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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voting and advocacy resources by librarians for librarians

Voter Registration in Washington


  • Age: At least 16 and turning 18 before Election Day
  • Not currently serving a sentence of total confinement in prison under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections for a Washington felony conviction
  • Not currently incarcerated for a federal or out-of-state felony conviction
    • Effective January 1st, 2022, if you were convicted of a felony in Washington State, another state, or in federal court, your right to vote will be restored automatically as long as you are not currently serving a sentence of total confinement in prison.

  • Not disqualified from voting due to a court order
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Residence: A legal resident of Washington State for at least 30 days
  • College students can either vote absentee in their home state or register to vote in WA if they have lived in WA for at least 30 days and have established a residential address in WA.
  • Check to see if you are already registered.

For more information, please visit the Washington Secretary of State website.


  • Voter registration deadlines are determined by the date of the election.
  • Online and mail registration must be received 8 days before Election Day.
  • Register to vote in person during business hours at a county elections department and any time before 8:00 PM on Election Day.
  • Election Calendar

Online registration

To use the online voter registration system you will need a current Washington State driver's license, permit or ID card. If you do not have any of these, you may still register by mail or in person.

Online registration portal.

Mail-in registration

Printable forms in a variety of languages.

Updating registration      

To update registration after a move or name change use the voter registration form.

Cancelling registration

You may voluntarily cancel your Washington State voter registration by completing this form and returning it to your county elections department.

ID Requirements for Washington Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

Online Registration

To use the online voter registration system you will need a current Washington State driver's license, permit or ID card. If you do not have any of these, you may still register by mail or in person.

Online registration portal.

Mail-in Registration

An ID is not required for mail-in registration, but you must provide one of the documents listed on the form to verify residence:

  • Driver’s license number, OR
  • Last four digits of Social Security number

Mail-in Registration.

ID Requirements for Voting

Washington State is a vote-by-mail state, so refer to the ID requirements on the "Registration" tab.

Casting a Ballot in Washington

Important Dates

  • Presidential Primary: March 12, 2024
  • Primary: August 6, 2024
  • General Election: November 5, 2024
  • Full Calendar

Absentee voting

Washington State is a vote-by-mail state and you can vote in Washington State even if you are away from home during an election. Make sure you update your mailing address with your county elections department in order to receive your ballot at the correct address. Although your mailing address can be anywhere in the world, your residential address must remain in Washington State.

To apply for a Special Absentee Ballot, submit this form.

Polling places and hours

  • Washington State is a vote-by-mail state.
  • Ballot are mailed at least 18 days before each election.
  • Your ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 pm on Election Day.
  • Each county does open an in-person voting center prior to each election. These voting centers are open during business hours during the voting period (which starts 18 days prior to election day). You can locate your nearest voting center by logging into

Rides to the polls

Washington is a vote-by-mail state.

Help for voters with disabilities

  • Voters with disabilities can request a reasonable accommodation or assistance to vote. 
  • Accessible formats of the voters' pamphlet are available online.
  • Accessible voting units (AVUs) are available until 8 p.m. on Election Day at each county election department.
  • If someone is unable to cast a ballot due to a disability, they may designate a person of their choice -- or two election officers -- to enter the voting booth and record their votes as directed.
  • For more information regarding Voters with Disabilities, please visit the Washington Secretary of State website.


Info on candidates

Initiatives & Referenda



Primaries vs. general elections

  • Voters in Washington State do not declare a political party when they register.
  • Washington State is a "Top 2 Primary" state, which means:
    • Voters can vote for any candidate (regardless of political party) running in each primary race.
    • The two candidates who receive the most votes in the Primary Election qualify for the General Election.
  • Candidates can declare a preference for a certain party and that preference will appear besides their name on ballots.


Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

Federal (even years)

President/Vice-President (elected every four years; next election in 2024)

Senator (elected every six years for staggered terms)

Representative (elected every two years)

State Executive Officers (elected every four years)


Lieutenant Governor

Secretary of State



Attorney General

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Commissioner of Public Lands

Insurance Commissioner

State Legislative Office

State Senator (4 year terms)

State Representative (2 year terms)

State Judicial Office

State Supreme Court justice (6 year terms)

State Court of Appeals judge (6 year terms)

State Superior Court judge (4 year terms)

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

Important Dates

  • Presidential Primary: March 12, 2024
  • Primary: August 6, 2024
  • General Election: November 5, 2024
  • Full Calendar


Who conducts elections?

Voter Bill of Rights


Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

Any person who believes that a violation of Title III of the federal Help America Vote Act has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur may file a complaint with the Office of the Secretary of State.

Campaign finance

Washington State's Public Disclosure Commission provides public access to information about the financing of state political campaigns, lobbyist expenditures, and the financial affairs of public officials and candidates. 

How to contact your elected officials:

Find your elected representatives here

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections

Election Protection Hotlines

1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) (Asian multilingual assistance)

1-844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287) (Arabic)

Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits


Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

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These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

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