I recently had the pleasure of hearing Washington’s Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, speak about one of the most important rights and responsibilities of citizenship – voting. Washington is a trailblazer for a strong, participatory democracy. We’ve led the way with mail-in ballots, expanding drop box access, and online voter registration. But we’re not done yet — we need to pass Automatic Voter Registration (AVR).
AVR is a secure, efficient way to make registering to vote less complicated. It registers eligible citizens when they interact with certain government agencies unless the citizens opt out.
Take becoming a naturalized citizen, which my husband did last year. It’s a lengthy, thorough process involving deep background checks and multi-faceted knowledge tests. After all the paperwork, cost, waiting, and ceremony a new citizen still must take one more step to exercise his or her new right to vote, register. With AVR, however, he or she would be automatically registered.
Nearly one million Washingtonians are eligible to vote but not registered. AVR is the next step to thoroughly modernize Washington’s system and include all citizens in our political process.
Mark Mullet, Senator for the 5th Legislative District, is a proponent of this legislation, and has co-sponsored an AVR bill in the senate (SB 6353). Our state House Representatives, Paul Graves and Jay Rodne, have not yet announced support for the corresponding House bill (HB 2595). I urge you to contact them today at 1 (800) 562-6000 and tell them to support Automatic Voter Registration.