A package of elections reform bills to reduce barriers, increase transparency and boost turnout in elections statewide will be heard Wednesday by the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee.
SB 6002, Washington Voting Rights Act
- Enables cities, counties, school boards and other local elected bodies to voluntarily adopt changes to their elections system that will improve representation in local governments.
- Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle: “Ensuring that every Washingtonian has a seat at the table, and that people of color have the ability to choose their own elected leaders, is our essential duty. We’ve seen in Yakima and Pasco that when given the chance, impacted communities elect leaders who reflect their values and the diversity of their neighborhoods. The Washington Voting Rights Act will put power back into the hands of the people where it belongs, in local elections.”
SB 6021, Same Day Voter Registration
- Authorizes in-person voter registration until 8:00 p.m. on election day and moves up the deadline for online or by mail registration to eight days before an election.
- Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue: “Expanding access to our democracy is the core goal of same day voter registration, but it’s also about rebuilding faith in our civic institutions. There are far too many individuals in our state who want to participate in democracy on election day, only to have their voices and their passion squandered. This legislation opens the door to all, ensuring that every eligible voter is fully welcome to engage and have their say.”
SB 5991, The DISCLOSE Act
- Requires nonprofit organizations that are making significant campaign contributions and activities to disclose their top donors.
- Andy Billig, D-Spokane: “We need to shine light on money spent on elections in Washington State regardless of source. This bill strengthens our democracy and levels the playing field for disclosure by applying the same transparency rules to everyone.”
Chaired by Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, the Access to Democracy package will be heard in the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
“This bold slate of bills would expand access to democracy and implement long-overdue updates to bring Washington elections into the 21st Century,” Hunt said.