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TUESDAY, OCT. 2, 2012, 1:30 P.M.

Deadlines approaching for WA voter registration

OLYMPIA -- Washington residents who are would-be voters but aren't registered still have time to sign up and be eligible to cast a ballot for president, governor or any or all of the other offices and measures on the state's long and interesting ballot.

But not a lot of time.

Those who are planning on filling out a registration form and mailing it in have until Saturday to do so. That's because by state law, mail-in ballots must be post-marked by Oct. 8. . . but Oct. 8, which is  next Monday, is also Columbus Day, on which no mail is going to get post-marked. So Saturday, Oct. 6, is the last day you can get the necessary mark on the envelope.

Registration forms can be found at many government offices, including the county elections offices and some public libraries. They can also be printed out from this page on  the secretary of state's website.

Of course, if you're going online, anyway, you might consider doing the whole thing by computer at a different secretary of state website, My Vote, which will walk you through the process and save you a stamp. The other advantage is that the deadline for online registration is still Oct. 8, because the post office isn't involved in this.

For those who want the experience of going to the elections office in person  filling out the form and handing it to another human being, that option is available until Oct. 29. But call the elections office first to check their hours; because of government reductions, different counties have different closing times. To find a number for you county elections office, click here.

In Idaho, the deadline to "pre-register" -- that is, get on the voter rolls at your precinct polling place, is Oct. 12. For a copy of the Idaho voter registration form, which can be printed out, filled out and mailed in, click here.  Idaho also has same-day registration at the polling station.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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