Voter Registration Challenge

General Information


A voter registration is presumptive evidence of a person’s right to vote. A challenge may be dismissed if proper evidence isn’t supplied. A challenge may only be filed for the reasons listed on this form. Any other reason is not considered to be legitimate grounds for a challenge.

The challenge process is established in RCW 29A.08.810 through RCW 29A.08.850.

Filing a Challenge

Registered voters and county prosecuting attorneys may file a voter registration challenge. A challenge must be based on the challenger’s personal knowledge.

Submit a completed challenge form, and supporting documentation, to the Whatcom County Elections. Determination of the challenge is based entirely on evidence provided.

Address Based Challenges


If you don’t know the voter’s actual residential address, provide evidence that you’ve taken ALL steps below to verify his or her residential address is incorrect.

  • Send a letter with ‘return service requested’ to all known addresses for the voter;
  • Search local telephone directories to determine whether the voter maintains a telephone listing at any address in the county;
  • Search the county auditor property records to determine whether the voter owns property in the county;
  • Search the statewide voter registration database to determine if the voter is registered at any other address in the state; and
  • Visit the voter’s listed residential address. As proof that the voter doesn’t live there submit a signed affidavit from anyone who owns, manages, resides, or is employed at the address stating that, to his or her personal knowledge, the voter does not reside at the address.

A voter can maintain residency if he or she is absent due to government service, school, in prison, or because he or she is registered at a non-traditional address such as a shelter, park, motor home or marina.


Deadlines


In order to affect the validity of a ballot, challenges must be filed at least 45 days before an election.

If the challenged voter registered or moved less than 60 days before an election, a challenge must be filed at least 10 days before the election or 10 days after the voter registered, whichever is later.

Challenge Process


Upon receipt of a challenge form, the county elections department will:

  • review the form for completeness and factual basis;
  • notify the challenged voter and interested parties of the challenge;
  • post the challenge documents on the county elections department’s website; and
  • set a hearing time and date.
A voter registration challenge hearing is an administrative hearing, not a court proceeding, and is open to the public. The county elections official or County Canvassing Board will preside over the hearing. Final determination of the challenge may be appealed in Superior Court.