According to the Washington Secretary of State’s Office, as of this morning only 32% of registered voters have returned their ballots. That number gets even more depressing when you examine youth turnout, which significantly lags turnout among Washington residents aged 65 or older. Right now, the elderly account for 57% of the turnout. Those aged 25 to 34 make up 14.4%, and just 11% of registered 18 to 24-year-olds have made their voices heard.
Frankly, fellow youths, you have no good excuse for this lackluster attendance at the ballot box so far. We live in a state and county that makes it really easy for you to vote, and your friends at the Stranger Election Control Board have already done all the hard work of figuring out which of the ambition monsters candidates on your ballot are less likely to criminalize poverty or back a national abortion ban.
So, let’s run through the many ways you can vote before 8 pm tomorrow evening.
The easiest way to vote is to pick up the ballot you got in the mail, consult our helpful little cheat sheet, fill out your ballot accordingly using any color of ink you'd like, sign and date it, and then return it via any of the convenient methods we’ll discuss in a moment.
However, if you’ve somehow lost your ballot, then don’t worry! King County Elections has you covered. Simply log in to your My Voter Information account using your name, birthday, and address where you’re registered, and you’ll be able to print out a replacement.
The system will even allow you to “build your ballot” by choosing who you want to vote for so that you won’t have to spend any time scribbling in those bubbles with a pen! Just know that you’ll have to vote in every race–even any unopposed races on your ballot–before the system will see your ballot as “complete” and allow you to print it.
If you’re at least 18 years old, a US citizen, and a resident of Washington state, then you can register to vote through election day at one of King County’s vote centers. If you’ve moved since the last time you voted and forgot to update your address online before the October 31 deadline, then you can also update your registration at those locations and vote all at the same time.
One quick note: If you’re in Seattle and driving to the vote center at Lumen Field, then be sure to park in the North Lot circled below. King County Elections spokesperson Halei Watkins said in an email that parking in that lot should be free, and the attendants shouldn’t hassle you for any dough before letting you park and vote.
Once you’ve got that precious piece of paper all filled out and signed, you’ll need to return it before 8 pm tomorrow. The easiest way to do that is by dropping it in any of the county’s conveniently located drop boxes. Not sure where your closest one is? You can find it on this handy map of every drop box in the county.
At this point, dropping your ballot in the mail runs the risk of having it postmarked after Election Day, so it’s best to take a trip to one of those drop boxes or to a vote center (if it’s closer) to make sure your vote counts.
After you drop off your ballot, you can track it to make sure it gets counted. This year, the County added email and text notifications for ballot tracking. If you want that feature, then sign up here. After you sign in, click the "track my ballot" tab and follow the directions.
That’s it! That’s all you have to do. Literally. It’ll take you all of ten minutes, plus give you an excuse to leave your home and get some fresh air. If you don’t, then you lose the right to complain about all that’s broken in our dumb country—until we do this all over again next August.