YOU DON’T NEED A HOUSE TO VOTE
A GUIDE FOR HOMELESS AND UNSTABLY HOUSED VOTERS
2018 ELECTIONS EDITION
Q: I LIVE IN A PLACE (shelter/car/outside/boat/other) WHERE I CAN’T GET MAIL. CAN I VOTE?
A: YES, you can vote! If you are eligible to vote (see below), you can register by providing a physical location where you spend most of your time, and a valid mailing address.
Washington’s Constitution doesn’t require a “residence” as a condition of voting as long as a person meets all other registration requirements. (Article VI Section 1)
A: You can use the address or cross-streets of the shelter, park, vehicle, intersection or other identifiable location that you consider your current residence if you do not have a traditional residential address. This location will be used to determine which precinct you will vote in.
B: Along with your residential address, you must also provide a valid mailing address. You need a mailing address in order to receive your ballot and election information on time. You could use a post office box, address of a friend or relative, shelter, day center, or CSO where you can get mail, or general delivery at a local post office.
Q: AM I ELIGIBLE TO VOTE?
A: If you can answer YES to each of these statements, then you are eligible to vote:
- I am a U.S. Citizen.
- I will be at least 18 years old by or on Election Day.
- I will have lived in WA for 30 days before the election.
- I am not disqualified from voting due to a court order, and I am not under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washignton felony conviction.
Q: I HAVE A MISDEMEANOR CONVICTION AND/OR A JUVENILE OFFENSE IN JUVENILE COURT. CAN I VOTE?
A: YES! You do not lose your right to vote.
The deadline to register online or by mail is 29 days prior to the election (i.e. by October 8, 2018 for the November 6, 2018 Genearl Election). For voters currently registered in Washington, this is also the deadline for updating your address or other information.
People who are not currently registered to vote in Washington can register in person until 8 days prior to the election (i.e. by October 29, 2018 for the November 6, 2018 General Election).
- PICK UP A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM at a public library, Dept. of Motor Vehicles, call (206) 296-VOTE or download at www.kingcounty.gov/elections
- COMPLETE THE VOTER REGISTRATION FORM.
A: YOUR RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS:
You MUST fill this out so that you can be assigned your voting precinct. You can register at the shelter, park, vehicle location, intersection, or another identifiable location that you consider your current residence if you do not have a traditional residential address. It needs to be identifiable on a map. Provide as complete of an address as possible (ex: 4th Ave & Cherry St, Seattle, WA 98104).
B: YOUR MAILING ADDRESS:
You MUST provide a mailing address because your ballot will be mailed to you. You can use one of the following:
- Address of a friend or relative where you can regularly pick up mail
- Address of shelter or day center where you access services and can receive mail
- General Delivery: General Delivery mail is held for 30 days. You must have ID to pick up mail. You do not have to pre-register to use this service. You can only use General Delivery at a city ‘s MAIN post office, often during limited hours. Write [your name], General Delivery, [city], WA. The main Seattle post office is located at 3rd & Union St. The address is General Delivery, Seattle, WA 98101-9999.
- These organizations provide mail services:
Compass Housing Alliance-CSO
77 S. Washington St., Seattle, WA 98104
M-F 9am – 4pm
You do not need to pre-register for mail service. Holds mail for 2 weeks. Holds DSHS mail for 30 days.
Ballard Food Bank
5130 Leary Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107
T, W, TH 11am – 3pm
You do not need to pre-register for mail service. You must have a photo ID to pick-up mail. Holds mail for 3 months.
Holds DSHS mail for 30 days.
Georgetown Food Bank (St. Vincent de Paul)
5972 4th Avenue So., Seattle, WA 98108
T, TH 11am – 2pm (open to all)
F 11am-12pm (homeless guests only)
You must file “Change of Address“ with the post office and register at the Food Bank before you can use this address.
Holds mail for 10 days.
3. MAIL YOUR COMPLETED AND SIGNED REGISTRATION FORM (USE A FIRST CLASS STAMP):
King County Elections, 919 SW Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057.
Your registration must be postmarked by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 8, 2018 in order to vote on Election Day (November 6, 2018).
- OR –
DROP OFF YOUR REGISTRATION FORM:
King County Voter Registration Annex or King County Elections
Your registration must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 8, 2018 in order to vote on Election Day (November 6, 2018).
- OR –
REGISTER IN PERSON (IF YOU ARE NOT CURRENTLY REGISTERED TO VOTE IN WASHINGTON STATE):
King County Voter Registration Annex or King County Elections
Your NEW registration must be received in-person by October 29, 2018 in order to vote on Election Day (November 6, 2018).
2018 Primary election: Tuesday, August 7, 2018
ONCE YOU ARE REGISTERED, YOUR BALLOT WILL BE MAILED TO YOU AT THE MAILING ADDRESS YOU PROVIDED 20 DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION.
Complete the ballot and sign your name. If you do not receive your ballot by 10 days before the election please call 206-296-VOTE (8683) or visit King County Elections’ website. You will have the option to print a new ballot, be mailed a new ballot, or be sent to an Accessible Voting Site on election day (see below). You can also visit the King County Voter Registration Annex in Downtown Seattle or King County Elections in Renton where they can help you print a new ballot.
MAIL OR DROP OFF YOUR BALLOT
Your ballot MUST be postmarked (no stamp needed since ballots have pre-paid postage) by 5:00 p.m. on Election Day, or dropped at a Drop Box by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Drop Box location information is in your ballot packet, and online here.
2018 ACCESSIBLE VOTING CENTERS (IN-PERSON VOTING)
If you need special equipment to vote or you have not received a replacement ballot by election day, you may request a ballot in person at one of these locations Weekdays, October 17 – November 5, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Election Day, November 6, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.:
KING COUNTY ELECTIONS – Renton
919 SW Grady Way, Renton, 98057
KING COUNTY ELECTIONS ANNEX – Seattle
King County Administration Building
500 4th Avenue, Room 440, Seattle, WA 98104
There are also Accessible Voting Centers in Bellevue, Kent, and another location in Seattle, with much more limited hours. Click here for more information.
WHY CAN’T I GO TO A POLLING PLACE TO VOTE?
All voting in King County is now done by mail. Almost all voting in King County now happens by mail. Voting in person is limited to the sites listed here.
King County Elections has over 60 drop boxes available for voters to turn in ballots around the county. Drop box locations can be found at www.tinyurl.com/KCBallotDropBoxes. There will also be a list of drop boxes in your ballot packet. Drop boxes open on the day that ballots are mailed out (likely October 18, 2018) and remain open 24-hours a day until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday November 6, 2018. Make sure your ballot is in a drop box BEFORE 8 p.m. on Election Day for your vote to be counted!
You can also mail your ballot in its envelope via the US Postal Service. No stamp is needed since the ballot return envelope has pre-paid postage! If mailing in your ballot it must be postmarked by 5:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (make sure to pay close attention to what time the mailbox you use has mail picked up).