WASHINGTON: VOTE BY MAIL FOR SECURE ELECTIONS IN 2020

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR WASHINGTON ELECTIONS OFFICIALS

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE

Sightline’s state-by-state guides are designed to give local election officials and legislators the information they need to identify and take the most important steps to get ready for November. Each set of state-specific resources includes best practices and established models from around the country, including practical nuts and bolts advice for clerks, materials from election administrators with experience conducting all mail elections, and information about vendors and costs.

How Washington is prepared for Vote By Mail

  • Provides a postage-prepaid return envelope for mailed ballots.
  • Gives voters sufficient opportunity to cure signature problems.
  • Allows any voter to request an absentee ballot.
  • Is a member of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
  • Offers voters a “single sign-up” option to permanently vote by mail.
  • Uses voters’ signatures to verify ballots.
  • Allows county clerks to start processing ballots sufficiently early.
  • Accepts mailed ballots postmarked on Election Day.
  • Allows voters to register and request an absentee ballot online.
  • Allows voters to request a replacement ballot online.
  • Allows early in-person voting starting three weeks before Election Day.
  • Allows anyone to return sealed ballots in person.

RECOMMENDED STEPS FOR SECURE ELECTIONS

Within each section, recommendations are arranged roughly in order of importance and ease of implementation.

For Local Election Officials
  • Coordinate with USPS.
  • Design ballots and envelopes that are easy to use.
  • Consider using a professional printer and ballot sorter.
  • Invest in high-speed centralized equipment.
For Washington’s Secretary of State
  • Use a comprehensive system to track ballots.

Download the full Washington action packet, with detailed information for each recommendation.

Washington State's Grade for Vote By Mail preparedness = A

Our grading system: We evaluated each state on 16 factors, covering access, administration efficiency, security, and infrastructure.

 

Contact us

We welcome your questions and feedback. Email Kristin Eberhard, director of Sightline’s Democracy research program.

Photos: Vote By Mail in Washington. Shutterstock.