Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below. If you still need help, you can reach us by email at or phone at 360-427-9670 ext. 470

Registering to Vote in Washington

Do I need an ID to register online to vote?

Yes. All Washington residents who are eligible to vote may register online using the Voter Portal if they have a valid Washington State Driver’s License or state-issued ID. If you do not have either of these forms of ID you can submit a paper voter registration by mail or fill one out in person at our Vote Center.

I’ve moved. How do I change my address?

You can update your Washington residence address online using the Voter Portal or by submitting a paper voter registration application by mail or in-person at our Vote Center.

When is the deadline to register to vote?

Washington enacted Same-Day Voter Registration in 2019. This means that all eligible voters have up until 8:00 PM on an election day to register to vote, or update registration information, and receive a ballot. This must be done in-person at a county Vote Center. The deadline for voter registrations or updates by mail or online is eight days prior to an election. These deadlines are listed on our Voter Resources page.

How do I change my political party preference?

Washington State is unique in that voter registration does not include an option for registering by party.

Voting in Washington State

How do I vote in Washington?

Washington is a universal Vote by Mail state, there are no neighborhood polling places. Eligible registered voters will receive their ballot in the mail. Simply follow the instructions and return it to a designated ballot drop box or through the mail. Postage is prepaid, so no need to hunt for a stamp.

Do I need to request a Special Absentee ballot?

Washington state voters vote by mail. All eligible voters are automatically mailed a ballot at least 18 days before every election. There is no need to sign-up or request a mail-in ballot. If you are unsure if you are registered or if your address is current, you can confirm your registration information here:

If you will not be able to access your mail during the 18-day voting period, need to receive your ballot at a different address, or need to access your ballot electronically, you can add a temporary or seasonal address at or by calling the Elections Department at (360) 427-9670 ext. 470.

If it is within 90 days prior to a state Primary or General Election and you believe that you will be unable to access, vote, and return a regularly-issued ballot within the time provided by law, you can complete the Special Absentee Ballot Application to receive you ballot earlier.

What if I didn’t receive a ballot?

There are various reasons a voter might not receive a ballot, including: voter information changes after ballots are mailed (name, address, precinct, etc.); voter registration is inactive; post office unable to deliver to your address; your precinct is not in the current election etc.

For whatever reason, if you do not receive your ballot please call the Vote Center at (360) 427-9670 ext. 470 to request a replacement.

Where can I vote on election day?

If you need to

  • Register for the first time
  • Update your registration information
  • Need additional help with voting
  • Need a new ballot, for any reason

You can visit the Mason County Vote Center which is open until 8 pm on election day. The Vote Center is located at 411 N 5th St., Shelton, WA.

How do I know my ballot was received and counted?

Three to four days after you have returned your ballot, either by mail (postage is prepaid) or to one of the designated ballot drop boxes, you can check the status of your ballot using the online Voter Portal or by calling our office at (360) 427-9670 ext. 470.

What if I receive a letter from the elections department about my ballot?

If we receive your ballot and it is missing a signature, the signature doesn’t match, or for any other reason there is an issue, we will immediately send you a letter giving you an opportunity to correct the issue.

It is important to follow the instructions and return the letter, along with any additional form, by the deadline date indicated. If it is not returned in time we will not be able to process and count your ballot for that election.

What if I have special circumstances that could affect my ability to vote?

In Washington we have very clear rules about the following voting situations. Click the link to the appropriate page to find out more:

If you do not find the information you need in the list above, you can call us at (360) 427-9670 ext. 470 to discuss your specific circumstances.

What to Expect on Election Day

What do I need to bring with me?

Since eligible registered voters receive their ballots automatically by mail, it is only necessary to visit the Vote Center in-person on election day for the following reasons:

  • To register for the first time and receive a ballot
  • To make changes to your registration information and receive a new ballot
  • To request a replacement ballot because you didn’t receive one or it was lost or destroyed
  • To use the Accessible Voting Unit
If you are already registered, you are not required to show identification, since you are already in the system. Once you have voted the signature on your return envelope will be checked against the signature in your voter registration file before your ballot is accepted and counted.

However, it is a good idea to bring photo identification with you when you are registering to vote for the first time. We can register you with a valid Driver’s License or the last four digits of your social security number.

What are my rights as a voter?
  • If you are still in line at 8pm on election day, stay in line – you have the right to vote.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one.
  • Voters are entitled to a provisional ballot, even if they aren’t in the registration system.
  • If you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day, call the Election Protection Hotline:
    • English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683
    • Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682
    • Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US / 1-844-925-5287
    • For Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese: 1-888-274-8683