by Phil Manzano
While you may find it difficult to pull away from the sunny reverie of summer, there’s an important election on the horizon for Seattle and King County. Here’s a primer on how to make sure you make your voice heard in the upcoming Aug. 3 primary election, when voters will weigh in on county, city, and special district elections.
The deadline to register online or by mail for the Aug. 3 primary election, July 26, has already passed. You can register to vote in person for the primary election up to and including Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 3.
Where to Register
If you miss the online or mail-in registration deadline, you can register to vote in person until Aug. 3 at …
… King County Elections headquarters at 919 SW Grady Way, in Renton. They are regularly open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They also have extended hours for the primary election: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 26 to Aug. 2. They’ll also be open 10 a.m. to 4 pm Saturday July 31 and will be open on Election Day, Aug. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
… King County vote centers at the Bellevue College Cafeteria, Federal Way Performing Arts Center, Kenmore City Hall, Kent Centennial Center, Lumen Field Event Center, and King County Elections in Renton. Locate a voting center online, directions and hours of operation. Vote centers can help register voters, update voting records, and provide assistance to voters who need help completing their ballot. “Trained staff and specialized equipment are available to help voters with disabilities cast a private, independent ballot,” according to the county elections website.
Who Can Register
According to the King County Elections website, to register to vote you must be:
- A United States citizen
- A legal resident in Washington State for at least 30 days prior to Election Day
- At least 18 years old by Election Day
- Not disqualified from voting by court order
- Not under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington State felony conviction
The right to vote is automatically restored for people convicted of a Washington felony when they are no longer “under the authority of the Department of Corrections.” If convicted of a felony in another state or federal court, the right to vote is automatically restored as long as you are not incarcerated for that felony.
Voter registration forms in 23 different languages are available online.
Check online to see if you’re registered to vote for the upcoming election.
Find Your Ballot
Ballots for the Aug. 3 election were mailed to registered voters in mid-July.
Election officials encourage voters to vote and return their ballots as soon as they receive them. No stamp is needed. Officials also recommend mailing in the ballot by the Friday before Election Day to ensure it’s postmarked and received in time. However, if a ballot is postmarked by Election Day, it should be eligible to be counted.
If you prefer, you can drop your ballot in one of numerous 24-hour ballot drop boxes around the county. Your ballot must be dropped off by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
To find the ballot drop box nearest to you, you can use the interactive map on the county website.
This article is funded in part by a Voter Education Fund grant from King County Elections and the Seattle Foundation.
Phil Manzano is a South Seattle writer, editor with more than 30 years of experience in daily journalism in Portland, Ore. He is director of Southend Connect, a platform to support small business and build community in South Seattle, as well as the news editor for the Emerald.
📸 Featured Image: A ballot drop box at the Beacon Hill Library. (Photo: Marcus Green)
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