Summary of Registration, Voting, and Political Rights
Who can register to vote?
You can if you are:
• A citizen of the United States;
• A legal resident of Washington State;
• At least 18 years old by Election Day;
• Not under the authority of the Department of Corrections; and
• Not disqualified from voting due to a court order.
A person convicted of a felony can register to vote in Washington once are out of jail or prison and off of community custody. Sometimes they can do so sooner if their court of conviction was federal or another state. See below for more information.
In a nut shell, that is who can and cannot vote. However, there are a few unusual situations that pertain to people who are a ward of the court, etc. For those other situation, visit here.
How do I register?
You can register to vote in a few different ways. You can register on-line at the Secretary of States website. You can often 0btain a voter registration form at the post office or county court house, or you can request or print one at http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/register_mail.aspx
The Deadline for Registration
For the 2012 fall general election, the deadline for mail-in registration and online registration is Monday, Monday, October 8, 2012.
First time voters in Washington State: If you are a first time Washington State Voter, you may register late in person at your county courthouse (either the Auditor’s Office or the Elections Division) for a few days after that deadline. This year that late deadline is October 29th, 2012.
Don’t be disenfranchised!
If have not promptly received your ballot after they were mailed by the county but you know are registered, you should call your County Elections office or the County Auditors Office.
Make sure your voter registration is updated for your current address.
When you move you need to re-register because the county needs to know where to send your ballot.
People with Felonies and their Voting Rights
Democrats in Olympia have made it much easier for people with felony convictions to register to vote. Your right to register to vote again is automatically restore . . .
If your Conviction was in a Washington State Court and you are 1) out of prison (or jail) and 2) not in community custody for a felony. If you have questions about whether you are on community custody with Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC), call 1-800-430-9674.
If your conviction was in another state or federal court and you are no longer in jail for that felony.
Once your right to vote is restored, you must register to vote in order to receive a ballot. You can register to vote either by mail or online or in person.
Maintaining the Right to Vote:
You will maintain your right to vote if you do not commit another felony.
Owing fines, restitution, or court fees for your felony conviction does not automatically take your right to vote away. Someone would have to file a complaint with the court asking the judge to revoke your right to vote because you missed three or more payments.
Download leaflet on Felonies and Voting Rights in Washington State: There are two versions. One that mentions it was Democrats who made it easier for people with felonies to vote, and one that does not mention that.
- Felonies and Voting Rights: Democrats make it easier for people with felonies to vote.
- Felonies and Voting Rights: No mention of Democrats.