League of Women Voters

Voting In Washington

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Election Day (by going to local voting center)
By Mail:
Mail and Online: Monday, July 29, 2019
Election Dates:
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 (Special Election)
Secretary of State
520 Union Ave. SE
PO Box 40229
Olympia, WA 98504-0229
(360) 664-4619

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in Washington you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States;
  • A legal resident of Washington State;
  • At least 18 years old by Election Day;
  • Not disqualified from voting due to a court order; and
  • Not under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction.

A voter who lacks a traditional residence may use the place he or she currently sleeps at night or spends most of their time. A mailing address could be a General Delivery address or, if permission is granted, the address of a shelter or a friend or a relative. For more information on residency requirements please click here.

ID Needed for Voter Registration

ID is necessary to register. If you register by mail and do not have a Washington state driver's license, Washington state ID card, or a Social Security number, you will be required to provide one of the following items when you cast your ballot:

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

If you do not provide one of the above items either before or at the time of voting, your ballot will be treated as a provisional ballot.

ID Needed for Voting?

ID is only required if you use an audiovisual unit at a voting center. Acceptable forms of ID for voting include:

  • Photo ID, such as a driver's license, state ID card, student ID card, or tribal ID card
  • Voter registration card
  • Utility Bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Government check
  • Other government document

A voter who does not have ID may vote a provisional ballot.

Registration Deadline

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

The in registration deadline for in person, mailed or online registrations is 29 days before an election. New Washington State voters can still register to vote up until the 8th day before an election.

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status, please use your state's voter verification tool.

Vote by Mail

Washington State votes by mail. Your ballot is mailed to you at least 18 days before each election. In order to receive your ballot your voter registration address must be current. You can update your address online with MyVote.

Your ballot packet will include a ballot, a secrecy envelope and a return envelope. If you need a replacement ballot contact your county election officials.

The ballot must be

  • Postmarked no later than Election day; or
  • Returned to a designated ballot drop box by 8pm on Election Day; or
  • Returned in person to your county elections department by 8pm on Election Day

You can still vote in person on or before Election Day. Each county will have a voting center, which will be open during business hours beginning 18 days before the election and ending at 8pm on Election Day. You can find your voting center here.

If you fail to sign the ballot declaration, or the signature on the ballot declaration does not match the signature in your voter registration record, your county elections department will contact you.

Absentee Ballot Process

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot. You do not need to be ill or "absent" to be an absentee voter.

You may request an absentee ballot as early as 90 days before an election. (No absentee ballots are issued on election day except to a voter who is a resident of a health care facility). The request for an absentee ballot must be made to your county auditor or elections department. You can also fill out an absentee ballot request for here.

NOTE: Absentee ballots must be signed and postmarked or delivered to the county election officer on or before election day.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Election Dates

The next election is Tuesday, August 6, 2019 (Primary Election). Mail and online registration deadline: Monday, July 29, 2019. In person registration can occur through Election Day (by 8pm) by going to your local voting center.

Contact your local Board of Elections for more information.


Poll Worker Information

Washington has a vote by mail process and does not have traditional polling places that require staffing by poll workers. To find out how you can volunteer on Election Day, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

Washington is a mail in ballot state and does not have polling places. Your county election officials can provide information about voting centers/election offices.

Polling Place Locator

Even though Washington is a vote by mail state, you can still vote in person on or before Election Day. Each county will have a voting center, which will be open during business hours beginning 18 days before the election and ending at 8pm on Election Day. You can find your voting center here.

Provisional Voting

Provisional ballots are counted 14-21 days after the election.

Voters can request that a provisional ballot be mailed to them by contacting their County Auditor's office. Provisional ballot means a ballot issued to a voter who would otherwise be denied an opportunity to vote a regual ballot, for any reason authorized by the Help America Vote Act, including but not limited to the following:

  • The voter's name does not appear in the list of registered voters for the county
  • There is an indication in the voter registration system that the voter has already voted in the primary, special election, or general election, but the voter wishes to vote again
  • There is a question on the part of the voter concerning the issues or candidates on which the voter is qualitifed to vote
  • Any other reason allowed by law.

After the election you may contact your county elections department to confirm that your ballot was counted.

Voting Machines

Washington is a mail in ballot state. The public may observe the processing of mail ballots. You may contact your County Auditor to arrange times to observe. Ballots are tabulated on optical scan and digital scan tabulating equipment. The equipment must be able to determine the ballot format for every ballot. Bar codes on each ballot allow the tabulation equipment to immediately determine the ballot format of that ballot, which allows the equipment to correctly read the ballot. For more information about ballot barcodes and this process please use your state's resource tool.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

Federal law requires that every voting center have a voting system that is accessible to all individuals with disabilities. The law requires that the system provide individuals with disabilities the same opportunity to vote privately and independently as other voters. When possible, the county auditor must use voting centers that are accessible to all voters. In instances where a voting center does not meet accessibility standards, additional assistance must be available. The accessibility standards include:

  • Written notice to voters assigned to an inaccessible voting center explaining the factors that make the voting center inaccessible. This notice must be provided no later than 30 days prior to an election.
  • Reassignment to an accessible voting center upon advance request from a voter assigned to an inaccessible polling place.
  • A disabled parking space.
  • Signs identifying an accessible route of travel to the voting center if different than the primary route.
  • An unobstructed route of travel to the voting center.
  • Level, firm, stable and slip-resistant surfaces.
  • An unobstructed area for voting.
  • At least one voting booth with a maximum height of 30 inches and a minimum knee clearance of 27 inches.
  • Sufficient lighting along the accessible route of travel and within the voting center.

Please contact your county elections department to learn about multilingual services that may be available at your voting site. Assistance may be provided by a person of the voter's choice, or by two election officials of opposite political parties.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on campaign contributions, please go to your state's site.

Election Day Problems?

Call one of these hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-YALLA-US (Arabic)


Donations to the LWVEF, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax-deductible. The LWVEF tax id number is 53-0239013.