Voter Registration & Voting during a Pandemic: August 4 Primary Election Edition

Recording of Voter Registration mini-training at June 16, 2020 Membership Meeting

Help people who you work with register and vote in the August 4 primary, and prepare for the November 3, 2020 General Election! This blog post is supplemental to the Coalition’s Guide to voting for people who are homeless and unstably housed.

The Coalition has been helping people who are experiencing homelessness register to vote and vote for over 11 years. We want to make sure that folks know that their voices matter and are important, and that You Don’t Need a House to Vote! This year our August Primary Election on Tuesday, August 4 includes voting on Federal Congressional Representatives, State Governor, Lieutenant Governor and other leadership positions, and State Senators and Representatives. The top two from each of those races will be on the November General Election ballot, along with, of course, the Presidential Election. 

The Coalition does voter registration and education work because:

  • We want to end homelessness and to do that we need to build political power. Voting is fundamental to political power. You will help with this.
  • We want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, want to help people who don’t have a home know that they can vote.  
  • We need to spread the word about Voting Rights Restoration for people with felony convictions.

Due to COVID-19, this summer we are unable to send our volunteers out to help register voters (typically we sent trained volunteers to day and hygiene centers and meal programs), so we want to make sure that service providers have the tools you need to support people you work with in registering to vote, updating their voter registration, and voting. 

As a reminder, it is completely okay and legal for 501c3 nonprofits to help people register to vote, and provide education about the mechanics of how voting works. It is even okay to walk someone through their ballot, as long as you are helping them understand what the ballot is asking them to do, and not influencing how they vote in any way. 501c3 nonprofits are not allowed to tell someone how to vote on political (i.e. candidate) races, and if you are helping someone register or vote, you should never tell them who you are voting for. Nonprofits can endorse ballot measures/issues. 

View a recording of Hillary presenting this information at our July 16, 2020 membership meeting below (slides here) and see important information and materials here.

Email vote@homelessinfo.org for this poster

Materials to use while engaging voters:

  • Coalition’s Guide to voting for people who are homeless and unstably housed: Online version, PDF version
    • More information about these eligibility criteria and Voting Rights for people with felony convictions.
    • Addresses – how to fill out a form if someone doesn’t have a traditional residential address
    • See tips in this PowerPoint from our July 16, 2020 meeting as well!
  • Posters – email vote@homelessinfo.org for a personalized poster!
  • ACLU Trifold with information about Voting Rights for people with felony convictions: Download here

How to register & deadlines for voter registration for the Tuesday, August 4 Primary Election

Voting in the August 4 Primary Election: How to return a ballot

Ballots were mailed out on July 15! If someone hasn’t received their ballot by Tuesday, July 21, call King County Elections: (206) 296-8683.
Voter Pamphlet information: Non-partisan voter guides sent by County to each residence, some providers. If you need some, call Elections, or view online: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/how-to-vote/voters-pamphlet.aspx

  • Use a Ballot Drop Box: Turn ballot in by 8 p.m. on election day to a drop box near you. Locations: (www.tinyurl.com/KCBallotDropBoxes)
  • Mail your ballot: no stamp needed! Put your ballot in any mailbox. Make sure that it will be postmarked by 5 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Vote Center: Go to a vote center for assistance voting in-person
  • For questions related to voting, call King County Elections: (206) 296-8683 or visit www.kingcounty.gov/vote

Vote Centers for August 4, 2020 Primary Election

Vote centers are available to register new voters, update current voter records, obtain a voter registration card and to provide assistance to voters who need help completing their ballot. Trained staff and specialized equipment are available to
help voters with disabilities cast a private, independent ballot.
Link to learn more about vote centers: https://bit.ly/kcvotecenters

COVID-19 and Vote Centers: Those who do come to a Vote Center in person will be required to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth. Vote Centers will have curbside assistance and assistance for people who don’t have cars. If you have questions about what to expect when you arrive at a vote center, call King County Elections: (206) 296-8683.

Renton – King County Elections HQ

  • Address: 919 SW Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057
  • Hours:
    • Weekdays, July 15 – 24, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • Weekdays, July 27 – August 3, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, August 1, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Election Day, August 4, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Seattle – CenturyLink Field

  • Address: 800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
  • Hours:
    • Saturday, August 1, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Monday, August 3, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Election Day, August 4, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.