Saturday, October 21, 2017

Important Links for the 2017 General Election

Best Practices:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Part I Primary Election Post Mortem: Matchbacks and Tips on How to Avoid a Challenged Ballot

The results of August 2017  Primary Election will be certified on Tuesday evening. Monday will be the last chance for 200 plus voters to cure their challenged ballots.   Wednesday, many people will be analyzing the final results with implications for the November 2017 General Election. But as a prelude, I would like to talk about the mechanics of the vote with some public matchback  and return numbers available as of last Friday (08/11/2017). These numbers will be updated in the days to come, but are sure enough for my general points.

Primary turnout in "off year" (e.g. no federal, state offices) elections is especially diminished across America as a whole.  Electoral analysts nearly universally consider this a major flaw in our electoral landscape. Solutions are not forthcoming.  Here is how the top nine counties (exclusive of Yakima) voted in WA this August. This list is ranked by turnout percentage of those counties with over 100K participating in the elections and it will change after certification on Tuesday:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How to get to the Whatcom Conservation District on Tuesday, March 14th

If you are wondering how you are going to get from Bellingham to the Whatcom Conservation District on Tuesday, March 14th (between 9 AM and 6 PM)  so that you can vote for Whatcom Democrat candidate Heather Christianson, I have some screenshots with text for you below the break. But first some thoughts and advice.

This has always been a small rural election with relatively few people attending. The largest vote in recent history was probably 2015, where Larry Helm beat Joy Monjure with 'in-person' votes on election day. The total ballots were a little over 4000. This year there were over 4800 absentee ballots requested by the Februray 14th deadline alone! Democrats are promoting this election and our candidate Heather Christianson as part of our "contest every seat in the Trump era" imperative.  I am guessing 3  times the number of absentee ballots (15K) will show up at "Hinotes Corner" which is , just north of Hannegan and Pole Rd. But that is just my guess. Normally, I would predict much smaller numbers, but we don't live in "normal" political times. As Democrats, we see the election of Heather Christianson as our first chance to defeat Trumpublicans.  As a reminder, 115K voted in last fall's general election; 65K of those voted for Democrat Patty Murray.

At the end of this post are notes from Dawn Bekenyi of the  WCD detailing the election process. The process will involve the WCD matching you to your voter database information at Before you come to vote, I recommend logging on to to make sure:
  • your voter database information is correct
  • your residential and mailing address are current
  • and your voter "Status" is active.
Without all three of those requirements, you will not be able to vote. If you have any questions call, or email the WC Elections office.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Whatcom Conservation District Vote

Heather Christianson, Democrat PCO and Candidate for the Whatcom Conservation District.

Update March 20th:

Preliminary Results (as yet not certified) : Results indicate a victory for Heather Christianson! Additional results will be returned as the later mail-in ballots are returned. Looks like the first Democrat victory of the year!!! May it be the first of many...March 16 at 2:06pm
Monday, March 20 Unofficial


Heather Christianson - 2,872 votes
Roderic Perry - 344 votes
Suzzi (Suzanne) Snydar - 1,561 votes
write ins - 3 votes
disqualified - 56
Update February 14th:

If you missed the Feb 14th 4:00 PM deadline to file for an absentee ballot, you can always make it in person to the Whatcom Conservation District election Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at the District’s office at 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden. Polls will be open between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. Please see The local Democrats may be arranging car pooling. Please check . Meanwhile, make sure to vote for Democrat Heather Christianson.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trump's Digital Campaign and The Effect of Social Media on Our Political Lives.

Below the break is a letter I sent to Democratic Chairman Jaxon Raven's on President Trump's digital campaign. It represents my concern that "Trump's campaign represents the most egregious confluence to date of money, big data, high level computation and neuropsychology". Chairman Ravens responded positively with concern to my letter noting that WA state Democratic party will be attempting to address these and other concerns very soon.  My own analysis is that the use of social media is that single most important driver of political activism in the United States.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Some data on The Women's March: Are we Preaching to the "Liberal" Choir?

Below the break I have charts the top 50 cities ranked on their high estimates (which will change) based on Jeremy Pressman and Erica Chenoweth's latest data. Three charts (click to enlarge) cover cities 1-7, 8-30, 31-50 respectively. See table far below the break for a printed list of high and low crowd estimates of those fifty cities.  This is what strikes me:

"How many of these top 50 cities did Trump win?"

In our current "Hunger Games Electorate', are the "Capitol" cities marching and preaching to the "liberal' choir while rest of the "Districts" troll, laugh, or dismisses our 'liberal' efforts?  If so, how did the march actually help? 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Part I : How We Save the Democrats

How We Save the Democratic Party:
Moving Right on Social Issues, Moving Left on Economics and Electing Millennials to Power

Part I : How We Save the Democrats

Part II : How We Save the Democrats: Additional Thoughts

How We Save the Democratic Party: 

Moving Right on Social Issues, Moving Left on Economics and Electing Millennials to Power

Part II : How We Save the Democrats: Additional Thoughts

Part I here

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

GE 2016: The Balkanized 42nd LD and a 40,000 strong Trump Vote in Whatcom County

The red/blue (Clinton - Trump) division of Whatcom County GE 2016.

I spent the weekend going over Whatcom County results.  The data in this post will be good until 5:00 PM Wednesday, 11/16/2016. Observations, final thoughts and a plea for your LD 42 Democratic membership follow. The google sheets data for this page can be found here and here. Note: Spreadsheet data updated to 11/18/2016:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Remember to Vote!!!

November 1st: 8 days and 60K ballots remaining?

Whatcom County preferred party vote shares from 10.31.2016 'MatchBack' Report by AVReturnedDate. Click to enlarge.

10,392 ballots were marked as received yesterday. 38,923 'Good' ballots have been cumulatively  received for this election as of last night. The top AVBallotParty category  from the (party preference) Presidential Primary is currently Democratic at 13,551. We are now more than  ~39K  registrants who have sent ballots received with at least 8 counting days (including next weekend) until the election is finished. This turnout projects like the ~104K ballot 2012 election to me.  Among the more interesting features of the vote so far is the fact that ~4500 ballots have been received from active voters who did not vote in any of GE2015, May 24th or August 2nd electionsThose ~4500 had effectively not voted in over a year! This group is part of a much larger group of ~41K that remained active but have not voted in any of GE2015, May 24th, or August 2nd elections~41K is a very big pool in a now ~138K (active) voter database.

Another table below shows that three precinct 'decile'  groups (210-219250-259220-229) have amassed over 1000 AVBallotParty Democrat votes each. As a reminder, the May 2nd Presidential Primary required a preferred party declaration. Those who were active that did not vote  were marked "NO PARTY SELECTED" as thus:

       AVBallotParty     N

1:        Republican 23882
3:        Democratic 31474

Today, what remains of those voters includes a fourth group ('NA')  that registered or re-activated after the May 2nd Presidential Primary:

CurrentVoterdb[StatusCode == "A",.N,AVBallotParty] # as of 10/19/2016
       AVBallotParty     N
1:        Republican 23514
3:        Democratic 30555
4:                NA 11542

These groups can be tracked with each voter's registration ID and form the only true 'micro-target' data ever in the Whatcom County voter database. Some statistical analysis I did proved to me that essentially if voters told us they were Democrats or Republicans, then they voted respectively for a Democrat or Republican presidential candidate.  However, as all of you know, ascertaining 'party shares" still doesn't mean that Berners will be voting now for Secretary Clinton or that casual Democratic voters will continue voting down the ballot for other Democratic candidates or that voters that declared themselves one party or the other won't 'split the ticket' on many issues on their ballot.  More tables and data after the break...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ballots Drop Tommorrow, October 18th...

Ballot drops tomorrow, October 18th. Look for your ballot in your mail.
This has been an unusual election season. Full of ... interesting developments and laden with lots of public interest.  In Whatcom County (and WA State), you should have received your 151 page Voter's Pamphlet. If not, you can read it online. If you are looking for Election Forums in Whatcom County, you can find at least two at the Whatcom County League of Women Voters.  They are:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Why do we vote Democrat? Part I

Picture of the author's grandfather (circa 1972). "Bompa" worked on the waterfront most of his life, dropping out of school in sixth grade to support his family. He joined "Harry Bridges and his men" in 1934. During WWII, he and his fellow longshoremen laid on their backs and rolled 55 gallon barrels of oil with their feet into the hull of freighters destined for the war effort. After the mechanization of the waterfront, he became a hod carrier and then a brick mason until his retirement at 65.

Why do we vote as Democrats?

It would be 82 years ago that my grandfather was shouldering 100 lb. sacks of sugar from ship to warehouse on the Oakland waterfront. The year was 1934 and the times were desperate. During my youth, when the discussion turned to politics  my grandfather would often say with some emphasis:
"We knew people, Ryan. We knew people who were hungry. They were standing in the bread lines and starving to death!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

November Election Resources and Links

Resources for Voting and Participating in the November 8th General Election:

(Ballot mailing starts October 18th!)

Ways you can help Democrats:

Friday, September 30, 2016

Why you should check before October 10th...

Editor's note: The deadline for online registration (October 10th) has passed for this year. If you are a new WA state resident you can still walk into the Whatcom County elections office until October 31st to register. For all other questions, please call the Whatcom County Elections office at the contacts here: . Thanks, -RMF

I write this post this every year this time.  The information is worth repeating. Here is an explanation of some of the reasons you should visit sometime before October 10th, the last day to update your voter registration online in the state of WA.  This is especially important if you have recently moved or returned to town!

First, understand exactly what managing a 135,000 strong (Whatcom) county voter database in a county with 30,000 college students looks: Lots of 'flux', lots additions, lots of deletions, lots of "coming and going", lots of *CHANGE*.  And  that change is hardly  just college students. Here are some quick indexes of that change. I included the R data.table code:

Monday, August 22, 2016

"How and Why Donald Trump and Republicans will win Whatcom County this Fall."

"First, don’t think of an elephant. Remember not to repeat false conservative claims and then rebut them with the facts. Instead, go positive. Give a positive truthful framing to undermine claims to the contrary. Use the facts to support positively-framed truth. "  - George Lakeoff from
I published the blog post below the break  ("How and Why Donald Trump and Republicans will win Whatcom County this Fall.") on August 22nd, let it run for a week and then I pulled it because I thought it was very negative. But I've changed my mind. I think many Clinton Democrats are operating in shrinking closet, accomplishing little but kibitzing with one another on why they think Donald Trump can never be President of the United States.  November may well bring a Republican landslide of epic proportions here in Whatcom County and the state of WA, if the numbers I have looked at are indicative of the general election. Personally, I think it is a really bad idea to sit around and bitch about Donald Trump. You are wasting time you could be using to support Democrats. My guess is George Lakeoff would agree. Here are some ways you can support the Democratic Party, even if you really don't like Hillary Clinton or the federal (e.g. "super delegate") candidates:

I suggest you pick an activity of your choice and budget range and simply start working on it. If you call the local Whatcom Democrats ( offices, they will have suggestions for you.  I joined the Democratic Party after listening to Noel Frame's marvelous speech at the Key Arena Bernie Rally.  I wan't to help. 

But since then I can definitely tell you that running and winning elections isn't a magical process. I haven't met any magicians in the Democratic Party in Whatcom County.  And our party has division within it's ranks that mirrors the Bernie/Clinton rivalry.  Winning this election won't happen without your help and contributions. Please help!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Withering Primary Participation in Whatcom County and WA ahead of August 2nd Primary

May 24th and August 2nd  (2016) Primaries in Whatcom County: Comparing 'AVReturnedDate' by volume. Click to Enlarge.
Whether because of summering students or depressed Berners, primary participation in Whatcom County and across WA is unimpressive to date. After a strong weekend showing of 3,990 ballots on Monday, an underwhelming 430 ballots were received today (Tuesday) bringing Whatcom County's turnout to 12,557 (9.49%) with five (5) counting weekdays left. It is an unfair comparison due to student participation in May, but the recent Presidential Primary had 30,869 ballots received in the same number of days ahead of May 24th, 2016.  Most of the state is doing no better than us:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Who do I vote for?

If I were a voter in Whatcom County, my number one question right now is: "Who do I vote for?"

Come August 3rd, if you eventually find your precinct turnout is low or that falloff is high, the lists below the break taken from the sample ballot might explain why.  PCO elections are not listed here. I am imagining a wave of electoral choices washing over casual or "low information" voters like a rogue wave overwhelming an unaware beach comber. 8/10s of 1% of all ballots have been returned by this morning.

Ballots Mailed: July 13, 2016
Number of Registered Voters: 134,011
Ballots Returned: 1,093
Percentage of Ballots returned: 10:59 AM 7/18/2016
(1093/134011) * 100
[1] 0.816