Making Democracy Work®

Protect election workers and election security, ensure clear rules, requirements, and voter education are established for changes to voting methods as adopted through local option and through the Voting Rights Act, improve access to ballot.

Issue Team Chair: Cindy Madigan,
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Overview of the 2024 Legislative Session

In 2023, four of our priority bills were signed into law:

  • ESHB 1048 Enhanced the Washington Voting Rights Act,
  • SSB 5082 Abolished Advisory Votes,
  • SSB 5112 Secure Automatic Voter Registration for those with enhanced drivers licenses,
  • SSB 5208 Online voter registration using the last 4 digits of SSN 

For this second half of the biennium, we have prioritized advocating for legislation that aligns with our positions and that we foresee significant legislative action for in 2024. We are also collaborating with the LWVWA Criminal Justice Issue Team to support full restoration of voting rights for people who are incarcerated.

If there is a major update on a bill, action chairs may want to write up a report detailing changes or summarizing debate in committee.

    2024 Elections Legislation

    Priority Bills

    Bills in green are supported. Bills in red are opposed by the League. Bills in black the League is watching.

    HB 1241 Addressing Harassment.This bill makes threats to election workers a class C felony regardless of how the threat is delivered. It also allows for those election workers who are harassed to apply to the Address Confidentiality Program to protect their home addresses.

    HB 1541/SB 5616 Establishing the Nothing About Us Without Us Act (Lived Experience). This bill provides the means  for including underrepresented populations in policy making discussions where their lived experience can impact decisions made that would affect their group. A bill last year provided stipends enabling certain populations ability to participate; this bill gives them access.

    HB 2030 Revoking a person’s voting rights only when convicted of a state crime punishable by death. Voting is a fundamental right. This bill recognizes the unjust silencing of Black, Indigenous, and lower-income citizens through practices like prison disenfranchisement, which mirrors past racist tactics such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses.By reinstating the voting rights that were taken away for racist purposes, this legislation takes a significant step toward rectifying systemic inequalities.

    HB 2250/SB 6156 Increasing representation and voter participation in local elections. Washington VOICES Act (Voting Options, Implementation, Compliance, Education, and Standards Bill) (WAVOICES). This bill would provide consistent and clear rules and requirements to ensure uniform standards across the state for implementation and voter education. Jurisdictions would have the option to use RCV for single-winner races such as mayor and county executive and/or multi-winner races such as councils that produce proportional representation. Find more background here.

    HJR 4208 Removing Gendered Terms from the Constitution. Removing obsolete language of yesteryear, that represented everyone with male pronouns, will bring our constitution into the 21st century. The amendment includes over 100 changes to the constitution changing or removing any reference to “he, him, or himself” and replacing them with either title of office or a gender-neutral term. The amendment requires a 2/3 vote of both the Washington House of Representatives and the State Senate. If it clears that bar, it will be put on the ballot, where voters must approve it.

    SB 5890 Reducing ballot rejection rates through updates to ballot curing, canvassing, reporting, and outreach processes. We believe that every vote should count, and this bill reduces rejected ballots, and also makes fixing the issues more transparent and easier for voters.

    Other Bills
    Bills in green are supported. Bills in red are opposed by the League. Bills in black the League is watching.

    HB 1475 Improving Access to the Ballot by Allowing Certain Populations to Return Ballots Using an Online Ballot Portal. We will continue to oppose any type of electronic voting,including ballot submission through a secure online portal because of privacy and security concerns. We support improved ballot access through other secure and accessible options.  For more information and other ideas visit the Internet Voting FAQ.

    HB 1882/SB 5723 Giving cities and towns the freedom to switch their general elections to even-numbered years. The League has not studied the pros and cons nor reached consensus so will remain neutral on this proposed policy.

    HB 1932 Shifting general elections for local governments to even-numbered years to increase voter participation. The League has not studied the pros and cons nor reached consensus so will remain neutral on this proposed policy.

    HB 1962 Improving voter address change processes. Offers options for changing address when voters move within the state using the statewide voter registration database.

    HB 2023 Improving meaningful access to elections by increasing language assistance. Increases requirements for translating voter registration forms, ballots, and other forms of voting instructions from what is required by the federal Voting Rights Act. 

    SB 5209 Universal Civic Duty Voting. This bill requires that every eligible voter either register to vote or obtain a no-excuse required waiver and requires every registered voter return a ballot for each primary and general election, while clarifying that blank ballots may be returned. The League has not studied the pros and cons nor reached consensus so will remain neutral on this proposed policy.

    SB 5837 Codifying the state election database to publish, evaluate, and analyze certain election data. Establishing this election database will assist the state and local governments with evaluating laws and implementing best practices in voting and elections, and investigating potential infringements upon the right to vote.

    SB 5856 Concerning voter registration challenges. This bill updates and clarifies the processes for challenging voter registration. This will require specific evidence, and provides a disclaimer to the voter being challenged that this is a private, not government correspondence.

    How To Be Involved

    • If you are interested in a particular bill, use the links above to go to the webpage for that bill. These pages include staff summaries and reports including who testified PRO versus CON on the bill. There is also information about how to access videos of hearings that have been held. 
    • Read and take action through the LWVWA Legislative Action Newsletter, distributed each Sunday during the legislative session.
    • You may also express your opinion on legislation with the LWVWA issue chairs. We will take your perspectives under consideration as we determine our support for legislation and prepare testimony. Please direct any questions or suggestions to Cindy Madigan, Elections Issue Chair.

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