How to Vote

Washington State encourages every eligible person to vote and fully participate in all elections. We are all responsible for protecting the integrity of the electoral process by providing equal access and guarding against fraud and discrimination.

To register to vote, you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States;
  • A legal resident of Washington State;
  • At least 18-years-old by Election Day;
  • Not disqualified from voting due to a court order; and
  • Not currently serving a DOC sentence of total confinement.


You must be a citizen of the United States. If you have questions about citizenship, contact US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Residency Requirements

You must be a resident of Washington State. Your voting residence is your permanent address or a transitional address where you physically reside.

Future Voter Program

16-and-17-year-old residents can now enroll in the program to be automatically registered on their 18th birthday. Future voters need only to fill out and return a standard Voter Registration Form. Future voters will not receive a voter registration until their 18th birthday, and they will not appear in the look-up system.

Felons and Voting Rights

If you have been convicted of a felony, your right to vote is restored as long as you are not currently serving a DOC sentence of total confinement. Learn more about restoration of your voting rights here.

Mental Competency and Voting Rights

Only a Superior Court can declare a person ineligible to vote due to mental incompetency. A guardian may not vote on behalf of the person under guardianship, and power of attorney does not extend to voting.

How do I vote? 

Washington State votes by mail. Vote by mail is convenient and gives you extra time to learn about the ballot measures and candidates before casting your ballot.

Vote By Mail:

Your ballot is mailed to you at least 18 days before each election. To receive your ballot, your voter registration mailing address must be current. You can update your address online using VoteWa.

If you are a registered voter and did not receive your ballot, contact our office.

Your ballot packet will include a ballot, a secrecy envelope, and a return envelope. Follow the instructions that accompany your ballot. If you need a replacement ballot, contact our office.

Accessible Voting: 

As a voter with a disability, you can request a reasonable accommodation or assistance to vote. The Office of the Secretary of State is committed to ensuring accessibility at voting centers, and that you have the opportunity to vote privately and independently.

Voting centers must meet all of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. View the ADA checklist for voting centers for more information.

Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) called ClearAccess are available 18 days before Election Day until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. ClearAccess allows all voters to mark their ballots privately and independently. ClearAccess displays the ballot in larger font and provides an audio ballot for those with visual or hearing disabilities. Voters using ClearAccess must show valid ID or sign a ballot declaration, and that signature must be verified against the signature on the voter's registration record before the voter may vote on ClearAccess.

Cowlitz County Elections
207 N. 4th Avenue, Room 205
Kelso, WA 98626
Open 24 hours per day starting 18 days before
Election Day and closing at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day

 Do not

  • Submit false information on a voter registration application;
  • Register in more than one location; or
  • Accept payment, or offer to pay another, to register to vote.