Washington state elections got a bit of a makeover on July 1. This year, for the first time, Washington residents will be able to register to vote on Election Day. Vote-by-mail voters have until 8 days before the election to update their registration. But, you can register and vote on the same day in-person! That could be a big deal for King County homeless people.
The Seattle Times wrote an article earlier this week about how same-day voter registration could facilitate a bigger turnout for that group of voters.
Not many homeless people have participated in local elections. From the Times:
There do not appear to be many people voting while homeless in King County: 948 active voters are registered at a shelter as their residential or mailing address; an additional 37 registered in tiny-house villages.
That's because, as Scott Greenstone at the Times writes, "economic barriers" and "many people still don’t know that they can vote without a fixed address."
Same-day voter registration is meant to make the voting process "easier for eligible voters to participate." The article, however, didn't explain how people could even do that in King County.
I will help.
Where can people register and vote on Election Day?
What do people need?
"Those who want to register will need to know either the number of their Washington driver’s license or State ID card or the last four digits of their SSN, which we will use to verify their identity," Kendall LeVan Hodson, chief of staff at King County Elections, told The Stranger. "Other than that, you do not need to bring anything to register to vote in person."
There are a bunch of issues plaguing the revamp of the voter registration system, VoteWA, like how it keeps crashing, erasing parts of overseas addresses, cutting off apartment numbers, and more. So, maybe you'll need to vote in person even if you've registered online! If you're not sure, make sure you check your voter registration.
The primary is Aug. 6! Keep an eye out for our endorsements, out next Wednesday.