As of Friday, October 16, over 22 million Americans had already voted. The AP called it an “avalanche.” Seattle voters have certainly contributed to this phenomenon, with an estimated 60,000 votes already cast. That’s nearly six times the number in the first five days of the 2016 election.
All this early voting has generated excitement but also, undoubtedly, some FOMO. If you’ve refrained from filling out ballot forms and now worry it’s too late, don’t despair: You can still register to vote (or update your registration) in King County. Here’s a quick guide on how to do that, and some tips if you run into roadblocks.
How do I register?
The easiest way to register in King County is online, through the VoteWA website. You’ll need a current Washington state driver’s license or ID, as well as an address.
You can also register by completing this form. Once it’s done, you can mail the form to the King County Elections office or stick it in a voting drop box. You can also send a scan or photo of the form by email to [email protected]. If you opt for the latter method, make sure the scan or photo you take is clear and displays your signature.
The deadline to register remotely is October 26, but if need be, you can register in person up until Election Day on November 3. Head to the King County Elections office in Renton or to one of King County’s voting centers, which will be open October 31, November 2, and November 3.
What if I don’t have a Washington State Driver’s License or ID?
The form mentioned above allows you to provide the last four digits of your social security number in lieu of a Washington state ID.
How do I change my address?
Now through October 26, you have a few options.
If you’re staying within King County, you’re also allowed to change your address over the phone or via email.
After October 26, you’ll need to update your address in person. Head to the elections office in Renton or one of the voting centers mentioned above.
What if I don’t have an address?
You can still register to vote, get a ballot, and vote in person through Election Day in one of the locations mentioned above. Unhoused folks can also use the form above, filling in an address where they are able to receive mail (like a shelter or library).
If I’ve been convicted of a felony, can I still vote?
Yes. As long as you are no longer in prison or community custody with the Department of Corrections, your right to vote in Washington is automatically restored–but you’ll need to register again.
If you’re not sure about your status, you should contact the DOC.
What if I miss the registration deadline?
If you miss the October 26 deadline, you can register in person through 8pm on Election Day at a voting center. But King County Elections would rather you didn’t wait that long. “We do not recommend that people come at 7:45 on election night,” says communications officer Halie Watkins. “Save yourself that headache.”
What if I didn’t receive my ballot?
Ballots were mailed last week. If you still don’t have yours, there may have been some kind of mix-up (perhaps it was sent to an old address).
Call King County Elections at 206-296-VOTE (8683), and they can help you sort things out. If it’s getting down to the wire, you can also print your own ballot and mail it or slip it into a drop box.
Make sure to follow printing instructions carefully so nothing gets cut off.
Before you kiss your ballot goodbye…
Make sure you signed it. And double-check that your signature matches the one on your driver’s license (no matter how ugly or illegible that one is).
Missing signatures, or ones that don’t match, are the most common reason a vote won’t count, says Watkins. But if there is a problem with your signature, the Elections Office will notify you and ask you to address the issue before 4:30pm on November 23 (the election won’t be officially certified until November 24).