Tomorrow is the last day to vote in the 2020 election. Have you voted? Have your friends voted?
If you haven't voted, you have until Tuesday night at 8 p.m. to slide your ballot in a ballot box and make your voice heard / help King County hit its predicted turnout rate of 90%.
If you voted but the county contested your signature, then you'll need to solve that problem. If you haven't even registered to vote, then don't panic—there's still time. Here's how to handle both of those issues, plus some more info on what to expect on election night.
You Can Still Register
I like to check VoteWA.org to see if my friends voted, or to see if people like Megan Rapinoe voted (she has). All of my friends (or, at least the ones whose birthdays I know) are registered. But, what do you do if you or someone you know isn't?
Washington is one of the ✨blessed ✨ states that permit same-day voter registration. In order to register at this point, you'll need to go to an in-person voting center. In Seattle, you can vote in-person at the University of Washington campus (in the business school, blegh) or at CenturyLink Field. More King County locations here.
To register, all you need is one of the following:
That's it. No permanent address is necessary for same-day voter registration.
Other Ways to Vote
If you have a ballot, drop it into one of the ballot boxes across the county before 8 p.m. tomorrow. If you don't have a ballot but you are registered to vote, you can print off your own ballot and drop that in a ballot box.
In normal years, you could mail your ballot on election day so long as you made sure it'd be postmarked before 8 p.m. But in normal years, the President doesn't attack the vote-by-mail system, causing the U.S. Postal Service to require a federal court order to do its job effectively. As you can likely tell, these are not normal years. We are living in hell. So if you're voting tomorrow, just use a fucking drop box.
What To Expect on Tuesday
Come Tuesday night, from around 8:00 to 8:15 p.m., Washington's initial votes will come in. Those totals will come from around 1 million ballots. According to Halei Watkins, a spokesperson for King County Elections, that's almost 400,000 more than the 615,000 ballots counted on the first ballot drop of 2016's general election.
"This will represent a larger percentage of total votes than we normally get in the first results report," Watkins said. Usually, King County can bet on later ballot returns trending more progressive. Remember Kshama Sawant's landslide victory over Egan Orion last year? She didn't win until the fourth ballot drop of the week. But in the case of 2020, many progressive voters driven to vote earlier due to Trump's attack on the electoral system will already be factored into the first drop, and so remaining votes may not lean as hard to the left.
King County Elections anticipates receiving around 1.3 million ballots and a 90% turnout in total this year. Watkins said the office has over one million ballots in the building already. All you procrastinators who turned your ballots in on Monday or on actual election day won't see your votes counted until after Tuesday. Watkins said the votes will mostly all be counted by the end of the week.
Keep Tabs on That Vote
Last month, I snooped on a friend's voting record and saw an error notice. King County Elections flagged his ballot signature. His vote didn't count—yet.
Signature issues may account for elections agencies throwing out hundreds of thousands of votes in this election. According to ABC News, around 500,000 ballots didn't count in the primary because of signature issues.
Luckily, Washington is one of 22 states that allow voters to correct signature issues. King County Elections sent my friend a letter with a signature challenge form. After mailing the form, King County Elections verified his signature in just over a week. Now, according to my snooping records (which he verified), his ballot has been counted. The reasons for signature challenges vary, so read up on the instructions here if you're facing a contested signature.
Voters with contested signatures in Washington have until Nov. 23 to send in those signature challenge forms in order for their vote to count. Keep track of your ballot here. Check your "notices" tab for any signature issues.
This election shouldn't be complicated. Thanks to the incumbent, it is. All you can do now is cry, bully people into voting, and maybe put a hex on the moon, or something else cathartic. Cheers!