How to Vote in Washington

Kelly Hernandez
A man putting a ballot in a ballot box.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

How to Register to Vote in Washington

If you have a valid Washington driver’s license or identification card, you may register to vote online. The system first asks for your name and date of birth so it can check that you haven’t already registered to vote in the state. You must also provide your address so the system registers you to vote in the correct county.

You may also choose to register to vote in Washington in person at your county elections department. Bring your Washington identification card or driver’s license. You must have established residency in the state at least 30 days before attempting to register to vote. Your residency address can be different from your mailing address, but you can only register to vote using one location.

To register to vote by mail in Washington, you must first request a voter registration application online or in person at your county elections department. Complete the form and provide your driver’s license or identification card number or Social Security number. Send your completed application to your county elections department for processing.

You must complete your online or mail-in voter registration application at least eight days before an election to participate. However, you can register to vote in person up to election day at 8 p.m. and still cast your ballot.

Am I Registered to Vote in Washington?

Use the online voter registration website to check on your registration status. When you provide your identification information, the system pulls up your record and you can ensure your registration is valid. Review your record to make sure your address is correct. The system also provides a sample ballot and shows you what you’ll be able to vote for in the coming election.

Early Voting in Washington

All counties in Washington conduct vote-by-mail elections. If you’re registered in time for an election, you’ll receive a mailed ballot you use to cast your vote. The ballot is mailed to you approximately 18 days before the election. Your completed ballot must be postmarked and sent to the address provided on the ballot or turned into a polling place no later than election day at 8 p.m.

If you prefer to vote in person, each Washington county opens its own voting center 18 days before an election. Most are open regular business hours and close at 8 p.m. each day until the end of election day.

Voting in Washington on Election Day

When you check your voter registration status online, you’re also provided with information on your county elections department. You may drop off your paper ballot at your county elections department on election day before 8 p.m. You may also obtain information on your local voting center through your elections department and submit your ballot in person.

Why Voting Is Important

As a United States citizen and Washington resident, you have the right to vote. By exercising this right, you have the ability to choose the public official who most closely aligns with your beliefs, morals, and goals for your state and country. The government official you choose to elect has a say in national or local issues, such as:

When you participate in elections as a Washington resident, you make your voice heard as a citizen. Check your voter registration to ensure your information is updated and your status is valid so you can vote in the general election on November 3, 2020.

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