Oct. 4 is key registration deadline for November election

A key deadline is approaching if you want to register to vote in the general election on Nov. 2.

“There is too much at stake this year to not vote,” Secretary of State Sam Reed said in a press release. “But you can’t vote unless you’re registered. Do it before it’s too late.”

Monday, Oct. 4, is the deadline for citizens to register via online or via mail or to transfer or update their voter registration status. Visit the Secretary of State's website to register online or to print out a voter registration form that you can mail in. Washington is one of eight states that allow voter registration and registration updates via the Internet.

“If you haven’t registered to vote or if you need to update your registration, you need to do it soon,” said Reed, Washington’s chief elections officer. “It’s easier, faster and more convenient than ever. If your voting information is outdated, you have plenty of time to correct it with your county elections office so you can vote in this key election.”

Reed noted that the November election includes the high-profile U.S. Senate battle between incumbent Patty Murray and challenger Dino Rossi, all nine congressional seats, all 98 state House seats, 25 state Senate seats, judicial contests, and many local races, as well as six statewide initiatives and three other ballot propositions.

Oct. 25 is the in-person registration deadline for new Washington registrations. Voters need to fill out and turn in a voter registration form at their county elections office. Visit the San Juan County Elections Department website and get more information about voter registration or about candidates listed on the General Election ballot.

You may register and vote if you are:
— A citizen of the United States.
— A legal resident of Washington state.
— At least 18 years old by Election Day.

You may not register or vote if you:
— Have been convicted of a felony and not had your voting rights restored.
— Have been declared by a court to be mentally incompetent and ineligible to vote.

As of latest count, there are 3,556,618 Washington residents registered to vote. About 41 percent of them voted in the recent Top 2 Primary. Statistics compiled by the state Office of Financial Management show that Washington’s voting age population in 2009 was 5,086,705.

“It’s disappointing that about 30 percent of the people who are old enough to vote in Washington haven’t even registered,” Reed said. “Elections impact all of our lives, and I think it’s really important that more residents here register to vote so they can have a voice on how our government is run.”

According to U.S. Census figures for 2008, 14 percent of nonvoters said they did not vote because they missed their state’s voter registration deadline. Overall, 60 million eligible voters throughout America did not register that year.

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