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In order to cast a vote in the 2020 General Election you must first be a registered voter in the state you live in. For the majority of the members of our Highline College community, that state is Washington. On this page you will find information on determining voter eligibility, how to register to vote and how voting works in Washington.
Am I eligible to vote?
Washington State encourages every eligible person to register to vote and participate fully in all elections. Each of us is 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 under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction.
How do I register to vote?
To vote in the November 3rd General Election, first time Washington voters can register by mail or online by October 26th through the Washington Secretary of State website (VoteWA linked below). Voters can register in person at their County Elections Department up until election day.
When and how can I vote?
Washington voters can participate in the General Election and vote for the president as well as many state and local positions on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, but due to anticipated voter turnout, voters are encouraged to cast their ballots as soon as they can. Voters who wish to mail their ballots, rather than utilizing a drop box, should plan to mail their ballots by Friday, October 30, in order for their ballot to be postmarked by election day.
Voting in Washington, for both primary and general elections is conducted entirely through mail-in ballots. Ballots are mailed to all eligible, registered voters at least 18 days before every election. In addition to mailing your ballot through the USPS mail, you can also drop your ballot off at a local drop box. For locations and more information, please visit links below.
Once you have mailed in your ballot or dropped it off at one of the locations linked above, you can use the link below to track the status of your ballot.
Voter Identification Laws
Washington: ID Requested; Photo Not Required
Washington holds all elections by mail, so this provision impacts few voters.
Online Resources for Voters
Booklist: Top 10 Online Resources for Elections and Voting
Voting has never been more complicated—or more vital. To help the public stay informed and participate, Kian Flynn (University of Washington Libraries) and members of ALA’s Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) Education Committee share their top free online resources for reliable, up-to-date information on elections and voting.
Greater Good Magazine: Eight Questions That Can Help You Survive Election Stress
Americans are stressed out by their presidential election. These questions will help you check in with yourself—and perhaps boost your resilience.
American Immigration Council: Elections
The enforcement of immigration laws is a complex and hotly-debated topic. Learn more about the costs of immigration enforcement and the ways in which the U.S. can enforce our immigration laws humanely and in a manner that ensures due process.
Seniors and the 2020 Election
Because of COVID-19, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding upcoming elections, especially the November 3 presidential election. Some states have already decided to emphasize voting by mail. In-person voting safeguards such as social distancing and masking may not be strong enough, especially for seniors and other higher-risk populations. This guide explains what seniors need to know about voting by mail in their state. It also explains certain steps they might need to take.
Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP): Fact Sheet - Unlawful Militias in Washington
ICAP has created fact sheets for all 50 states explaining the laws barring unauthorized private militia groups and what to do if groups of armed individuals are near a polling place or voter registration drive. Information in this fact sheet includes questions to ask and how to document situations where private militia groups are seen near polling places or voter registration events.
Non-partison political fact-checking websites can help sort fact from fiction and instill confidence as you cast your ballot. Please utilize the following resources to double-check the accuracy of news reports or social media posts that you encounter.
Online Resources for Educators
Preparing to Teach About the 2020 Election (and After)
From the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning & Teaching, this is the first of a three-part series by CRLT and the Ginsberg Center outlining strategies and resources that instructors can use to plan, frame, and facilitate conversations about the 2020 Election. Many of the strategies and commentary in this post are drawn from previously published work on the 2016 Election by CRLT that remain applicable to this election season.
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