With a mail-in voting system and other voting and registration innovations, Washington has demonstrated a consistent commitment to voting rights.
EveryDistrict Action Fund is not currently tracking any pro-voting legislation in Washington. Contact your legislator using the FIND MY LEGISLATOR button below and encourage them to introduce legislation that would implement one of EveryDistrict Action Fund’s recommendations for Washington.
Automatic Voter Registration- Washington provides automatic voter registration through the Department of Licensing. Like other states, AVR is limited to this motor vehicle agency.
RECOMMENDATION: Expand automatic voter registration in Washington to a broad set of state agencies.
Online Voter Registration- Online voter registration is provided in Washington up until 29 days before Election Day.
Same-Day Registration- As of 2019, Washington now has same-day registration.
Voter ID Requirement- Washington does not require Voter ID for the voters casting a ballot by mail. However, a non-photo ID is required to register to vote. Acceptable forms of identification include: valid driver’s license, state ID, tribal ID, Social Security number, utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing name and address.
Early Voting- Elections are conducted by mail, obviating the need for early voting. Vote centers are open 18 days prior to Election Day.
No Excuse Absentee- Elections are conducted by mail, obviating the need for separate absentee voting.
Mail-In Voting- Elections in Washington are conducted by mail. Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, but can also be returned to a ballot drop box or a county elections department.
Felon Re-Enfranchisement- Returning citizens have their voting rights restored upon completion of sentence, parole, and probation.
RECOMMENDATION: Restore voting rights immediately upon completion of sentence. Better yet, follow the lead of Maine and Vermont and repeal disenfranchisement laws.
Voter Bill of Rights- Washington does not have a voter bill of rights. However, the Washington State Legislature recently passed a series of new laws to help voter turnout and protect against discrimination and disenfranchisement, including a state version of the federal Voting Rights Act (2017/18 SB 6002), referred to as “a model for the country.”
RECOMMENDATION: Implement a voter bill of rights, place prominently on appropriate websites, and provide directly to voters.
Polling Hours- Vote centers are open until 8 pm on Election Day and are open 18 days before Election Day.
Wait Time Service Standard- Like other states, Washington does not have a wait time service standard. However, since elections are conducted by mail, waiting times at the polls are not an obstacle to voter engagement as in other states.
Did we miss an update? Would you like to chat more about our Voting Rights work? Contact us at email@example.com.