Washington is a vote-by-mail state. You can register to vote by mail or in person. You can find all the relevant dates and deadlines for 2020 here.
As the coronavirus pandemic has upended normal balloting, more than half of voters under the age of 35 say they don't have the resources or knowledge they need to vote by mail in November, according to a new poll.
Where can I find a ballot box? How do I mail my ballot?
There are ballot drop box locations throughout the state. Your ballot must be dropped by 8pm on Election Day.
You may also vote by mail. Your ballot needs to be postmarked (processed by a postal worker or the post office) by 8pm on Election Day.
Your ballot does NOT need to be stamped.
There are a few options for sending your ballot through the mail instead of dropping it in a ballot box:
- You can leave your ballot for your mail carrier to pick up (but try not to wait until Election Day)
- Drop off your ballot at a Post Office before they close, typically at 5pm or earlier
- Drop your ballot into a blue United States Postal Service (USPS) collection boxes. These are found on corners, in shopping centers, outside business and even outside post offices. Postal employees empty the collection boxes, so you don’t have to worry about your ballot being stolen.
- Collection times are posted on each box. Mail is collected from the blue collection boxes typically by 5pm or sometimes even noon, so vote early!
- If you’ve missed the last pick-up time, then find your nearest ballot box or post office.
- DO NOT drop your ballot in a FedEx (purple and orange), UPS (brown), or Amazon Locker (yellow) box.
Demand to be counted. Learn more about the powerful connection between the census and voting.
The Census and Elections
Can I Vote?To vote in Washington, you must be:
- Registered to vote
- A citizen of the United States
- A legal resident of Washington state for at least 30 days prior to election day
- At least 18 years old by election day
- Not disqualified from voting due to a court order
- Not under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction
A person may lose the right to vote when convicted of a felony in adult court. You do not lose you right to vote in Washington for a misdemeanor or juvenile conviction, even if you were incarcerated. See more from the ACLU of Washington and the Secretary of State.
I live in an unmarked home or I have a nontraditional address on tribal land
Washington’s Native American Voting Rights Act was signed into law March 14, 2019. The Act allows for “unmarked homes” and “a nontraditional residential address may be used when a voter resides on an Indian reservation or on Indian lands.” Voters may list a building designated by the tribe in their precinct as their residential address.
I have a disability that prevents me from voting by mail, even during the COVID-19 pandemic
Voters with disabilities can request a reasonable accommodation or assistance to vote. To request a reasonable accommodation or assistance, contact your county elections department.
Detailed information is available at the Secretary of State.
Each county opens a voting center prior to each primary, special election, and general election. Each voting center is open during business hours during the voting period, which begins eighteen days before, and ends at 8:00 p.m. on the day of, the primary, special election, or general election. You can locate your nearest voting center by logging into VoteWA.gov or contacting your county's elections department.
I do not have a home or a stable address
You can register by providing a physical location where you spend most of your time, and a valid mailing address. You can use the address or cross-streets of the shelter (e.g. 10th and Pike, 98122), park, vehicle, intersection or other identifiable location that you consider your current residence if you do not have a traditional residential address. This location will be used to determine which precinct you will vote in.
Along with your residential address, you must also provide a valid mailing address. You need a mailing address in order to receive your ballot and election information on time. You could use a post office box, address of a friend or relative, shelter, day center, or Community Service Office where you can get mail, or general delivery at a local post office.
I don’t have a Washington State ID or Driver’s License
You don’t need one. Use the last four (4) digits of your social security number to sign up using a paper form.
I need access to language assistance
Voter registration is available in many languages to print for mail-in registration.
Voter registration is available in a few languages online - but not as many as the mail in option.
I don’t know if I’m registered
Check your registration status here.
I can’t print a paper form
Request forms be mailed to you by contacting Voter Registration Customer Service at VRSupport@sos.wa.gov or call 800-448-4881. Because of the pandemic, the The Elections office is closed to the general public until further notice so please don’t go in person (updated 7/17/20).
I haven’t received my ballot
Your ballot is mailed to you at least 18 days before each election. If you haven’t received it, verify your registration and address here.
Contact Voter Registration Customer Service at VRSupport@sos.wa.gov or call 800-448-4881. Because of the pandemic, the The Elections office is closed to the general public until further notice so please don’t go in person (updated 7/17/20).
I lost my ballot!
Request a replacement ballot. Contact Voter Registration Customer Service at VRSupport@sos.wa.gov or call 800-448-4881. Because of the pandemic, the The Elections office is closed to the general public until further notice so please don’t go in person (updated 7/17/20).
I just turned 18
If your address has not changed, you can expect to receive a mailed ballot approximately 2 weeks before Election Day. Get ready to vote!
I am a US Citizen living abroad
You can vote from anywhere in the world! Update your mailing address online with VoteWA or contact your county elections department.
I’m away from Washington right now, but still in the US
Even if you are living outside of Washington State, you will retain your residency if you are:
- Employees in the civil or military service of the state or of the United States;
- Living overseas;
- Attending college or any institution of learning; or
- Confined in any public prison. Find more information on Voting Rights Restoration here.
Answers about voting by mail.
Answers about the current election.