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Election FAQ Banner

  1. Voter Registration
  2. Voting in Pierce County
  3. Security & Integrity
How do I register to vote?
There are three ways to register to vote: 

  • Register online at To register online, you must have a Washington State ID or Driver’s License.
  • Mail in a registration form to: Pierce County Elections 2501 S. 35th St. C, Tacoma, WA 98409. 
  • In-person at the Pierce County Election Center.
Am I eligible to register to vote? 
To register to vote, you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States;
  • A legal resident of Washington State;
  • At least 18 years old (at least 16 for pre-registration)
  • Not disqualified from voting due to a court order;
  • Not currently serving a sentence of total confinement in prison under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections for a Washington felony conviction; and
  • Not currently incarcerated for a federal or out-of-state felony conviction.
Are voter registration records accurate? 
Washington’s voter registration system, VoteWA, is continuously updated by county election workers as well as the Office of the Secretary of State (OSOS). The OSOS works with the Social Security Administration, the Department of Licensing, the Department of Health, the Department of Corrections, and the Office of the Administrator of the Courts to improve the accuracy of voter registration data.

The OSOS regularly provides counties with lists of voters who need to be removed from the voter rolls. These lists included deceased voters, voters in custody of the Department of Corrections, or voters who may be registered in more than one county.

Additionally, Washington State is a member of ERIC (Electronic Records Information Center) that compares voter registration and motor vehicle license data across 31 other states. ERIC uses sophisticated data matching software. ERIC reports can detect when a voter is registered in another state or if they have voted in another state.

With all that said, we still rely on voters to keep their voter registration records updated. If you move or change your name, please contact 253-798-VOTE (8683) If a member of your household has died and a ballot is mailed to them, please mark the ballot as undeliverable and write “deceased” on the envelope. If a ballot is mailed to your home in the name of someone who doesn’t reside with you, please mark the ballot as undeliverable.
When is the deadline to register to vote? 
The deadline to register to vote online or by mail is 8 days before the election.

The deadline to register in-person is on election day by 8 p.m.

Why is my voter registration listed as inactive? 
Typically, voters are placed on inactive status when mail is returned undeliverable or we are notified that the voter has moved out of the county. In Washington State, voters can change from “Inactive” to “Active” status by simply contacting their county.
I have a primary residence in one state and a vacation home in another state. Can I register to vote in more than one location? 
No. You may only register to vote in the state that you consider your permanent residence and where you physically reside. 

You can add a seasonal address to your voter registration so that your ballot will get sent to you even if you are not currently staying at your primary address. Visit to add your seasonal address.

Is my voter registration coded by political party? 
No. Voters don’t choose a political party when they register to vote in Washington State. Party preference is not recorded in the voter’s registration record. Ballots sent to voters are not coded by party. Voters are free to select any candidate during primary and general elections, regardless of party preference. 

Presidential Primary: Every four years, the major political parties have a nominating process for US President. The parties can choose to nominate by caucus or hold an election with ballots. When the parties nominate by election, counties are required to mail and process ballots by political affiliation. This is the only election in which Washington’s voters are required to mark and sign party declarations written by the major political parties. The party choice does not affect how voters make choices in Washington’s other regular elections. The office of the Secretary of State is required to deliver election results to each major political party, including the party choice of participating voters. Once the election results have been transmitted, the voter’s party choice is removed from the voter’s file.

You do not have to participate in the presidential Primary. You will still be able to vote in the regular General and Primary Election. 
My child/spouse has moved out. Can I cancel/update their voter registration on their behalf? 

We rely on voters to keep their registration records up to date. Unless they are deceased, it’s the voter that needs to cancel their voter registration or update their new address. Election officials must hear directly from the voter in order to change the record.

Do people have to prove U.S. Citizenship when they register to vote?

To register to vote in Washington State, people must provide some form of identification – most commonly their Washington state driver’s license or ID, or the last four digits of their Social Security number – and attest in a signed statement that they are a U.S. citizen and eligible to vote. A person who submits false citizenship on their voter registration application or votes as a non-citizen is guilty of a class C felony. This is clearly stated on all registration forms, and on every ballot envelope. Voters confirm their eligibility to vote in every election by signing the ballot declaration. If a person illegally registers and votes, they also jeopardize attaining citizenship in the future.

Per state law, election officials may not verify citizenship when they receive a voter’s registration, and there exists no official list of citizens to check citizenship status against. If the required information for voter registration is included – name; address; date of birth; a signature attesting to the truth of the information provided on the application; and an indication in the box confirming the individual is a U.S. citizen – the person must be added to the voter registration file. Modifying state law would require an act of the state legislature, and federal law an act of Congress. The Secretary of State does not have lawmaking authority.

While state law does not provide for citizenship verification upon registration, it does allow a local challenge of a voter registration, which can be brought by any person or the county prosecutor. The burden of proof lies with the challenger, and evidence must be presented to the county canvassing board for review. Learn more about the challenge process here. (RCW 29A.08.810 through 29A.08.850)

Additionally, the Washington State Department of Licensing has implemented federally compliant REAL ID for enhanced driver’s license and identicards. People applying for an enhanced license must present citizenship verification. This type of license will soon be required in order to travel by air and will provide election administrators an additional assurance to verify citizenship for registered voters.

Are Felons allowed to vote? 

If you were convicted of a felony in a Washington State court, your right to vote is restored automatically once you are no longer serving a sentence of total confinement. 

If you were convicted of a felony in another state or in federal court, your right to vote is restored automatically as long as you are not currently incarcerated for that felony.

You do not lose the right to vote for a misdemeanor conviction or a conviction in juvenile court.

You do not need a certificate of discharge (COD) to have your voting rights restored.

You are not required to completely pay off your fines, restitution, or other legal financial obligations (LFOs) before you register to vote. 

The OSOS match Department of Correction records to voter registration records. Convicted felons who are serving a sentence of total confinement under the control of the Department of Corrections are pended and given written notice before their voter registration is cancelled.

It is a felony crime for a convicted felon under DOC control to attempt to vote. It is punishable by five years of imprisonment and / or $10,000 fine.

How can I report the death of a loved one and cancel their registration?  

Cancel the registration of a deceased voter by printing, signing and returning our voter registration cancellation form for a deceased voter or call us at 253-798-VOTE (8683) and we will mail you a form.

How can I cancel my registration?

To cancel your Washington State voter registration, we will need you to fill out and sign a voter cancelation form. Give us a call at 253-798-VOTE (8683) and we will mail you a cancelation form.