Hey Party People!!
So many of us have remembered being dragged along to the polling stations and waiting anxiously for our parents to get out of the isolated booth. If you were a lucky one, you were able to go inside and experience democracy as a young tot. I, myself, was a good girl and was able to lick on a lollipop while having my first taste of voting.
However, now it is completely different. Nowadays, Washingtonians vote by mail which in itself is very convenient. People don’t have to actually get up to go to a polling station but can now sprawl their ballot and voters’ guide over the kitchen table to become more informed instead of making a rash, uneducated decision at the outdated stations. Two main things prompted the introduction of mail-in ballots: The polling stations did not stay open to accommodate the late working citizen who wanted to cast their ballot and people simply did not know where to actually vote.
So, the Washington voter, including yourself, should have gotten your ballot already. If you haven’t and are reading this with so much anticipation and excitement to vote, you definitely need to register or update your registration. (As a side note, you can register at registerinwa.org…I’m tryna help you out here.)
HOW TO VOTE BY MAIL*
Carefully read and follow the instructions on the ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet.
- If you need a voters’ guide, try Fuse’s progressive guide at http://progressivevotersguide.com/2012/washington/primary/
- If you misplaced your official voters’ guide, go to https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/Pages/OnlineVotersGuide.aspx
- Read your ENTIRE ballot, front and back, before filling it out.
- USE A BLACK INK PEN TO FILL OUT YOUR BALLOT.
- Remove and recycle the stub at the top of the ballot.
- Sign and date the declaration on the back of the return envelope.
- RETURN your ballot through the mail (using a first class stamp) through the U.S. Postal Service.
- Check with your specific county for different ways to return your ballot.
*If by chance your Starbucks spilled all over the table soaking your ballot through or you were trying to be overtly green by recycling and oops there goes your ballot, don’t worry! You can always request a new one by emailing, calling, or visiting your county’s Elections office. I would just advise to not wait till the last day, hour, minute, or even seconds.
P.S.- Just as a side note and a few simple tips to mail-in voting…
- You have the option of writing in a name of a candidate. So if you feel that your cat, Mr. Whiskas Jr. can do a better job than the five candidates running, then you have that alternative. Be wise with your vote though!
- Make sure the signature on the ballot envelope MATCHES the signature on file with your voter registration otherwise you’re going to get a ring-a-ling from the Elections office. We don’t want that small hassle now, do we?
- Do not put multiple ballots in one envelope.
Last but not least, MAKE SURE TO RETURN YOUR BALLOT BY AUGUST 7TH.