​Write-In Candidates

​Write-in Candidates in the General Election

We've received many calls regarding how and when we count write-in votes for the General Election. State law governing write-in candidates changed recently after passage of SB6058 in the 2018 state legislative session.

Write-in votes are counted only if:

1) A candidate files a write-in declaration; and

2) Pays the filing fee if the declaration is filed less than 18 days before Election Day. 

The following section of state law addresses when write-in votes are counted for a general election:

RCW 29A.60.021 (8): In a general election, if the total number of write-in votes cast for an office exceeds the number of votes cast for the candidate apparently elected to that office, then the individual write-in votes for each candidate who has filed a timely declaration of write-in candidacy must be canvassed and reported. Otherwise, individual tallying of write-in votes is not required.

For more information, the Office of the Secretary of State has an information sheet that addresses this in more detail.