You're googling "where is my ballot?" right now. No, it hasn't been dumped in some creek or sold off by West Virginian mail carriers, as President Donald Trump claimed, unchecked, on a national stage last week during the presidential debate.
Then where the fuck is your ballot? And what happens if you don't get one? Or if you forgot to register?
If you live in Washington, your ballot isn't mailed until at least 18 days before the election. For King County voters, ballots are sent starting on October 14. Ballot drop boxes don't open until October 15. So take a breather. Even though headlines are full of early-voting stories from other states and of voter registration deadlines expiring, we're all good in Washington, a place that's been exclusively voting by mail since 2011.
You've done this before! Nothing's changed, except we have a president who is trying to make you scared and to make you distrust the election system, and our Secretary of State isn't doing jack to assuage those fears. But in times of chaos we can always use a refresher.
The Order of Operations for King County Voters
If your voter registration is up to date, you'll receive your voter's pamphlet in the mail sometime this week or next. That's all the information you need to vote, aside from the Stranger Election Control Board endorsements, obviously. Soon thereafter, your ballot will come.
You have until election day, November 3, to submit your ballot. You can drop it off at any drop box around the county, put it in your mailbox, or you can vote in-person at any of the five King County voting centers. It's as easy as that. If you're waiting until actual election day to vote, it's best to vote via drop box to make sure your ballot is received on time. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by November 3 at the latest, not after.
Make sure you thoroughly fill-in ballot bubbles in black pen, and autograph that baby.
Oops, I Forgot to Register
Not a problem. While the poor shmucks in Florida had to register by Tuesday, Washington voters can register up until election day. You have to do that in person, though at one of the aforementioned voting centers.
To register online, you'll need a Washington state I.D. If you don't have one of those, you can still print out a ballot and mail in your registration. You have until Oct. 26 to submit any online and mail-in voter registrations or voter registration changes. More on that here.
Wait, My Ballot Didn't Come
If you don't receive your ballot a week after the deadline, then you can request a new one, or you can print off your own ballot and mail it in yourself (that link won't be live until ballots go out, so don't email me to say it's broken, thanks).
King County Elections is working through the night to ensure this election runs as smoothly as possible. But they've hired on a bunch of extra hands to make sure all of your questions are answered. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. And don't forget to vote! The projections predict around a 90% voter turnout in the county. Vote like your life depends on it, because it does.