How to register to vote in Washington

Washington offers online voter registration. You can register by mail to vote in Washington by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. You can also register to vote in person if you prefer. You can register or update your address online or by mail until 8 days before an election. You may also register in-person through Election Day. Registration forms submitted by mail need to be received, not postmarked by the 8-day deadline.

Who can vote

To register in Washington you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a legal resident of Washington State, your county and your precinct for 30 days immediately preceding the election in which you want to vote
  • be at least 18 years old by election day (16- and 17-year-olds can sign up as Future Voters and be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18)
  • not be under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction
  • *find more information on voting rights restoration here

Online voter registration

  • Washington offers online voter registration.
  • You should know: you need a Washington ID to use Washington’s online voter registration system. If you don’t have a Washington-issued ID, you can still register by mail to vote.
  • You can register online to vote until Monday, October 26, 2020.

By-mail voter registration

Use the Washington voter registration form

You can also register to vote using the Washington voter registration form. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and fill it out completely. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be received by Monday, October 26, 2020.

Use the National Voter Registration Form

  1. Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Box 6 – ID Number: You must provide your Washington driver’s license or state ID card number. If you do not have a Washington driver’s license or state ID card, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. Failure to provide this information may prevent your registration from being processed.
  3. Box 7 – Choice of Party: Washington does NOT require that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections.
  4. Box 8 – Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
  5. Review the “Who can vote?” section above and check that you’re eligible.
  6. Sign the form.
  7. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be received by Monday, October 26, 2020.
  8. If you are registering to vote for the first time in your jurisdiction and are mailing this registration application, Federal law requires you to show proof of identification the first time you vote. Proof of identification includes: A current and valid photo identification or A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address. More information here.

Election Day registration

Washington does offer registration in person during the early voting period and on Election Day.

In-person voter registration

  • You can also register to vote in person. Contact your local election office for information on when and where to register to vote. The deadline to register to vote in person is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
  • You can also register to vote and cast a ballot in person on Election Day.
  • Learn more by visiting the Secretary of State for Washington or contacting your local election official.
  • The deadline to update an existing voter registration with a new name or address is Monday, October 26, 2020.

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote can help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more. If you’d like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!

Military and overseas voters

Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:

  1. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
  2. Send the application to your election official.
  3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  4. Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:
    • 35 days before election – On a ship at sea: September 28, 2020
    • 30 days before election – Outside of the US: October 2, 2020
    • 11 days before the election – Stateside: October 23, 2020
  5. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven’t received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.

If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:

  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov offers additional information on military and overseas voting in Washington. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE or email vote@fvap.gov

Check your voter registration status

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Washington’s voter registration lookup tool.

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
  • The deadline to register online to vote is Monday, October 26, 2020.
  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (received by) Monday, October 26, 2020.
  • The deadline to register in person to vote is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The deadline to update an existing voter registration with a new name or address is Monday, October 26, 2020.
  • The early voting period runs from Friday, October 16, 2020 to Tuesday, November 3, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
  • You can also register and vote on Election Day.

Election contact information for Washington

Address:
Secretary of State
520 Union Avenue SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Phone Number:
(360) 902-4180