Washington Ex-Offender Voting Rights

In all states, it's a felony to vote if your voting rights are currently revoked. If you are uncertain about your status from the information provided on this page, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for more information.

Misdemeanor convictions in Washington

You do not lose your right to vote if you are convicted of a misdemeanor in Washington. If you are incarcerated for a misdemeanor you should check voter registration status, register to vote if necessary, and request an absentee ballot from office administrators at your complex.

You can vote while awaiting trial for any charge, even if incarcerated, as long as you have not lost your right to vote due to a prior conviction.

Felony convictions in Washington 

If you were convicted of a felony in a Washington state court, then your right to vote is conditionally restored after you are released from incarceration and complete community custody.

If you were convicted of a felony in another state court or a federal court, then your right to vote is conditionally restored when you are free from incarceration.

A person's conditionally restored voting rights can be removed in two ways:

  1.  The sentencing court determines you have "willfully failed" to pay legal financial obligations.
  2.  If you fail to make three restitution payments within a twelve (12) month period, and the county clerk or recipient makes a request, the prosecutor will seek revocation.A revocation remains in effect until the person makes a good faith effort to pay.

Next steps for restoring voting rights in Washington 

If you were convicted of a felony in a Washington state court, after you are released from incarceration and complete community custody you may register to vote and cast a ballot if your conditional voting rights have not been revoked.

If you were convicted of a felony in another state court or a federal court, once you are no longer incarcerated you may register to vote and cast a ballot if your conditional voting rights have not been revoked.

Conditional voting rights becomes permanent voting rights when one of the following is true:

  • The sentencing court issues a certificate of discharge once all requirements of your sentence are completed, including legal financial obligations.
  • A court restores the right (upon application, once a person finishes their suspended sentence).
  • The indeterminate sentence review board issues a final order of discharge after a person on parole has performed all obligations of his or her release, including any and all legal financial obligations.
  • The Governor issues a certificate of restoration.

 

Helpful U.S. Vote Foundation Resources

Click here for help with: 

  • Registering to vote

  • Requesting an absentee ballot

  • Requesting a mail-in ballot

Click here for help with finding your Election Official.