A bill was passed Saturday after overwhelming support in the Washington State Senate which provides for automatic voter registration.
The vote was thirty-four to thirteen in favor of the Senate Bill with two senators abstaining. The new bill expands voting access for millions of Washington residents and has received massive support along the way.
The move follows a similar bill in Oregon that also passed allowing for automatic voter registration. That bill was signed into law by Oregon Governor Kate Brown in 2015.
There are nearly 20% of eligible voters in Washington State who are not registered to vote and this new bill provides the ability to vote with automatic voter registration.
The Prime Sponsor of the Washington State Senate Bill was Sam Hunt and he had this to say about the new legislation, "Voting is a right, not a privilege. We need to make voting as easy as possible for every citizen in Washington and that starts with registration."
"We now have the technology to make it seamless, so why wouldn’t we? Automatic voter registration will increase the opportunity to register and vote without endangering the security of the election process."
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee specifically requested the bill and <a href="http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2595&Chamber=House&Year=2017">has a partner bill</a> in the house which is still waiting to be voted on. It has taken a long time for automatic voter registration to become a reality but it's finally here.
While Oregon was the first to enact their version of the bill, Washington is still likely to become an influencing factor when it comes to the voting process across the country.
If you're interested in how your senator voted you can see roll call below:
Automatic voter registration
Senate vote on 3rd Reading & Final Passage
Yeas: 34; Nays: 13; Excused: 2
Voting Yea: Senator Billig, Braun, Carlyle, Chase, Cleveland, Conway, Darneille, Dhingra, Fain, Fortunato, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hawkins, Hobbs, Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, McCoy, Miloscia, Mullet, Nelson, O’Ban, Palumbo, Pedersen, Ranker, Rolfes, Saldaña, Sheldon, Takko, Van De Wege, Warnick, Wellman, Zeiger
Voting Nay: Senator Angel, Bailey, Becker, Brown, Ericksen, Honeyford, King, Padden, Rivers, Schoesler, Short, Wagoner, Wilson
Excused: Senators Baumgartner and Walsh
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