State Fact Sheet

Election Websites: Washington

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WA BONE2Researchers assessed state election websites for the Pew Center on the States between May-November 2010, using detailed criteria evaluating the content, lookup tools, and usability. Websites may have changed since they were assessed. See methodology (PDF).

Strengths include:

  • Statements from local, state, and federal candidates, including occupations and candidate photographs, accessible through a directory or personalized lookup tool.
  • Complete information about statewide ballot measures, including full texts, summaries, and nonpartisan analyses.
  • Extensive archived candidate and ballot-measure resources.
  • Multipurpose “MyVote” lookup tool allows users to view their ballot drop site, sample ballot, and status of their registration.
  • Well-organized home page organizes information and links by audience so voters can easily find content they need.

Recommended improvements include:

  • Provide information for military and overseas voters about how to obtain and complete a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (30 states offer), when to re-register (22 offer), and when to renew absentee ballot requests (31 offer).
  • Provide instructions on how to cast a ballot (38 states offer).
  • Note whether voters may receive assistance with marking their mail-in and absentee ballots (18 states offer).
  • Post the hours for the election office (32 states offer) and a fax number (46 offer).
  • Provide lookup tools for voters to view the status of their absentee ballot (29 states offer) and provisional ballot (19 offer).
  • Allow access to the lookup tool for ballot drop sites by street address, instead of personal voter record information (27 states offer).

Noteworthy Feature: Washington translates many of its site resources into seven languages. The online voter registration system is operable in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Initial Quick Fix: Add to the directory of local election officials' office hours (14 states offer) and county auditor names (43 offer). 

Summary: Washington's state election website contains many innovative resources and scores well in all three main categories, including offering three out of five recommended lookup tools. was assessed for content and lookup tools. was assessed for usability.

Media Contact

Fred Baldassaro

Director, Communications