Last Updated: May 6, 2022
- Am I eligible to vote if I was convicted of a crime?
- How do I find out if I am on “community custody”?
- If I am eligible to vote, what do I need to do to vote?
- When do I need to register to vote?
- How do I vote?
- How do I restore other civil rights?
- What rights are restored with a COD?
- How do I get a COD?
- What should I do if I get a jury questionnaire, but am not eligible to serve on a jury?
Am I eligible to vote if I was convicted of a crime?
Yes. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or in juvenile court, you can vote immediately. If you were convicted of a felony in federal court, your right to vote is automatically restored as soon as you are no longer in jail or prison. If you were convicted in a Washington state court, your right to vote is restored once you are no longer in jail or prison and are no longer on community custody.
How do I find out if I am on “community custody”?
To find out if you are on community custody, call the DOC Voting Hotline at 800-430-9674 and leave a message with your name, DOC number and phone number, and asking if you have an open or active DOC file. If you do not have an open or active DOC file, you are eligible to vote. If you do, ask for the name and phone number of your Community Corrections Officer and contact him to find out if you are on community custody. You are not eligible to vote while you are on community custody and it is a felony to do so.
If I am eligible to vote, what do I need to do to vote?
Even though your right to vote has been restored, you still need to register to vote in order to receive a voting ballot. This is the case even if you voted before your felony conviction.
You can register to vote by:
- Visit Washington’s Voting website or
- Registering at a government office such as the Secretary of State’s office, the County Auditor’s office, post offices, public libraries or the DMV
If you need help registering to vote, call the Elections Division of the Secretary of State at 360-902-4180.
When do I need to register to vote?
If you register by mail, you must mail your registration at least 29 days before election day. If you register in person, you must register at least 8 days before election day.
How do I vote?
You will receive a ballot in the mail at the address you put on your registration form. If you lose your ballot or do not receive it, you can request a replacement ballot or get one at a voting center. List of voting centers. Voting centers are open 18 days before election day and close at 8 p.m. on election day. If you vote by mail, your ballot must be postmarked by election day.
How do I restore other civil rights?
Unlike your right to vote, other civil rights do not restore automatically. Instead, you must get a Certificate of Discharge (“COD”) to restore these rights.
What rights are restored with a COD?
A COD will restore your right to serve on a jury or run for public office. A COD does not:
- restore your right to possess firearms or ammunition under state and federal law
- remove a conviction from your record
- remove a domestic violence restriction
- remove any obligation to register as a sex offender.
How do I get a COD?
You can get a COD once you have completed all of the requirements of your sentence, including paying all of your Legal Financial Obligations. Once you have done so, you can ask the court for a COD by completing the Motion for Certificate and Order of Discharge form and filing it with the clerk of the court where you were sentenced.
What should I do if I get a jury questionnaire, but am not eligible to serve on a jury?
Even if you are not eligible to serve on a jury because you have not obtained a COD, you must still fill out the jury questionnaire. You should do so by indicating that you have been convicted of a felony and have not restored your civil rights.
The information on this website is not legal advice. You should not and are not authorized to rely on this website as a source of legal advice. While Civil Survival goes to great lengths to make sure the information on the website is accurate, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information and are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of this website. We recommend that you consult with an attorney for assurance that the information on the website and your interpretation of it are appropriate for your situation.
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