Military and Overseas Voters
As a military or overseas voter, you have several options for registering to vote, receiving your ballot and returning it. If you are a military spouse or dependant, and you are away from home because of the military service, you also qualify as a military voter.
In addition to the information below, you can learn more with our video, "Serving Those Who Serve - A Guide to Military Voting in Washington State."
Military and overseas voters are exempt from the regular voter registration deadlines. The last day to register and request a ballot is Election Day. Even if you are not registered, you may still vote and send in a ballot because your signature on the declaration attests to your eligibility and constitutes registration.
Registering to vote
When registering, please indicate you are in the armed forces or living overseas.
You must list a Washington residential address. This can be your last address in the state, or that of a family member. Your mailing address can be anywhere in the world.
Register to vote online with VoteWA. VoteWA requires a Washington State ID or driver license.
If you do not have a Washington State driver license or ID, you must register using a paper form or in person. You can return the paper form by mail, email or fax to your county elections department.
If you are stationed in Washington but decide to register in your home state, you can do so using the Federal Voting Assistance Postcard.
Receiving your ballot
You may receive your ballot by mail, email or fax. You may also qualify to receive a ballot as early as 90 days before the election.
Because Washington votes by mail, you will automatically be mailed a ballot. If you register close to Election Day, or for some other reason did not receive your ballot, please request one as soon as possible to ensure enough time to return your ballot. Specify whether you would like to receive your ballot by mail, email or fax.
Contact your county elections department to:
- Request a ballot or a replacement ballot;
- Change how you receive your ballot (for example, by email instead of postal mail); or
- Update your voter registration record (for example, update your mailing address).
If you believe you won't receive your regular ballot in time to vote, you can also request a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which is a blank write-in ballot. FWABs are available at consulates, embassies, from your Voting Assistance Officers, and online.
Being an informed voter
Washington has many ways to help voters become informed about ballot measures and candidates:
- The state General Election Voters' Pamphlet is mailed to every household in Washington. If you need to request a copy of the state Voters' Pamphlet be mailed to you, call (800) 448-4881 or email [email protected].
- For personalized ballot measure and candidate information online, go to VoteWA.
- For all ballot measures and candidates, visit the Online Voters' Guide.
- For local races, visit the website for your county elections department.
Returning your ballot
You may return your ballot by mail, email or fax.
- If you return your ballot by mail, you must sign and date the declaration no later than Election Day and return the ballot to a county elections department. It must be received within 9 days after a Special Election, 13 days after a Primary, and within 20 days after a General Election.
- If you return your ballot by email or fax, it must be received by your county elections department by 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Election Day. If you return the ballot by email, include the signed and dated declaration page, privacy sheet and ballot in the email as scanned or imaged attachments.
To confirm that your ballot was received, go to VoteWA, log in, and open the "ballot status" link.