New text alerts let Washington voters track when their ballots are counted

By: - August 21, 2023 4:42 pm

The August primary marked the first time Washington voters could receive text alerts on the status of their ballots (Tim Robberts/Getty Images)

Did you get a text when election workers opened your primary ballot?

And another when it had been accepted for counting, or if it wasn’t and you needed to act?

The August primary was Washington’s first election in which voters statewide could sign up for text updates as their ballots were received and accepted by county elections offices. Subscribers to the texts  also got alerts if their ballot had a problem – like they forgot to sign it – with directions to take action to get it tallied.

Roughly 3,900 voters signed up for the notifications, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. It can be done by adding a cell phone number to a new or existing voter registration either online via or in person at a county elections office. 

“Getting a text message when your ballot is processed adds transparency and trust in our system,” Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said in a statement.

Sign-ups began a few days before the Aug. 1 primary. As word spreads, the number of participating voters is expected to rise for elections this fall, and next year.

Auditors have wanted to offer this option for a while, Snohomish County Auditor Garth Fell said. 

“It’s a win for voters,” he said. “They’ll have confidence when their ballot has been received.”

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Jerry Cornfield
Jerry Cornfield

Jerry Cornfield joined the Standard after 20 years covering Olympia statehouse news for The Everett Herald. Earlier in his career, he worked for daily and weekly papers in Santa Barbara, California.