ELECTIONS, CAMPAIGN FINANCE & GOVERNMENT ETHICS

Improve access to the ballot, reduce the influence of special interest money, and increase transparency in government and politics.

Issue Team Chair: Kathy Sakahara – ksakahara [at] lwvwa.org – (206) 261-7797
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 
Looking towards the 2020 Session - starting January 13

In the 2020 legislative session we will continue to support bills from 2019 that did not pass. We’ll also be following some new bills expected to be introduced this year. A top priority will involve campaign finance reform. We are anticipating a bill that would prohibit campaign contributions from corporations where the majority of stock is held by foreign interests. We are all aware of concerns about the undue effect of foreign interests on our elections at the national level, and this bill will limit such influence in our state races.

We are working with allies and legislators on a bill to provide public financing for judicial campaigns and flooring options for reforming the initiative process.

Our work combating the corrupting influence of money and politics will continue with support of critical legislation that was introduced in 2019, including establishing a one-year “cooling off” period before high-level government officials, including elected officials, could work as lobbyists. And of course we need to ensure that the campaign finance reforms that we are pushing for can be effectively enforced. This means adequately funding the Public Disclosure Commission—the state body responsible for enforcing campaign finance laws.

In the area of Election Access, we will continue our efforts to expand voting access for people with felony convictions. Current laws which remove voting rights for those unable to stay current on their legal financial obligations have a disproportionate impact on those of low income.

Please continue to stay involved throughout the year and into the next session. Your involvement can be anything from contacting your legislators to researching and lobbying on a bill.

Bills the League Supported in 2019 That Did Not Pass...and are still alive for 2020
  • HB 1067 Establishes a one-year “cooling off” period before high-level government officials, including elected officials can work as a lobbyist influencing state public policy.
  • HB 1291 / SB 5073 Requiring the state to reimburse counties for the proportionate cost of elections involving state offices. This reimbursement is critical for stable election funding and will enable counties to expand efforts such as outreach and cybersecurity.  
  • HB 1924 Allows people convicted of felonies to have their right to vote restored while they are serving community custody (“parole”) even if they haven’t paid all of their legal financial obligations (LFOs). Having the right to vote be dependent on ability to pay LFOs presents an additional obstacle for persons with low income.
  • SB 5076 Allows people who are serving a term of community custody to register to vote as long as they are following the conditions of their community custody. Currently, that right is not restored until they have completed this term. 
  • SB 5224 Eliminating advisory votes. These are questions that appear on the ballot regarding state expenditures that have already passed. The results do not have any impact. They add significantly to the costs of elections and voters are not informed about them because reliable information is virtually impossible to find. Having votes that do not count for anything is inconsistent with League principles. 
  • ESB 5294 Creating leave provisions for legislative service. This bill would require most employers to provide unpaid leave to workers while they are serving as a legislator. LWV strongly supports the concept of “citizen legislators.” Legislative service is considered part time, but the current system makes it difficult for many individuals who are not wealthy or self-employed to even consider running for office. 
ELECTION METHODS
Promote the adoption and implementation of election methods that maximize representation and citizen participation.

Issue Team Chair:
 Barbra Chevalier
 – barbra.n.chevalier [at] gmail.com – (425) 445-2281
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 
Looking Towards the 2020 Session - starting January 13

The Local Options Bill (HB 1722 / SB 5708has been steadily gaining momentum over the past two legislative sessions. It was passed out of its committee of origin in the House last year, but it then failed to leave the House Appropriations Committee. We are hopeful that this year will continue to see advancement, with the bill being considered and passed by the entire legislature.


The LWVWA has a committee working on creating a toolkit to educate the public, legislators and other stakeholders about alternative voting methods. With this in hand, we are confident that our advocacy will be more effective.

ELECTION SECURITY

Promote security, accuracy, auditability, and transparency in elections.

Issue Team Chair: Kirstin Mueller – kpmueller [at] gmail.com – (425) 293-5046
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 
Looking Towards the 2020 Session - starting January 13

The League looked to work with legislators during the 2020 legislative session to improve election security by supporting:

  • Improved cybersecurity measures to ensure our voting system can be defended against attacks.
  • Publicly verifiable post-election audits and easy and timely access to audit results.
  • Improved reconciliation reports including greater detail of ballot rejection rates.
  • Improved tracking and procedures for chain of custody of voted ballots.
  • Public access to election records including ballot images and cast vote records when voter privacy and ballot anonymity can be maintained.
  • Retention of election records for longer periods of time, allowing for greater opportunity to detect and recover should an election be subject to error or interference. 
    Bills the League Supported in 2019 That Did Not Pass...and are still alive for 2020
    • HB 1251 Requiring the secretary of state to submit an annual report of any security breaches of the state’s electoral systems.
    • HB 1819 Regarding election reconciliation reporting requirements. County auditors would be required to reconcile ballots issued, received, counted, and rejected by precinct.
    • HB 1820 Extends the retention period for the storage of election material, requiring elections with non-federal contests and federal contests to retain materials for at least 24 months. Electronic records would need to be kept for at least 5 years. Increasing the retention period allows for detection and recovery should an error or interference occur during an election.

    • HB 1821 Requiring standardized postelection audit reports. County auditors would need to include information such as the races audited, any discrepancies found, and the voting systems audited. Uniform reporting of audit results would allow for increased public confidence in election outcomes and election security statewide.

    • HB 1822 Enhancing election data by improving statewide election data collection and reporting standards.

    • HB 1823 Relating to the disclosure of electronic ballot images. Transparent elections are necessary for public trust and confidence in election outcomes. Allowing the public to inspect electronic ballot image files that are created when voted ballots are scanned during tabulation allows for greater public observation and participation in post-election audits.

    • HB 2111 Concerning enhancing cybersecurity by eliminating the return of ballots by fax and email. This act addresses cybersecurity attacks and reduces vulnerability and the risk of election tampering. This is accomplished by eliminating email and fax submission of ballots.

    CENSUS & REDISTRICTING

    Ensure the redistricting process is accessible and transparent with timeframes that enable input and strengthen results and support an accurate and complete 2020 Census.


    Issue Team Chair: Alison McCaffree – alison.mccaffree [at] stanfordalumni.org – (253) 720-6813


    Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 

    Download the latest Redistricting Advocacy Powerpoint Presentation: Click Here. 

    LWVWA Education Fund is offering a $400 grant to any Local League of Women Voters that puts on a public Redistricting Forum between June 2019 and December 2020. This toolkit includes a prepared PowerPoint slideshow and some tips for a successful forum. Don't wait. Plan your forum today. Click here for downloadable materials. 

    Census Action — Less than one year before the 2020 Census

    Take action for the Census! Click here to sign the LWVUS pledge to be counted and to educate your community about the importance of the 2020 Census.

    Looking Towards the 2020 Session - starting January 13

    The League of Women Voters of Washington is dedicated to supporting redistricting processes and enforceable standards that promote fair and effective representation at all levels of government. We encourage policies and practices that give maximum opportunity for civic participation by the widest variety of people.

    How and where district lines are drawn in 2021 will determine how strong a voice each voter has for the next decade. The current Redistricting Commission laws have resulted in little controversy but also have created many noncompetitive districts and resulted in close majority control in our legislative chambers. While our process eliminates extreme partisan gerrymandering, we are fighting to improved citizen trust, transparency, representation and overall effectiveness.

    For the 2020 Session we will be exploring two pieces of legislation:

      • Improve efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the 2021 Washington State Redistricting Commission and maximize the impact of public input.
      • Change the composition of the Washington State Redistricting Commission to include citizens who are unaffiliated with the two major parties, greater commissioner diversity including women and people of color and representation from regions outside of Puget Sound.

        The League of Women Voters of Washington is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization.
        The League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. LWVWA Education Fund contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The League of Women Voters Education Fund does not endorse the contents of any web pages to which it links.

        League of Women Voters of the United States

        Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software