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Notice: Mail-in voting is a convenient and safe way to vote, but your ballot might not count if it’s submitted late or with errors. So follow the directions below on how to vote early or absentee and make your vote count in Washington.
Washington is a vote-by-mail state. Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters, meaning it has a one step process.
After you complete your ballot, be sure to return it ASAP!
Need your ballot sent to a different address? Apply here and follow the steps listed above. There is no set deadline but it is recommended that you apply at least seven days before Election Day. If you need to receive a replacement ballot in the week before the election, you may print your ballot using your online voter portal.
Remember to sign your return ballot.
After you complete your ballot, be sure to sign the declaration on the outside of the ballot envelope.
Be sure that your signature matches your signature on file with the state! If you registered online or at the DMV, check the signature on your license. If the signature does not match, your ballot could be tossed and will not count.
If you return your ballot by mail, your postage is prepaid. You can also return your ballot via commercial delivery services, such as FedEx or UPS (at your expense).
You can also drop off your ballot in person at your local elections office, drop box, or early voting locations.
Anyone may return a ballot on your behalf.
If you have an absentee ballot that you are not going to use, or you miss the deadline to return, you may go to your vote center and vote in person. You may be asked to use a provisional ballot.
Washington does offer voters a chance to address challenges to their ballot.
Your state has a cure period, which means you can “cure” a challenge to the signature on your ballot if it was done incorrectly. Your local election office is required to contact you and give you options to remedy your ballot. You have until the election certification process begins, which is usually 21 days after Election Day.
You may get a call from a number you do not recognize with a notification that you need to cure your ballot. Be sure to pick up so that you don’t miss your chance to make sure your vote counts.
Washington conducts their elections by mail. When voting by mail, voters do not need to provide any form of ID. Voters in Washington who choose to vote in person at a voter center will need to provide an acceptable photo ID or give their signature on a ballot declaration/provisional ballot. Valid forms of identification include;
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Primary Type (D): Open
Primary Type (R): Open
No party affiliation is required to participate in Washington’s primaries. You will choose which political party’s ballot you’d like to vote when you go to vote. Being a member of a political party does not restrict which primary election you vote in. Visit Washington’s Democratic Party and Republican Party websites for more information.
Your state automatically registers people to vote at their address of record when they interact with certain state agencies. If you have moved, changed your name or want to add a political party selection, you must update your voter registration. Click here to check to see if you are registered to vote, and update your registration if needed.
You can register to vote and cast your ballot on Election Day at your polling place or local elections office. Bring a valid ID and proof of residence with you.
You can return your mail-in ballot to your early voting site.
You may vote early in person at any vote center in your county. You may also register to vote in person at vote centers through Election Day.
Some states have laws that specifically allow citizens to preregister at a certain age while others allow registration as long as you’re 18 by the next election. Preregistration means you’ll be automatically registered to vote on your 18th birthday without taking any additional steps.
In Washington, you can preregister to vote if you are 16. Register to vote today!
Some states even let you vote in their primaries at 17 if you’ll be 18 by the general election so you can participate in the whole process!
You can not vote in the Washington primaries if you are 17 by the next election.