Hoping to boost voter registration, Washington is taking part in a nationwide registration push by the National Association of Secretaries of State.
The organization, headed by a board that includes Secretary Kim Wyman, has declared September as National Voter Registration Month and Sept. 24 as National Voter Registration Day. In Washington state, there are two important deadlines to remember: Oct. 7 is deadline for online registration for new registrations and for updates such as address changes. And Oct. 28 is the last day for in-person registrations for new Washington voters.
Wyman is urging all qualified residents to get signed up:
“It’s easy as pie — Washington apple pie — to get registered. Many people still register when they get their driver’s license renewed, or they drop by their county auditor’s office or take part in a registration drive by student groups, League of Women Voters or other organizations. But for an increasing number of people, it’s as easy as 1-2-3, going online, 24-7.
“I really urge all eligible Washingtonians to take this important step of citizenship … and then vote!”
Ballots for the General Election will be going out by mail in mid-October. The postmark deadline for returning by mail or using a dropbox is Nov. 5.
State Elections Director Lori Augino said the 2013 election may not have the sizzle of a presidential year, but is significant in its own way as Washington voters pick local government leaders and decide on ballot propositions. She added:
“This upcoming election is incredibly important. Voters will decide on local races and measures, as well as two statewide initiatives and five state tax advisory measures. Keeping your registration up-to-date ensures that you will receive your ballot in time to participate. During National Voter Registration Month, let’s show the rest of the country that Washington takes voting seriously.
“We’re at 3,904,682 registered voters. I challenge us to meet the 4 million mark! Now that would be something to brag about.”
Voters don’t register by party in Washington and once you register, you’ll automatically get a ballot mailed to your home address every election, roughly three weeks before Election Day. You can fill out your ballot as soon as you wish and then get it turned in.
NASS President Tre Hargett of Tennessee said over 62 million voter registrations and updates were processed during the 2012 presidential election cycle. He noted that about 10.6 percent of eligible Americans of voting age have not yet registered.