Washington absentee and mail ballot guide
Washington absentee ballot overview
All Washington elections are held by mail. This means that Washington will automatically send a mail-in ballot to every registered voter ahead of all elections.
Washington absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: Anytime
- Request deadline (online): N/A
- Request deadline (by mail): Received by 8 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 8 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Postmarked by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by Election Day
Washington absentee ballot rules
- All Washington elections are vote-by-mail. This means that Washington will automatically send a mail-in ballot to every registered voter ahead of all elections.
- If you need to update your mailing address temporarily for a specific election, request a one-time absentee ballot.
Washington online ballot request
Washington does not allow you to request your ballot online.
Washington by-mail ballot request
- Download the Washington absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- Your application must be received by 8 days before Election Day.
Washington in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is 8 days before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to a drop box if one is available nearby. You can use our Find Out Where To Vote tool to find an official drop box.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked by Election Day.
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
Washington absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot:
The signature on your absentee ballot application will be compared to the signature on your voter registration records to ensure they match.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot:
Your signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match. If you forget to sign the return envelope, your ballot might be rejected.
Washington absentee ballot tracker
Track your ballot here: Washington absentee ballot tracker
Washington absentee ballot curing
Ballot curing is the process of resolving any problems with your absentee or mail ballot to ensure that your vote is counted. After tracking your ballot, contact your local election office to fix any issues that have been noted.
- Your ballot will be rejected if you forget to sign it or if the signature does not match the one that the state has on file for you.
- You must make corrections by 5:00 pm on the 20th day after Election Day in order for your vote to be counted.
Washington emergency ballots
Some states have special procedures that allow you to obtain an emergency ballot if a medical or other emergency occurs after the standard absentee ballot application window.Emergency Ballot Rules
All elections are conducted by mail. There is no specific emergency ballot provision, but a replacement ballot can be requested by phone, mail, in person or electronically. Replacement ballots can be requested and printed through VoteWA.gov.
Washington does not offer emergency ballots.
Contact your local election office
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for Washington elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
Secretary of State Elections Division P.O. Box 40229 Olympia, WA 98504‐0229
- Washington online voter registration
- Washington voter status lookup
- Washington absentee ballot tracker
- Washington polling place locator