Office of the Secretary of State offers Election Day tips and reminders
And what to expect for results reporting — from election night to final certification
OLYMPIA – Nearly 1.9 million registered voters in Washington state have already returned their ballots for the 2022 General Election. Going into the final day of voting, turnout is behind the pace set by the 2018 Presidential midterm election (approximately 39% vs. 48%).
The Office of the Secretary of State is offering voters some quick and simple tips to ensure they are able to submit their ballot on time this Election Day and that their votes are counted.
· People who want to participate in the General Election but have not registered to vote can register and submit a ballot today until 8 p.m. Eligible citizens can visit a county elections office to register in person with a valid Washington state driver’s license or state identification card. Voters who need to update their registration may do so in person until 8 p.m. County elections office locations can be found at www.sos.wa.gov/elections/research/drop-box-and-voting-center-locations.aspx .
The 2022 General Election is the first Presidential midterm election that allows same-day voter registration. Same-day voter registration in Washington state began in 2019.
· On Election Day, voters should return their ballot by placing it in any of the nearly 500 ballot drop boxes statewide. Drop boxes close at 8 p.m. sharp. Voters should submit their ballot before the 8 p.m. deadline to avoid last-minute traffic. Drop box locations can be found on VoteWA.gov, Washington’s online voter portal.
County elections offices will continue to receive valid ballots after Nov. 8 from voters who have sent their ballot via U.S. mail. Any ballot postmarked Nov. 8 or earlier is considered on-time and will be processed.
What to expect for results reporting on election night
The Office of the Secretary of State encourages voters, the media, and the general public to wait patiently while counties tally election results.
“We understand that voters and the media are eager to learn the results right away,” said Director of Elections Stuart Holmes. “However, voting systems are on an air-gapped network and are not connected to the internet. Processes are in place for election administrators to safely and securely publish results, and those processes take time. This is a normal and expected process during any election.”
Counties do not begin tabulating ballots until after the voting period closes at 8 p.m. on Election Day. Following the initial results release on election night, further results will be reported Wednesday, Nov. 9. Washington’s largest counties will post updated results daily. Counties with a population of less than 75,000 are required to report at least every three days.
Results will be regularly updated throughout the 21-day certification window. Each county will post its next tabulation date and time along with how many estimated ballots it has left on hand each time the county updates its results. Results are not final until counties certify them Nov. 29. The Office of the Secretary of State has until Dec. 8 to certify the 2022 General Election returns.
Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.