Mental Competency and Voting Rights

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Only a Superior Court can declare a person unable to vote due to mental incompetency and therefore unable to vote. Do not assume that a person under a guardianship due to their mental capacity is ineligible to vote.

A guardian may not vote on behalf of a person under guardianship, and power of attorney does not extend to voting.

Whether a person under guardianship may vote depends on when the guardianship was imposed and whether the guardianship is full or partial.

  • If full guardianship was imposed before July 24, 2005, the person is not eligible to vote unless the court order specifically states otherwise.
  • If partial guardianship was imposed before July 24, 2005, the person retains the right to vote unless the court order specifically states otherwise.
  • If full or partial guardianship was imposed on or after July 24, 2005, the person retains the right to vote unless the court order specifically states otherwise.

For more information, see Article VI, Section 3 of the Washington State Constitution, RCW 11.88.010(5), or Washington Law Help.

To challenge a voter registration, you must file a Voter Challenge with the county elections department where that person is registered.

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