Washington | Voting Guide

 
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Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

Voter Registration Deadline: 8 days before Election Day. 


Eligible voters may also register in-person and cast a ballot on Election Day.


 
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Official Election Websites
 
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Register at School or Home

Students have a decision about where to register to vote.


You have a right to register to vote at the address you consider the place where you live, whether that is your family's home or the place where you attend school. You should update your registration anytime this home address changes.


You may only be registered and vote in one location.

 
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What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

To register online, you must have a valid Washington state driver’s license, state identification card, or learner's permit.


To register by mail, Washington’s voter registration form asks for your Washington driver’s license, learner’s permit or state ID number, or, if you don’t have any of those, the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.

 
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What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

Washington conducts its elections primarily by mail and does not require an ID to vote by mail.


Voters who decide to vote in-person at a voting center must sign a ballot delcaration or present a photo ID, such as:

  • A driver’s license or state ID card

  • A student ID card

  • A tribal ID

  • An employer ID card


Except for a tribal identification card, the ID must include a residential address or an expiration date to be considered valid.

 
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Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. To look up where to return your ballot or vote in person at a voting center, you can log in to MyVote.wa.gov.

 
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How Can I Vote?

Mail-in/Drop-off


Washington mostly votes by mail. Ballots are mailed to registered voters at least 18 days before the election. 


Voters who will not be present at the address associated with their voter registration during the election process must contact their county elections department to request that the ballot be mailed to a different address.


The ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day, returned to a designated ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day, or returned in-person to the county elections department by 8 p.m. on Election Day.



In-person


All Washington voters retain the right to vote in-person. You can vote in person at a voting center during the voting period starting 18 days before the election and ending at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. 


For locations and hours, go to MyVote.wa.gov or contact your county election office at: https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/auditors/.


 
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Common Questions/Concerns

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:


Federal Financial Aid

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.


Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.


Tuition Status

Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.


 

Will registering to vote in Washington affect my driver’s license or car registration?

As a new resident of Washington, you may be required to obtain a Washington driver's license or update your car's registration, regardless of whether you register to vote there. For more information, you may wish to contact the Washington Department of Licensing.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Washington legal professional.

 

Last updated July 2021