MyVote.wa.gov – Your online access to elections
Posted October 10, 2016 at 5:47 am by Tim Dustrude
This is the the tenth in a series of articles about elections in Washington State by San Juan County Auditor F. Milene Henley. The County Auditor administers elections and voter registration in the County…
Hey, Millennials! This one’s for you. Everything you ever wanted to know about elections is online, in an easy to use, mobile-friendly tool.
Want an early peek at the Voters’ Guide? How about the ballot itself? Have you ever wondered if your current ballot has been processed yet, or if the Elections Office received your ballot for a previous election?
Answers to all of these questions and more are available for Washington voters with the touch of a finger. MyVote, Washington’s premier online voter tool, provides 24-hour access to important voter information, including registration details, contact information for elected officials, an online voters’ guide, location of ballot drop boxes and voting centers, and ballot status.
With the general election looming, you might want to verify that the Elections office has your correct mailing address. If it needs updating and you have a valid Washington driver’s license or state ID card, you can update your address online, through MyVote. If you’re not yet registered to vote, the site will re-direct you to the online voter registration tool. If you’re not registered and have no state-issued ID, the site will tell you how to register by mail or in person, at the local Elections office.
A recent update to MyVote significantly enhanced its accessibility features. Developed in collaboration with multiple disability advocacy groups, the new site is compliant with Federal access guidelines, works with all common screen readers, and utilizes color and design to enhance legibility. MyVote is available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.
To get to MyVote, go to myvote.wa.gov; you can also find it on the Secretary of State’s website or the local elections website. You’ll need to enter your first and last names and date of birth in order to gain access. Because MyVote knows who you are, the Voters’ Guide and ballot will be customized for you, including only the races and measures that you get to vote in.
MyVote also gives you access to a replacement ballot, in case you’ll be gone when your ballot arrives, or you’ve misplaced your mailed ballot. Using the “MyBallot” feature of MyVote, you can either print a ballot to mark offline, or mark a ballot online and then print it, already marked. What MyVote can’t do for you is deliver your ballot. You’ll still need to drop it in the mail or in a ballot box by Election Day. (The ballot will print with instructions for how to return the ballot, and with a declaration page for your signature.)
Washington State is a “postmark state,” meaning it is the postmark on your envelope that determines whether you voted on time, rather than the envelope’s physical presence in the Elections office on Election Day. That’s fortunate for San Juan County voters, since local mail is routed through Seattle and may take two or three days or even longer to be delivered back to the courthouse. But mailing requires stamps (something some Millennials have never heard of), so there’s an easier way. For local voters, we recommend that you return your ballots by drop box. There are three drop boxes in the county, at the courthouse, the Lopez fire hall, and the Orcas senior center. If you aren’t familiar with those locations, there’s a map of them on MyVote. All are open 24–7 through 8 pm on Election Day.
So, Millennials – no excuses! You’re the least-voting sector of the population. Let’s turn that around, and make this your election. After all, it’s your future.
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