Washington

Upcoming Elections

2022-07-15 – Early Voting Starts

Fri Jul 15, 2022

2022-07-25 – Registration Deadline (Online by)

Online by Mon Jul 25, 2022

2022-07-25 – Registration Deadline (Post received by)

Post received by Mon Jul 25, 2022

2022-08-02 – Ballot Return Deadline

Tue Aug 2, 2022

2022-08-02 – Ballot Request Deadline (In-Person Request by)

In-Person Request by Tue Aug 2, 2022 8:00PM PDT

2022-08-02 – Registration Deadline (In-Person Request by)

In-Person Request by Tue Aug 2, 2022 8:00PM PDT

2022-08-02 – Registration Deadline (Election Day Registration & Voting)

Election Day Registration & Voting Tue Aug 2, 2022

2022-08-02 – Early Voting Ends

Tue Aug 2, 2022

Last Updated: April 2022

Voting in Washington

When You Can Vote

Election Day: Ballots are sent via mail to registered voters at least 18 days before each election (90 days for military and overseas). If you are registered to vote in Washington, there is no need to request a ballot.  Completed ballots must be deposited or postmarked no later than Election Day, or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day.  USPS recommends that you mail ballots a week before Election Day. 

In addition, each county voting center is open during business hours 18 days before the election day and ends at 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election. You can vote in person at a voting center.

Where You Can Vote

All counties in Washington State vote by mail.  Your ballot is mailed to you at least 18 days before each election. Your ballot packet will include a ballot, a secrecy envelope or secrecy sleeve, and a return envelope with pre-paid postage. Follow the instructions that accompany your ballot. If you are a registered voter and do not receive your ballot, contact your county elections department

In addition, each county opens a voting center prior to each election. Each voting center is open during business hours beginning 18 days before the election date. Vote centers provide voter registration materials, ballots, provisional ballots, disability access voting units, sample ballots, instructions on how to properly vote the ballot, a ballot drop box, and a voters’ pamphlet.

You can locate your nearest voting center by logging into VoteWA or contacting your county’s elections department.

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines

  • For registration deadlines, see How to Register below.

How to Check Your Registration: Voters can determine whether they are registered to vote at the following link: Am I Registered?.

You are eligible to vote in Washington if you:

  • Are a U.S citizen
  • Are a resident of Washington
  • Are at least 18 years old by Election Day

Convicted felons should contact their local election official to determine if they need to re-register to vote. In most cases felons are eligible to vote once they are no longer in prison or supervised by the DOC.

You are NOT eligible to vote in Washington if:

  • You were disqualified from voting due to a court order

How to register 

  • Washington State Primary Election
    • Apply Online: Online by Mon Jul 25, 2022
    • Post received by Mon Jul 25, 2022
    • In-Person Request by Tue Aug 2, 2022 8:00PM PDT
    • In Person: Election Day Registration & Voting Tue Aug 2, 2022

Registration Deadlines: 

The deadline to register to vote by mail or online is 8 days before the date of election, i.e. April 18, 2022 for the April 26, 2022 special election. If you are filing a new registration, you may do so after the mail/online deadline, in person at any time before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day..  

Important note: Military (including military spouses and dependants away from home because of military service) and overseas voters are exempt from the voter registration deadline, but they must provide their last Washington State residential address, or the address of a family member, when they request a ballot. The last day to register and request a ballot for military and overseas voters is Election Day.  Even if you are not registered, you may still vote and send in a ballot because your signature on the declaration attests to your eligibility and constitutes registration.  

How to Check Your Registration: Visit the VoteWA website or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility: To register to vote, you MUST be:

  • A United States citizen;
  • A legal resident of Washington;
  • 18 years of age or older on election day;
  • Not disqualified from voting due to a court order; and
  • Not under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction.

How to Register

Online

Individuals may register to vote online in Washington.  The Online Voter Registration Form asks for your Washington State driver’s license or a current Washington State identification card.

In Person

You may find a voter registration application at any county elections office or DMV office and other state agencies, such as the health benefit exchange. If you register at the DMV or other location, retain proof of your voter registration application in case your application is not properly transmitted to the Secretary of State.

By Mail

Voter registration forms are also available by mail. Applicants may visit the Washington Secretary of State website to receive a voter registration form. Applicants may also contact their county elections office to receive a voter registration form.  

Voting Early at a Vote Center & by Mail Ballot

If You Want to Vote Absentee, requests may be made:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
  • By Fax
  • By Email

Absentee Ballots may be returned:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
Washington State Primary Election

Ballot Request:

  • In-Person Request by Tue Aug 2, 2022 8:00PM PDT

Ballot Return:

  • Tue Aug 2, 2022

Early Voting:

  • Early Voting from Fri Jul 15, 2022 to Tue Aug 2, 2022

If You Want to Vote Early or Mail

All registered voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot, but may, alternatively, vote in person at an early voting center starting 18 days before Election Day, i.e. April 18, 2022 for the April 26, 2022 special election.  If the voter wishes to cast a ballot at an early vote center, but their election records indicate that they already voted the vote-by-mail ballot, the voter will be given a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot will only be counted if the vote-by-mail regular ballot is not received. 

Turning in your Absentee (Vote-by-mail) ballot

Your vote-by-mail ballot must be postmarked no later than election day or returned to a designated ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

If you fail to sign the ballot declaration, or the signature on the ballot declaration does not match the signature in your voter registration record, your county elections department will contact you for further verification. If you are unable to sign the declaration, you can make a mark in front of two witnesses and have them sign in the designated spaces.

You can check the status of your ballot by logging into VoteWA and clicking on “Ballot Status”.

Identification Requirements for Voting In Person

Voter Registration

To register to vote in Washington you should provide one of the following:

  • Washington Learner’s Permit
  • Your Washington Driver’s License Number
  • Your Washington ID Number

If you do not have these IDs, you may provide:

  • Last Four Digits of your Social Security Number

Voting In-Person

Washington has all-mail elections. If you registered without a Washington Driver’s License, Washington State ID, or Social Security number, you will need to show a valid ID to vote. You can use any ID from this list:

  • Valid Tribal ID
  • Valid Photo ID
  • Government Issued Document that shows your current name and address
  • Paycheck that Shows your Current Name and Address
  • Government Check
  • Bank Statement
  • Utility Bill

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

If you vote in person, you will need to sign a ballot declaration and your signature will be compared to your registration signature. Otherwise, you will need to provide valid photo ID. Valid forms include:

  • Washington driver’s license, 
  • State identification card, 
  • Student identification card, 
  • Tribal identification card, or 
  • Employer identification card. 

If you do not have one of these forms of identification, then your vote will be by provisional ballot. If voters are shown as not registered or their right to vote is otherwise challenged, they may still vote by provisional ballot.

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Moving Within the Same County

A registered voter can update their address by appearing in person before the county auditor, or at a voting center or other location designated by the county auditor, no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election. The voter may also update their address by submitting a voter registration form or by submitting information to the department of licensing, the health benefit exchange, or an agency that has implemented automatic voter registration, to their new county auditor no later than 8 days before the election day.

If the voter has missed the deadline, the voter may contact the county auditor, and vote according to his or her previous address.

Moving Between Counties

The voter should update his or her address 8 days before election day, i.e. January 31, 2022 or earlier with the Secretary of State or the county auditor. The voter must update his or her address by submitting an updated voter registration application. 

If the voter has missed the deadline, the voter may contact the county auditor, and vote according to his or her previous address. 

If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter

Voting Military

Service members and their dependents may register and request a ballot using the federal voter registration/ballot request form (“FPCA”). You will have the following identification options when completing the form though ID is not required:

  • U.S. State or Territory or District Issued ID
  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID
  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number

Voting Overseas

U.S. citizens living overseas may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form. You will have the following identification options when completing the form though ID is not required:

  • U.S. State or Territory or District Issued ID
  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID
  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Military and overseas citizens can register to vote by fax or mail or can register to vote online by logging onto the Washington Secretary of State’s My Vote tool. Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request a special absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) Washington-specific FPCA page for details on using the FPCA. 

Military and overseas voters are exempt from the regular voter registration deadlines. The last day to register and request a ballot is Election Day. Even if you are not registered, you may still vote and send in a ballot because your signature on the declaration attests to your eligibility and constitutes registration.  

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

Military and overseas citizens can receive voting materials by fax, email, or postal service. Military and overseas voters may qualify to receive a ballot as early as 90 days before the election. Contact your county elections department to:

  • Request a ballot or a replacement ballot;
  • Change how you receive your ballot (for example, by email instead of postal mail); or
  • Update your voter registration record (for example, update your mailing address).

If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA. Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP’s Washington-specific FPCA page.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 8:00 p.m. Election Day deadline.  Ballots must be returned by the 8 p.m. Election Day deadline if sent by fax, or if sent by mail, post marked by Election Day and received by the county election office by the 20th day after the General Election. The FWAB can be used to register to vote. If you are using the FWAB to register to vote, it must be received by the registration deadline listed in the “Federal Election Deadlines” chart..

You can use the FWAB to vote in federal, state, and local elections, including ballot measures. For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Washington-specific FWAB page.

If You Have A Felony Conviction

If you were convicted of a felony in Washington State, your right to vote is provisionally restored as long as you are not under the authority (in prison or on community custody) of the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC). Once your right is restored, you must re-register to vote in order to receive a ballot.

If you have questions about your status with Washington State DOC, you can call (800) 430-9674. For more information about voting with a felony conviction, please visit here

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