If you only spend five minutes online per day, you’re probably seeing at least one article, ad, or social media post telling you to get out and vote.
That’s because it’s REALLY important that you do.
There are very important races up and down the ballot – I’m not exaggerating when I say that this election will define how our county government responds to the housing and environmental crises, how we educate our children across the state, and the direction of our federal government for the next generation.
Did you get your ballot?
If you live in Thurston County, it should have been mailed to you already. There may be a good reason why it hasn’t been, though. The most common is if you moved and have not updated your voter registration.
The important thing is that if you’re reading this and don’t have your ballot yet, you can get a replacement. Start by calling the Thurston County Auditor’s office at 360.786.5408, and they can walk you through your options.
Don’t sweat it, it’s not too late! You can register to vote in-person all the way up until the voting deadline at 8 pm on Election Day. We can partly thank our very own County Auditor Mary Hall for that – she has fought hard to expand voter registration and end disenfranchisement.
If you did get your ballot in the mail, awesome! If you haven’t filled it out and returned it yet, then shame on you. Do it right now.
Make sure your vote is counted!
Ok. You got your ballot. You did your research. You filled it out. Signed, sealed, delivered to one of over two dozen ballot drop boxes located across the county, which are open 24 hours a day until Election Day.
NOTE: Using a dropbox instead of mailing your ballot is important to ensure that your ballot is processed and counted in a timely fashion. Election staff empties every dropbox every day and delivers them straight to the ballot processing center where processing begins immediately. If you mail your ballot, it has to travel all the way to Tacoma before it makes its way back to Olympia. Given the high demand on our postal service right now due to COVID-19, it’s better safe than sorry. Don’t gamble on your vote.
You’re doing great!
You voted, you dropped your ballot in a dropbox…
BUT DID YOU ACTUALLY VOTE?
There’s one more thing you can do to make sure your vote was counted. Do this by going to www.votewa.gov. Then enter your first name, last name, and date of birth. It should then take you to a screen with your registration status, address, etc. If you got a ballot mailed to you, all of this info should be correct.
On the left hand side, click on “Ballot Status” and it should take you to a page that looks like this:
As you can see, my ballot was sent to me on October 8. I remember receiving it and immediately voting and putting it in a dropbox. I think my ballot was in my possession for maybe two hours tops.
Further down you can see the “Ballot Returned Date” is October 12. That’s when it was scanned at the ballot processing center after I voted.
Just below that is “Ballot Status” – mine says “Accepted” which means my vote has been counted. If yours says ANYTHING other than accepted, you need to call the Auditor’s office at 360.786.5408 and they will help you make a plan to fix whatever issue is causing your vote to be held up. Most commonly, it’s that your signature doesn’t match the one they have on file. In which case they’ll walk you through the process to verify it. Whatever the issue, the Auditor’s staff is friendly and more than happy to help.
Thank you for taking the time to vote and verify your ballot! Stay tuned to the Tribune for more election coverage as the days tick by!
- October 26, 2020 – Last day to register to vote or update your current registration by any means (other than in person). The information must be received by an election official by this day.
- November 3, 2020 – ELECTION DAY – You may register to vote or update your current registration in person only up to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day at a County Auditor’s Office or Voting Center.
- November 24, 2020 – County Certification of election results
- December 3, 2020 – Secretary of State Certification of election results