Student Mock Election Dashboard

If you will be 18 by the November 5 General Election, you can vote in the August Primary. Visit VoteWA.gov to register.

 

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Do you ever wonder what happens after Election Day? Like, how do you get results? How do we make sure ballots are being counted correctly? When are the results official? There's a LOT happening, and you can even watch part of it in real life! 


When can we start to see election results?

After 8 pm on Election Day, and not before. Unofficial results get posted to the Secretary of State's website on Election Day and are updated until results are certified.

Are ballots still coming in after Election Day?

Yes! As long as they are postmarked by 8 pm on Election Day, ballots will still be accepted.

Signature curing? What's that?

Your signature is important. Trained election officials compare your signed envelope to your voter registration record. If you check your signature now, does it match the signature on your license, ID, or permit, or the one you used to sign your Voter Registration form?

If the signatures don't match, election officials will contact you to update, or "cure", your signature so they do match. This can happen anytime between when you return your ballot and certification.

How can you be sure ballots are being counted correctly? 

Counties use a process called an audit to make sure that our voting systems are working correctly. There are two main types of voting system audits being used after an election in the state: random batch audits, where random batches of ballots are counted by hand and compared to the voting systems, and risk-limiting audits, which use statistics to make sure the winner truly won.

*You can watch both of these audits. Contact your county elections office for more information. 

But there's one more type of audit all counties use--reconciliation. This type uses a report which compares records to check that figures are consistent, accurate, and complete. 

Read more about the types of audits.

When are the results official?

The results of the General Election become official once they are certified by the County Canvassing Board (county officials who oversee elections within their county) and the Secretary of State. The canvassing board must certify the election no later than 21 days after Election Day, and the Secretary of State has up to 30 days after Election Day.

The results of the Presidential Primary become official once they have been certified by the Secretary of State no later than 17 days after the Presidential Primary election.

Is there ever a recount?

Yes! Recounts can be triggered in one of two ways: automatically (called a mandatory recount) or paid for upon request (called non-mandatory).


 
Curious about ballot return statistics for an actual election? Want to see how many ballots were returned, accepted, and challenged in your county? 
Check out the 2024 ballot return statistics dashboard here!