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Washington vote by mail guide

Washington vote by mail deadlines

  • Earliest day to apply: Anytime
  • Request your mail-in ballot (online): N/A
  • Request your mail-in ballot (by mail): Received by October 26, 2020
  • Request your mail-in ballot (in person): Received by October 26, 2020
  • Return your mail-in ballot (by mail): Postmarked by November 3, 2020
  • Return your mail-in ballot (in person): Received by November 3, 2020

Washington vote by mail rules

Washington elections are all vote-by-mail. You can still request a one-time absentee ballot if you will be away from home during a specific election.


Washington vote by mail ID requirements

  • You do not need ID when you request a ballot.
  • You do not need ID when you return a voted ballot.

Washington vote by mail directions

  • All Washington elections are held by mail. This means that Washington will automatically send a mail-in ballot to every registered voter for the November 3, 2020 election.
  • If you need to update your mailing address permanently, register to vote again using your new mailing address.
  • If you need to update your mailing address temporarily -- because you will be out of town for the November 3, 2020 election -- request a one-time absentee ballot.

How to vote by mail

  1. Carefully read and follow the instructions.
  2. Fill out all of the required fields.
  3. Sign and date the outside envelope.
  4. Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your Local Election Office. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to a state-provided dropbox.
  5. Your ballot must be received by the deadline or it will not be counted.

Two important things to note:

  1. The Local Election Office will compare your signature on your voted ballot to the one on your driver’s license and on your voter registration form to make sure they match. So please sign carefully.
  2. The post office will deliver your ballot even if you don’t have a stamp as long as you use the return envelope provided by your state. This envelope will say “official election mail.” The USPS will always deliver official election mail -- no stamp needed.

Questions? Need help?

Contact your local elections office if you have any questions about voting by mail in Washington.

Statewide election office

Secretary of State
Elections Division
P.O. Box 40229
Olympia, WA 98504‐0229