usps

Washington voters don’t need to request an absentee ballot.

Local, state offices were not told in advance of this postcard

WHATCOM ­— A recent mailing by the United States Postal Service states “If you plan to vote by mail, plan ahead,” but the information on the postcard does not apply to Washington voters.

A press release sent out Monday by the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office states that the postcard’s recommendation that voters “Request your mail-in ballot (often called ‘absentee’ ballot) at least 15 days before Election Day” does not accurately reflect the process used in Washington.

“Voters in Whatcom County do not need to request a ballot, as ballots are automatically mailed to all registered voters 20 days prior to Election Day,” Whatcom County Auditor Diana Bradrick says. “There is no need to sign up or request to receive a mail-in ballot to vote in the upcoming election.”

Voters who may be unsure of their registration status can log in at VoteWA.gov to confirm they are registered and that their information is correct.

The Postal Service did not tell Whatcom County election officials or the office of the Secretary of State that this mailing would go out to Washington residents. By the time officials in Washington learned the contents of the mailer and reached out to the USPS, the postcards had already been sent out.

The county auditor’s office can be reached at 360-778-5102 or at elections@co.whatcom.wa.us.

 The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office encourages voters to call or email if they have not received their general-election ballots by Oct. 21.

  ailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day (Nov. 3 this year) or deposited in a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day. USPS recommends mailing at least a week before Election Day. Mailbox collection times should always be checked in order to ensure that ballots will be postmarked and counted in time by Election Day, Bradrick said.