Voter registration deadline nears

ARLINGTON — With an all-mail-in ballot this year, Snohomish County voters need to take extra care to meet their registration and voting deadlines.

That’s the word from Garth Fell, elections manager of the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office, who wants to see all eligible voters in the county registered by the state deadline of Oct. 4.

“The registration deadline is 30 days before election day,” Fell said. “If you’re registering through mail, this means that your registration needs to be postmarked on or before Oct. 4.”

While the deadline is the same, online voter registration is a new option, that Fell expects should help a lot of voters both register and reflect their changes of address.

“You can check your voter status online,” said Fell, who advised Internet-accessible voters to log onto www.secstate.wa.gov/elections. “If you’re already listed as active, you’ll receive a ballot in the mail roughly 18 days before election day.”

Fell said that, if a voter finds himself listed as “inactive,” it’s probably because he’s moved and mail sent to his previous address has been returned. Ballots will still be sent to inactive voters, but if those voters have moved, they can change their addresses by logging onto the aforementioned Washington Secretary of State Web site.

“Once you change your address, it switches your status to active, but don’t worry if you still appear as ‘inactive’ on the Web site afterward,” Fell said. “There’s a period of time that’s required to process and verify your change of address. It’s not automatic.”

Those who have moved to Snohomish County from another county, however, must register by mail or in person.

For those who wish to register in person, the deadline is Oct. 20, 15 days before election day, at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office, at 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett, WA 98201. The Auditor’s Office is also where voter registration forms should be mailed.

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