Want to register to vote? Here’s how

You can register the same day as election day, but you may want to skip the hassle.

November’s general election carries the weight of a national referendum – whether to reward the current administration with four more years in power or to repudiate the status quo in favor of a dramatically different approach to governance.

It’s a similar story at the state level, where voters will either endorse current governor Jay Inslee’s policies and practices or look for leadership from an outspoken, small-town sheriff from a remote corner of Washington.

And there’s a multitude of other ballot items that will be presented to voters in both King and Pierce counties.

Now, with Labor Day just around the corner, politics is about to make a mad dash to Election Day, Nov. 3.

But wait – you say you’re not registered to vote?

Fear not, there’s still time to join the ranks of those who will determine the direction for both the nation and the state for years to come.


Voters can register online or through the mail until eight days before Election Day. Those choosing the mail option need to be aware that their registration must be received by the Elections Department by the eight-day deadline, not just postmarked.

Those using the mail can begin by visiting www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections /how-to-vote/register-to-vote. The registration form can be downloaded, completed and mailed to King County Elections, 919 Grady Way, Renton, 98057.

Online registration can be handled 24 hours a day by visiting the Washington Secretary of State’s office, www.sos.wa.gov/elections and click on the “register to vote” button. Or, simply head to www.voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote. To handle registration online, citizens will need either a current Washington driver license or a current state ID card.

In-person registration is allowed through Election Day and must be done at election headquarters in Renton.

Here are some key dates listed on the King County Elections website: Sept. 18, general election ballots will be sent overseas, to out-of-state voters and to the military; Sept. 22 is National Voter Registration Day; Oct. 13, Voters’ Pamphlets will be mailed; and Oct. 14, ballots will be mailed to county voters.


Online registration is done through the Secretary of State’s office, available 24 hours a day. The rules are the same everywhere, meaning would-be voters must possess either a state driver license of a state ID.

Voter registration forms can be downloaded at https://piercecountywa.gov/6572/Register-to-Vote and mailed to Pierce County Elections, 2501 S. 35th St. C, Tacoma, 98409.

Or, register in person at the elections office.

For the general election, the registration date is Oct. 26 for those handling the task online of my mail. Those registering in person can do so through Election Day.


There are some limitations on who gets to vote. A person must be a citizen of the United States, a legal resident of the state and be at least 18 years old. Also, a person cannot register if they have been disqualified due to a court order. Finally, a prospective voter may not be under Department of Corrections supervision due to a felony conviction.

Those who are 16 or 17 years old can preregister to vote and their information will be held by the elections office until they become eligible.

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