Governor to take action on Access to Democracy bills

March 12th, 2019|

OLYMPIA —Gov. Jay Inslee will take action Thursday beginning at 3:30 p.m. on two Access to Democracy bills introduced this legislative session.

ESSB 5079 will allow Native American voters living on reservations to use a tribal identification card to register to vote online, and to use addresses of designated tribal buildings for registration. The bill also requires the state to support locations tribes designate as most appropriate for ballot drop boxes and voter registration support.

“Our democracy works best when we all have the opportunity to participate,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. John McCoy (D-Tulalip). “When entire communities are denied access to the ballot box, lawmakers need to take a look at systemic issues that need to be addressed.”

ESB 5273 moves the date of Washington’s presidential primary to the second Tuesday in March, aligning it with nearly two dozen states across the country that are expected to hold primaries or caucuses by that date. Sen. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia) is the bill’s sponsor.

“The earlier date will make the presidential primary more meaningful in our state and will increase participation,” said Hunt. “It also will enable the major political parties to use primary election results instead of caucuses to allocate Washington’s national convention votes to presidential and vice presidential candidates.”

The bill will also increase accessibility by providing for the replacement of caucuses with vote-by-mail primary elections.

The bill signings will be held in the Governor’s Conference Room at 416 Sid Snyder Ave. SW, Suite 200, Olympia, WA 98504