Effort reaches out to register 200,000 voting-age adults

OLYMPIA — More than 200,000 voting-age adults in Washington, including 21,000 living in Snohomish County, are getting a special request to sign up for this year’s election.

None of those folks are registered to vote right now. All of them have, or will soon receive a postcard with instructions on how they can do so as part of a focused outreach effort by state and county election officials.

The postcard contains the requirements to be an eligible voter and the web address for registering online. There also is a toll-free phone number for those who want to obtain a paper registration form to fill out or have questions about their voting status.

“We are hoping citizens who are eligible and want to participate will go online and register by Oct. 6 so they can participate in November,” Secretary of State Kim Wyman said Friday. “We hope citizens receiving the postcard will realize how easy it is.”

The state is using a federal grant to cover the estimated $48,300 tab to mail the postcards. They have been sent to men and women who are at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license or identification card and are not a registered voter.

A total of 210,071 postcards went out including 21,235 to residents in Snohomish County and 2,162 to people living in Island County, according to figures provided by state elections director Lori Augino.

The largest number, 74,773, went to people in King County, with 21,117 mailed in Pierce County and 11,307 in Spokane County.

More than half of the targeted recipients, 109,391, are between the ages of 18 and 25, according to state-prepared figures. Another 44,052 are going to those aged 26-35, and 58 postcards went people who are 96 and older.

This is the third year it’s been done and election officials aren’t predicting if it’ll result in many new voters in the upcoming election.

Fewer than 10 percent of last year’s recipients ever registered.

The state mailed 140,905 postcards and it led to 6,891 new registrants in October, rising to 12,258 by August 2014, according to state election figures. In Snohomish County, the mailing of 15,966 cards produced 783 new voters in October, climbing to 1,488 by August.

The voter registration effort stems from Washington’s participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center, a nonprofit created by states to improve the accuracy of voter rolls and remove barriers to voter registration.

Washington is one of the seven states that formed ERIC in 2012. Today, 12 states and the District of Columbia participate.

Though Washington’s effort reaches predominantly younger and traditionally liberal-minded adults, it’s not incited concern from any political corner, Wyman and Augino said.

“The beauty of the ERIC program is that it appeals to both sides of the aisle,” Augino said. “It’s a well-respected program that works to keep the voter rolls as clean as possible while also providing opportunities to register.”

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.


Oct. 6 is the deadline for online and mail-in voter registrations for the Nov. 4 election. You can register in person at county election offices up until Oct. 27.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Safeway store at 4128 Rucker Ave., on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)
Police: Everett Safeway ex-worker accused of trying to ram customers

The man, 40, was showing symptoms of psychosis, police wrote. Officers found him circling another parking lot off Mukilteo Boulevard.

Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the 196th ST SW Improvement Project near the 196th and 44th Ave West intersection in Lynnwood, Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Jarred by anti-Semitic rants, Lynnwood council approves tax increase

Three people spewed hate speech via Zoom at a council meeting this week. Then, the council moved on to regular business.

The county canvassing board certifies election results at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
General election results stamped official by canvassing board

In Snohomish County, one hand recount will take place. Officials said ballot challenges were down this year.

The Days Inn on Everett Mall Way, which Snohomish County is set to purchase and convert into emergency housing, is seen Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Over $130M for affordable housing set to be approved by County Council

The five-year investment plan of the 0.1% sales tax aims to construct 550 new affordable units.

Two snowboarders head up the mountain in a lift chair on the opening day of ski season at Stevens Pass Ski Area on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, near Skykomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Ski season delayed at Stevens Pass due to minimal snow

Resort originally planned to open Dec. 1. But staff are hopeful this week’s snow will allow guests to hit the slopes soon.

Siblings Qingyun, left, and Ruoyun Li, 12 and 13, respectively, are together on campus at Everett Community College on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Everett, Washington. The two are taking a full course load at the community college this semester. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Siblings, age 12 and 13, are youngest students at EvCC campus

Qingyun Li was 11 when he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test. His sister, Ruoyun, was one point away.

Edmond’s newly elected mayor Mike Rosen on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mayor-elect Rosen wants to ‘make Edmonds politics boring again’

Mike Rosen handily defeated incumbent Mayor Mike Nelson. He talked with The Herald about how he wants to gather the “full input” of residents.

Offloading ferry traffic is stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street at the Edmonds ferry dock on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 in Edmonds. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
2-ferry service restored on Edmonds-Kingston route — for a weekend

M/V Salish, one of the system’s smallest vessels, will fill in through Sunday after weeks of one boat on the route.

Jared Mead, left, Nate Nehring
At Everett event, Mead, Nehring look to bridge partisan gap

Two Snohomish County Council members can pinpoint the day they really started talking about putting civility over partisanship. It was Jan. 6.

A speed camera facing west along 220th Street Southwest on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Traffic cameras, and tickets, come to Edmonds; Mukilteo could be next

New school zone cameras in Edmonds will begin operating in January. Mukilteo is considering enforcement cameras as well.

A suspected gas explosion on Wednesday destroyed a house in the 19700 block of 25TH DR SE in Bothell, Washington. (Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue)
After a newly bought Bothell house exploded, experts urge caution

The owners had closed on their purchase of the house just two days earlier. No one was hurt in the explosion.

3 men charged in armed home invasion near Everett

Prosecutors allege the trio targeted other Asian American homes across Snohomish, Whatcom and King counties.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.