Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions and answers about ballots, voting and Election Day
How do I register to vote?
You can register online
or download a form from our website and return it to the Elections office. You can also register in person during office hours at the Elections office. More information is available on our Registration
Who can register to vote?
To register to vote in King County, you must be:
- A citizen of the U.S.
- A legal resident of Washington
- At least 18 years old by Election Day
What is the deadline to register?
You must register to vote at least 29 days before an election in order to be eligible to vote in that election. If you are not registered in Washington, you can register in person at the King County Elections Office up to eight days before the election. To see the deadlines for the next Election, visit the Registration
How do I vote in King County?
King County conducts all elections by mail, which means that all registered voters receive their ballots in the mail rather than going to a polling place. To vote, register
with King County and make sure your information is up to date using the personalized Voter Guide
What if I don’t receive a ballot?
If you do not receive a ballot in the mail, contact the elections office at 206-296-VOTE or firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the Elections office.
How do I fill out my ballot?
A few things to remember:
- Use a black ink pen
- Follow directions carefully
- Remove the stub on the top of the ballot
- Sign the voter’s oath on the back of the return envelope
- Read the entire ballot before filling it out
- Lost or damaged ballots can be replaced by the Elections office
Why do I have to sign the envelope?
King County Elections compares the signatures of returned ballot envelopes against the signature on file with your voter registration. If you forget to sign the envelope or the signatures don’t match, Election officials will attempt to contact by phone and mail to take care of the problem. Voters can update their signature for future elections by completing a new registration form.
What if I receive another person’s ballot?
Do not vote using that ballot. Call 206-296-VOTE or visit the Elections office for a replacement ballot. The name and signature on your return envelope must match the name and signature in the official voter registration file.
What should I do if I get a call from King County Elections?
You may receive a call or mail from King County Elections regarding the signature on your ballot. Respond promptly in order to make sure your ballot can be counted. Even if Election Day is passed you may still have time to fix any issues or problems.
Do I have to vote for every race?
No, we will count only those races for which you voted and your ballot will still be processed even if you don’t vote for every race.
Why are there ballot measures and races in the voters’ pamphlet that are not on my ballot?
Don’t worry, your ballot is correct. The measures and races on your ballot are those that you are eligible to vote and reflect the districts in which you are registered to vote. The voters’ pamphlet may cover several different districts and as a result, some items may appear in the pamphlet that are not on your ballot.
Who writes and edits the candidate statements?
These are printed as submitted to our office by candidates. King County Elections does not correct punctuation, grammar, syntax errors or inaccurate information.
Who writes and edits the information accompanying ballot measures?
The explanatory statements are prepared by each district’s attorney, stating the effect of the ballot measure if passed into law. In addition, districts can choose to appoint committee members to write statements in favor or opposition to the measure. King County Elections is not responsible for the content of statements.
Where is the King County Elections office?
King County Elections is located at 919 Southwest Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057-2906. Map and directions
RETURNING YOUR BALLOT
How do I return my ballot?
You can return your ballot by mail - requires first class postage and must be postmarked by Election Day. You can also return your ballot at a ballot drop box
or an accessible voting center
by Election Day.
Where are ballot drop boxes located?
How can I track the progress of my ballot?
You can use the Ballot Tracker
to see the progress of your ballot at three points:
Track point #1: Your ballot packet was assembled and mailed to you.
Track point #2: King County received your completed ballot.
Track point #3: Your signature was verified and your ballot proceeded through the counting process.
When should I return my ballot?
Voters can return their completed ballots as soon as they receive them in the mail. The deadline to postmark or drop off your ballot is Election Day. Return your ballot as early as possible for it to be included in results reported on Election Night, and to allow more time for Elections to connect with you if there are any issues verifying your signature.
What happens if I have sealed or returned my mail ballot in the mailing envelope without the security envelope?
As an alternative, you may use a regular mailing envelope instead of the security envelope to ensure the secrecy of your ballot. However, that is not required. Regardless, return your ballot, it will still be processed and counted with other mail ballots.