Voting is an important part of living in our country. It gives people the ability to change how the government runs. For years, people convicted of felonies would lose their right to vote.
- How do I know if I’ve lost my right to vote?
If you have been convicted of a felony, you lose your voting rights until you are no longer under the supervision of Department of Corrections (DOC). You do not lose your right to vote for misdemeanor convictions.
- When can I get my right to vote back?
Once you have completed all jail/prison time and all related community custody time, your right vote in Washington is automatically restored. If you have questions about whether you are still under DOC supervision, you can contact your attorney or call DOC at 800-430-9874.
- If I am on bench probation, am I eligible?
Yes. Bench probation or court probation is different than community custody. If you only have to check in with the court, and don’t have a Community Corrections Officer (CCO), you are likely not on community custody. However, if you have any concerns, you should check your status with DOC by calling 800-430-9874.
- What if I haven’t paid all my fines or restitution?
You are not required to have paid all your fines or restitution to get your right to vote back. However, if the court finds that you have the ability to make payments and choose not to, you could have your voting rights taken away again (along with other consequences).
- What do I have to do to get my voting rights back?
All you have to do is register. The deadline to register online or by mail is 8 days before the election. It doesn’t cost a thing.
You can register to vote:
1. When you apply for an ID card/license or update your address with DOL.
2. By mail.
3. Online at: https://voter.votewa.gov/wheretovote.aspx
4. In person at your local election office.