. I am going to guess this is to be a state wide trend; but such analysis will have to come later.  For now, I conclude this:  If the Democrats want to take back the 42nd LD, they will need a steroid enhanced fund raising effort.  In the charts below, Democrats are blue, Republicans are red and the X axis label has contribution totals. Unlabeled Y Axis are dollars. Unlabeled X Axis are donors. All data is from the PDC. Technical piece is here.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

05.20.2014 Whatcom County Voter General Election Database: The Precincts....

Per Precinct Registrants(Blue) and Votes (Red) for the 2013 General Election.
Under Construction 9:23 PM 6/07/2014. Technical  piece for this blog is hereBelow the break I have  assorted graphs to assist the viewer in examining the registration and turnout for the 2013 General Election by precinct. The charts below explicate five years of general election in Whatcom County for voters registered as of May 20,2014This means that we are looking at election turnout numbers only for those people currently registered to vote as of May 20th, 2014. In the next piece, I will look at the 2600 plus voters who have registered or re-registered since the start of 2014 . As of 06.05.2014, the voter database for Whatcom County stood a126418 registered voters.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

When Kshama wins we all benefit!!! : "15 in Seattle is just a beginning. We have an entire world to win."

"What was lost through corporate loopholes is a reminder to us that outcomes are determined by the balance of forces. It is a reminder that we need to continue to build an even more powerful movement. A movement strong enough to overcome the counterattacks from business. A movement that goes on from 15 to win further gains to address the stunning income inequality workers face – a movement that will fight for rent control, taxes on millionaires & big developers, and full funding for all public services. 
I appeal to all workers to join the movement. The attempts of business to undermine 15 will continue, well after this vote today. They may submit legal challenges, they may challenge at the ballot, they may wait for their moment to make the “temporary” tip penalty permanent. 
But today’s message is clear: If we organize as workers, with a socialist strategy, we can tackle the chasm of income inequality and social injustice.
15 in Seattle is just a beginning. We have an entire world to win." 
Kshama Sawant  "Transcript of My Speech on $15/HR Victory" 

Monday, June 2, 2014

05.20.2014 Whatcom County Voter General Election Database: Boomers vs. Millennials....

Currently active Whatcom County registered voters (as of May 20, 2014) profiled by Birthdate bins for the General Elections 2009 - 2013. 
Under Construction 8:04 AM 6/2/2014. Technical  piece for this blog is here and here.
This piece creates some artificial age groups from the 05.20.2014 Whatcom County (active) voter database. The charts below explicate five years of general election in Whatcom County for voters registered as of May 20,2014This means that we are looking at election turnout numbers only for those people currently registered to vote as of May 20th, 2014. As of May 20th, the voter database for Whatcom County stood a126283 registered voters. I present graphs with analysis. Click on these graphs to enlarge.