As of this election cycle, those convicted of a felony in Washington can have their voting rights restored upon completing community supervision with the Department of Corrections, but beginning in 2022, those rights will expand even further.
The Legislature passed a bill in 2021 that automatically restores the right to vote for those convicted of a felony, as long as they are not serving a sentence in total confinement. That means even those currently on parole or under some community custody will be able to vote. But that law doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2022.
For this November’s general election, those with felonies can have their voting rights restored upon completion of community custody. When their right is restored, either through a certificate of discharge, court order, final order of discharge or certificate of restoration, they can re-register to vote with the secretary of state’s office.
Registering can be done online at VoteWA.gov or mailing or turning in-person a form to their county elections department.
When the Legislature’s new law goes into effect in 2022, those with felonies will have their voting rights automatically restored upon release, as long as they are not serving a sentence in total confinement. Total confinement means 24-hour confinement inside a facility or institution operated by the Department of Corrections.
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