Student Involvement & Leadership

Student Voting Rights

As a college student, you have the right to vote where you go to college or in the town where you grew up!
On The Issues

Help voters to make educated decisions. Pick candidates based on issues rather than on personalities and popularity.
Vote Smart

Self-described ``Voter's Self-Defense System.`` The offer basic information on keeping your vote free from partisan influence.

Vote Registration Guidelines

Pacific Lutheran University actively promotes voter registration and voting through a civic engagement campaign called “I Will Vote.” From September to November, students are encouraged to review their voter information, register (if necessary) and turn in their ballot.

Voting FAQ

When do I need to fill out a new voter registration form?

You will need to register to vote whenever you vote in a new state, change your name, or change your address and want to vote as a resident of the new address.

What are the voter registration requirements for Washington state?

In WA, you must be at least 18 yrs of age by election day, a U.S. citizen, a Washington state resident, and not deemed by a court of law as mentally incompetent or denied the right to vote due to a convicted felony.

How do I register to vote?

You can contact your county election office to ask for a voter registration form, register to vote on-line, or obtain and fill out a National Mail Voter Registration Form. Websites listed on the back have downloadable voter registration forms or directly offer on-line voter registration.

Where can I find out information about my county elections office?

To locate and find the contact info for the county election offices in WA state, go to the Elections & Voting page of the Secretary of Washington Website. If you’d like to find out county election offices from another state, visit Student’s Guide to Voting page at, which posts links to each state’s election website.

How do I vote while studying outside the country or while overseas?

You can request to become an absentee ballot voter. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission website lets you find your county election office contact info and gives you primary & general election deadlines along with ballot postmark deadlines. Remember, always double check the contact info at your state’s election website.

What is the voting registration deadline?

In WA, the deadline is 30 days before Election day. Each state has their own deadline. Check them out at, which displays voter registration deadlines and deadlines for requesting voter registration forms on a user-friendly interactive map.

What is the residency policy for voter registration in WA?

To gain WA residency or transfer residency from one county to another, you must live in WA/transfer to another WA county 30 days before election day. This does NOT mean that you have to live 30 days at your desired WA residency before registering to vote.

How do I become a mail-in ballot voter?

Contact your county election office to request an absentee ballot application. Request, complete and return the application (signed and dated) early. In WA, mail-in ballots count when postmarked OR signed & dated no later than election day and returned up to 15 days after primary/special election and up to 21 days after a general election. Other states have their own mail-in voting rules so check their county election offices for details if you choose to vote outside WA state.

How can I find out more about voting issues and candidates? is your “one-stop-shop” for voting information. They provide non-partisan information on both state and national elections. provides the voting history of every political leader on every issue available. is a self-described “Voter’s Self-Defense System.” The offer basic information on keeping your vote free from partisan influence.

Why do we vote in November?

A. Most Americans made their living from agriculture in 1845 and Congress felt that November was the most convenient month for farmers and citizens living in rural areas to get to the polls. Preparing fields and planting crops consumed lots of the public’s time in the spring and summer months. But by early November, the harvest was over in most areas, and the weather was still mild and dry enough to allow travel over the dirt and rock roads of the day.

Why do we vote on a Tuesday?

In 1845, and for many years after that, only the county seats had a polling places. For many voters, this meant at least an overnight trip on horseback or buggy. If the election were held on Monday, people would have to leave on Sunday, which in 1845, was reserved for church.