Thurston Conservation District Elections FAQs

  • Why are Conservation District elections different than other county elections? Our Elections processes are dictated by our governing law (RCW Chapter 89.08) and the procedures established by the Washington State Conservation Commission:

“When created in 1939, the Commission was also given the responsibility for establishing District election procedures. “The Commission shall establish procedures for elections, canvass the returns and announce the official results thereof.” RCW Chapter 89.08.190. Because District election authority resides in RCW Chapter 89.08, this sets them apart from other divisions of government whose elections are governed by RCW Chapter 29A. District elections do not fall under the state statute for general elections (Title 29A RCW) unless specifically identified in the Conservation Commission statute. In fact, RCW 29A.04.330(1)(b) specifically exempts conservation districts from general and special elections requirements, relying instead of election procedures established by the Conservation Commission.”

If you have concerns or feedback, the Commission has a feedback form on their website

  • Can I get my ballot from the Auditor’s Office? No. You can request your ballot from Thurston CD. Thurston CD hires temporary staff trained by the Thurston County Auditor who are handling all ballot requests and will serve as polling officers. No permanent Thurston CD staff will be handling ballots at any point. You can request an absentee ballot to be sent to your mailing address via phone or email beginning February 6, 2023 through March 7, 2023 at 4:30 pm or in person March 7-10 & March 13-14 from 8 am to 4:30 pm (564.669.4929,, or 2918 Ferguson St. SW Suite A, Tumwater, WA 98512)
  • How do I return my ballot? You can return it directly to the secure Thurston CD elections ballot drop box Monday-Friday, February 6, 2023 – March 14, 2023, between 8 am and 4:30 pm OR by mail (2918 Ferguson St SW Suite A, Tumwater, WA 98512). All ballots must be postmarked or returned by the day of the election, March 14, 2023. Postage is provided on all ballots.
  • How are you ensuring security in your election? TCD hires temporary election-specific staff trained by the Thurston County Auditor’s office to ensure their ability to administer a secure election. These staff will receive ballot requests, fulfill those requests, and process returned ballots. These staff will also serve as polling officers during the election. No permanent TCD staff will handle or count ballots to ensure security. Members of the public are invited to join us as public observers of the polling process and ballot counting if they so choose.
  • Can I vote in person? As in 2022, we are holding a mail-in-only election in 2023. This means there will be no in-person polling site on election day. This also means we’re asking voters to request their ballot either via email to OR by calling 564.669.4929. In-person ballot requests can be made the week before the election (March 7-10 & March 13-14) at the TCD Offices (2918 Ferguson St. SW, Suite A Tumwater, WA 98512).
  • When will the results of the election be announced? Preliminary election results will be shared on the Thurston CD website by March 24, 2023. Election results will be certified by the Washington State Conservation Commission at their May meeting and will be finalized then.

Additional Questions? Contact the Election Supervisor

Susan Shelton
Finance & Admin Manager
Election Supervisor