Thanks to everyone who attended our meeting last week! For those of you that were unable to attend, but want access to the resources that Joanna Hunt shared with us, this blog post is for you. Our recording of the evening is live on our Youtube channel. You can watch that here: https://youtu.be/BKAttjr0poY
Along with that here are some of the key resources that were shared throughout the night:
Voting Registration and Ballot Tracking
Visit https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspx to make sure that you are registered to vote. This is also where you can check if your ballot has been sent, when it was sent, and if you need to request it again. Also, once you have submitted your ballot, this is where you can track it and make sure it has been received.
5 Common Mistakes: Mail in Ballots
Improperly Filling Out Your Ballot: Make sure to fill out your ballot on a flat, dry surface and use blue or black ink.
Forgetting to sign your envelope: Every state requires a voter to sign an affidavit on the outside of the envelope containing their mail ballot affirming their identity and eligibility to vote, so make sure you sign in every place that requires a signature. Also, don't forget to include your security slip inside of your envelope!
Using a different signature from what your state has on file: 31 states now use signature verification to confirm the authenticity of voted ballots. Washington verifies your ballot signature against your registration information. (For more information on the verification process visit here: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vopp-table-14-how-states-verify-voted-absentee.aspx)
Not including additional required documentation: Some states require a witness signature or a copy of your photo ID. Washington State does not require either of these (you can check that here: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vopp-table-14-how-states-verify-voted-absentee.aspx)
Sending your ballot back to late: One of the most common reasons mail ballots are rejected is that they arrive too late or lack a postmark. Vote Early! Double check the rules for your state and check the rules for voting by mail vs. voting in person.
If I am voting for another county, can I still drop my ballot off in an Ellensburg Drop Box?
As far as we know, this is not an option. The safest bet is to drop your ballot in a mailbox and send it back to your county. There is no guarantee that your vote will be received or counted for your county if you drop it off in an Ellensburg Ballot Box. If you are mailing your ballot, do it as soon as possible!
I need help dropping my ballot off, what can I do?
If you need help submitting your ballot or don't feel safe going to the ballot boxes alone, there are people out there to help. You can contact us and we can put you in touch with someone. Also, Ellensburg Calls to Action (Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1659533490869810 or Instagram: @ellensurg.cta), are arranging for community members to escort those that are concerned or need help getting to the ballot boxes.
If you are not located in Ellensburg, there should be voting organizations in your town or city that offer similar assistance.
Last, voting is the first step and what you do after voting is important. Make sure that you keep communicating to your representatives about the issues that are important to you and how their actions are impacting you/your community. We have included the information for state reps and local, 13th district reps, but if you are looking for reps in a different county, you can check here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/