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Election Myths & FAQs

(Updated 6/9/2023)

Why didn't I receive a ballot for the August 1, 2023 Primary Election?

Only registered voters in the City of Centralia, City of Morton, City of Winlock, Castle Rock School District, Chehalis School District, Eatonville School District, Toledo School District, Fire District #3, Fire District #5, Fire District #6, and Fire District #20 will receive a ballot by mail for the August 1, 2023 Primary Election. In non-partisan races, if two or fewer candidates file, the race moves directly to the November General Election ballot.

How do I know if my ballot has been received and accepted?

Voters can login to the VoteWA voter portal at: to track the status of their ballots.

Why does my ballot still say "accepted" on VoteWA?

The VoteWA system shows “accepted” for ballot envelopes that have been signature checked and have moved forward to have the ballot removed and counted. Here is more information on the ballot status codes used on VoteWA:

Does anyone know how I voted?

No, the election process used in Washington State ensures a secret ballot. No one, including our Elections staff, knows the choices made by an individual voter. Here is more information on the path of a ballot in our vote-by-mail system.

Why aren't the state and federal candidates listed in the printed local voters' pamphlet?

The state and federal candidates are the responsibility of the Washington Secretary of State's Office. The Secretary of State's Office prints their own voters' pamphlet that includes these candidates. Our local voters' pamphlet only includes local candidates and issues. State and federal candidate information is available at either or

Do you really lock the ballot drop boxes using red zip ties?

We do not secure the ballot drop boxes using red zip ties. There is an internal, double deadbolt that is used to secure each box. The numbered zip tie is for election staff to track each time the box is accessed by our staff and is part of our chain of custody security process. The door on the drop box is also designed to swing open if it is not locked.

What voting system does Lewis County use?

Lewis County uses Clear Ballot. Click here to see a list of voting systems by county.

I heard that with same day voter registration people can register and vote in one county and then go to the next county to register and vote a second time. Is that true?

This is not correct. With the move to a statewide voter registration system we can track changes to voter registration across all Washington counties in real-time. If a voter tried to do this, the second county would see that a ballot had already been returned.

When I logged into the VoteWA voter portal, the list of "My Elected Officials" are not the candidates that I marked on my ballot.

The "My Elected Officials" portion of the VoteWA voter portal lists the currently serving elected officials. It does not list the candidates that you selected on your ballot. The secret ballot process ensures that we do not know which candidates you marked.

My name is on a list of "rejected" ballots on a third party website. So my vote isn't going to be counted?

Many outside interest groups post information on ballots that have been challenged (unsigned, signature does not match, etc.). These ballots are not rejected. The voter will receive a letter from the Auditor's Office with instructions on how to resolve the issue and have their vote count. If the voter does not respond to the letter, the Auditor's Office will call them prior to certification. If the voter does not resolve the issue prior to certification their vote will not count.

Is it true my ballot won’t be counted if I don’t put it in the security envelope?

Unlike in some other states, your ballot will still be counted even if you don’t use the security envelope. You must still sign and use the outer oath envelope.

Do I need to put a stamp on my envelope for it to be returned to you timely?

It is not necessary to place a stamp on your ballot envelope. Pre-paid postage is included. The envelope must be postmarked by Election Day and received in our office prior to certification of the election. If you are concerned about mailing your ballot, please use one of our 14 ballot drop boxes. Please vote early to ensure your vote will be counted.

I’d like to change my party affiliation on my voter registration.

We don’t register by party in the State of Washington. You are welcome to vote for the candidate of your choice.

Why is my favorite candidate listed second on the General Election ballot? They were listed first on the Primary Election ballot.

The ballot order for the Primary Election is determined by lot draw. The candidate with the most votes in the Primary Election moves to position 1 for the General Election.

Why do I have to sign the ballot envelope?

Your signature on the ballot envelope is used to verify that the correct person voted the ballot. Our staff are trained by the Washington State Patrol in signature verification. We compare the signature on every envelope to the signature on file for the voter in the voter registration database. If the signature does not match or the envelope is unsigned, we challenge it. The voter will receive a letter in the mail explaining how to correct the problem. We are also required to call all voters with signature challenges prior to certification of the election.

I heard that I can go to the Auditor's Office to vote?

Lewis County has been all vote-by-mail since 2005. The Auditor's Office is a vote center. We register voters and issue paper ballots. You can return your ballot to the drop box in the historic courthouse, but we do not have voting machines that can be used to cast your vote. We do have an ADA compliant accessible unit to assist voters with disabilities to mark their ballots. Ballots marked on this device are printed out and deposited in the ballot drop box.

Other resources:

Washington Secretary of State's vote-by-mail FAQ website

Washington Secretary of State's Securing Your Vote website

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) rumor vs. reality website