Gov. Inslee signed the Native American Voting Rights Act today, allowing the residential address portion of a voter registration form to be filled out with a nontraditional address.

The measure would expand access to democracy in Native communities and prevent unnecessary barriers to voting, said John McCoy (D-Tulalip), prime sponsor of Senate Bill 5079.

“As the only enrolled tribal member elected to the Washington State Senate, I realize there is still much work to be done to ensure that the indigenous community can fully participate in the democratic process,” McCoy said. “Voter participation is not a partisan issue; it is the foundation of our democratic system and must be protected by all sides. Democrats and Republicans should be able to work together to ensure that our electoral system works in the interest of all Americans.”

“Our democracy works best when we all have the opportunity to participate. When entire communities are denied access to the ballot box; lawmakers need to take a look at systemic issues that need to be addressed,” he added.