Washington  

Voting Guide

Voter Registration Deadline by mail or online: received by 8 days before Election Day.

  • You may register in person on Election Day.

 

2020

  • Presidential Primary Election Registration Deadline: March 2

  • Presidential Primary Election: March 10

  • Primary Election (Other Offices) Registration Deadline: July 27

  • Primary Election (Other Offices): August 4

  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 26

  • General Election: November 3

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.

 

Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.

 

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

To register online, you must have a valid Washington state driver’s license, state identification card, or a tribal identification card, if your signature can be obtained through the federal or tribal governments. 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. 

You do not need any ID to vote in Washington by mail. Most people in Washington vote by mail, and this is recommended.

If you want to vote in person at a voting center, first-time voters who registered by mail or voter registration drive and did not provide a verified Washington driver’s license, learner’s permit, state ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security Number, will need to present one of the following when in voting in person:

  • Valid photo ID;

  • Valid tribal ID of a federally recognized Indian tribe in Washington State;

  • Copy of a current utility bill;

  • Current bank statement;

  • Copy of a current government check;

  • Copy of a current paycheck; or

  • A government document that shows both your name and address.

 

Additionally, if you vote in person at a voting center, then you need to either sign a ballot declaration or present a photo ID, such as:

  • A driver’s license or state ID card;

  • A student ID card;

  • A tribal ID; or

  • An employer ID card.

 

A tribal identification card is not required to include a residential address or an expiration date to be considered valid, but the other forms of ID must have those features. Anyone who wants to vote in person but cannot provide ID will vote a provisional ballot, which shall be accepted if the signature on the declaration matches the signature on the voter's registration record.

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  and Select Drop Boxes and Voting Center Locations. You can then view a list or a map of drop boxes and voting centers in your area.

Mail-in/Drop-off

Washington mostly votes by mail. Registered voters will receive their ballot 18 days before the election. The ballot packet will include a ballot, a secrecy envelope, a return envelope, a declaration the voter must sign, and instructions for filling out and returning your ballot. 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.

County election officials match your signature on a mail ballot with your voter registration signature. Voters are contacted if they don’t match, but if your signature has changed since you registered, it is a good idea to contact your election official in advance.

 

In-person

You can also vote in person at a voting center during the voting period starting 18 days before the election and ending at 8 p.m. on Election Day. That will require showing photo ID (see above). For locations and hours, go to MyVote.wa.gov or contact your county election office: https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/auditors/.

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?

  • No. Washington does not require newly registered voters to obtain a Washington driver’s license or register their vehicles there.

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 North Carolina legal professional.
 
Last updated March 2019