Ballots Already Available, Who's Eligible to Vote For Council?

VoteBallots for the General Election were mailed by the Thurston County Auditor's Office Wednesday, Oct. 16.

As ballots for the Nov. 5 General Election make their way to voters, many have asked “I have a Yelm address, or I own a business in Yelm, why can’t I vote for Yelm City Council candidates?”

While the Yelm zip code, 98597 extends dozens of miles beyond the City limits of Yelm, only voters with a primary address within Yelm City limits can vote for mayor, council members or any other City affairs that take place within the incorporated lines of the City.

Voters with a primary address within City limits can vote in County and City matters because they also live within the boundaries of Thurston County, while those who live outside of City limits can only vote on County matters.

Although someone’s primary address may have the 98597 zip code, it does not necessarily mean they are a resident within the incorporated City limits of Yelm, making them ineligible to participate in City elections. If someone works, owns a business, or owns property in Yelm but reside in another area, they must use their primary residence to register to vote under.

Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 5 or dropped off in a ballot drop-box by 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are new to Washington, or recently changed addresses, you can update your voter registration online up to eight days before the election. You can also register in person until 8 p.m. on the day of the election.