Frequently Asked Questions
Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions our office receives.
Who can register to vote?
Find out who is eligible to register to vote.

​To register to vote you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States.
  • Residing at your current address for a minimum of 30 days before Election Day.
  • A legal resident of Washington state.
  • At least 18 years old by Election Day.

What if I register after the deadline?
Find out your options if you registered to vote after the deadline to register or update your voter registration.

​If you registered in Thurston County after the voter registration deadline for the current election, your options depend on whether you are registered to vote in another location. See below for your options:

  • First-time registering to vote anywhere. You can't vote in the current election, but will be eligible to vote in future elections.
  • Moved to Thurston County from another county in Washington. If registered in another county in Washington, you can contact the county where you were previously registered and ask them to send you a ballot at your new address. You will be able to vote in future elections in Thurston County. You can find contact information for other Washington County Auditors here.
  • Moved to Thurston County from another state. If you were registered in another state, you can contact the state where you were registered to have a ballot forwarded to your current address. You'll be eligible to vote in future Thurston County elections.
  • Can't get a ballot from my previous state or county. If you can't get a ballot from the state or county where you were last registered, you can come to our office and receive a provisional ballot.
How do I get a ballot?
Find out how to get a ballot, if you're a registered voter.

​Washington State is a vote-by-mail state. State law requires us to deliver ballots to the post office at least 18 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot, please call our Elections team at 360.786.5408.

You can also get a ballot in-person at the Auditor's Office beginning 20 days before an election. You can find information about our location and hours to prepare for your visit. You can pick up a ballot for yourself, a family member or a registered domestic partner.

We have a list of key election dates and registration deadlines here.

What if I’m away during an election?
Find out what to do if you're going to be away during the election.

​You can vote in Washington State, even if you're away from home during an election. Please look at the following situations and identify your options:

  • Seasonal resident. If you are a seasonal resident, update your seasonal mailing address with our office. Provide us with the first and last days you'll receive mail at this address and we'll send your ballot to that address each year between the dates you specify.
  • Out of town and can't receive mail. We can send you an electronic ballot. You'll only need access to the internet and a printer to print your ballot and return it to our office.
  • Leaving town and can't receive your ballot by mail or email. If you know you'll be out of town and can't receive mail or email 90 days before an election, contact us and we can issue a special advance ballot to you.
How can I get assistance with voter registration and voting?
Learn more about your options for getting assistance with voter registration and voting.

​If you need assistance with registering to vote, obtaining a ballot and voting your ballot, please contact our office at 360.786.5408 for assistance. If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, contact 711 Washington Relay.

If you need assistance understanding the issues and candidates on your ballot, we have the voters' pamphlet available online in multiple formats. We can also provide audio discs of the voters' pamphlet.

You can also find helpful information on our Accessible Voting webpage about AutoMARK™ voting machines and ballot drop box locations.

I’m a college student…
College students have unique questions about voting. Learn more about your options for voting as a college student.

What address should I use to register to vote?

You can use either your hometown address or the address where you live at school. Your choice depends on where you want to claim residency.

If I keep my registration in my hometown, how do I vote while I'm away at college?

Call our office at 360.786.5408 to let us know you'd like us to send your ballot to your school address.

Can I vote by email?

While you can't vote by email, we can send your ballot via email if you are out of the country or unable to receive a mailed ballot in a timely manner.