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What you need to know about our state’s new election rules

(July 16, 2019) — It’s summer and across Washington state, temperatures — and primary election races — are heating up.

This year, our access to register to vote is growing. Our democracy is strongest when everyone participates and our unions are strongest when all of our members and their family members are registered to make their voices heard.

Starting this month, Washington has new rules to help you make your voice heard. Here’s what you need to know to stay on top of your voter registration and to help your fellow union members do the same:

AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION — AVR is a simple, modern, and secure way to keep your registration up to date. Eligible Washingtonians can now register to vote or update an existing registration automatically at any Department of Licensing office when you get an Enhanced Driver’s License. Registration via AVR is open until eight days before an election.

SAME DAY REGISTRATION — With Same Day Registration, eligible Washingtonians can register to vote and submit their ballot on the same day. This new change eliminates unnecessary deadlines so more voters can participate. You can register via Same Day Registration in person at your county auditor’s office (find your auditor here). In King County, you can register at any voting center (find the closest one here). Same Day Registration is available until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

PRE-REGISTRATION FOR 16- AND 17-YEAR-OLDS — Eligible 16- and 17-year-olds in Washington can now pre-register to vote! After submitting a simple form, pre-registrants’ voter registration status will automatically become active when they turn 18. Pre-registration is available year-round on the Secretary of State’s online portal; in person at voting centers, county auditors’ offices, and with volunteers; and at any Department of Licensing office.

Don’t wait — the best time to register to vote, update your voter registration, or help an eligible friend get registered is TODAY. Luckily, these new rules help us make sure no eligible voter is left out of the conversation. Spread the word at your union and get ready to vote in the Primary Election on Tuesday, August 6.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!