News and Updates

  • 22 Jan 2020 9:07 PM | Deleted user

    By Allyson Brooks, LWV of Thurston County 

    On January 16, I had the privilege of attending the Public Disclosure Commission’s symposium on social media and digital advertising on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Washington State. The symposium was titled “Big Data, Big Dollars: Shining Light on Political on Digital Political Advertising.” I would encourage all League members to view the event from the TVW archives.  

    What I thought would be a straightforward discussion of how advertising is bought, how to identify those who purchase campaign ads, and how to track and enforce disclosure turned into a much more complicated discussion than I had imagined. How social media platforms operate and how advertising is bought and targeted is far from the straightforward transactions we remember from the 20th century.  

    As most of us are aware, the money spent on digital political campaign ads has exploded exponentially over the past few election cycles and is expected to dramatically increase again in 2020 over a variety of social media platforms beyond Facebook and Google.  

    A number of interesting topics were brought up, including one I found particularly interesting: what is political content? Many of us who are older consider political content to be direct campaign advertising. In the 21st century this is no longer the case. The presenters showed social media posts with names that do not directly tie to campaigns but, regardless, are designed to influence voters. For example, it could be “People for a Better America,” “The Bernie Coloring Cook,” or “Jews or Christians for….” 

    On Facebook I often see people taking a photograph of their ballots and posting them online, saying “I voted for ….” Will this type of post be considered political content? What about discussions between friends designed to influence each other? Again, the concept of political content as we remember from the 20th century is no longer equivalent in the 21st century. 

    The panelists also explained that there are so many advertising buys on social media platforms that companies like Facebook do not have enough employees to monitor all these purchases. Therefore, when those companies are required to monitor and disclose political advertising, the identification process is done by a computer, not by a human employee. This means that content meant to influence voters may not be caught and tracked by the platform. Further, every social media platform has a different standard regarding what they consider political advertising, and they did not expect any direction on national standards from the Federal Elections Commission. 

    One of the academic researchers mentioned that although Facebook agreed to archive political advertising, a software glitch caused them to lose 40% of all the ads that were placed prior to the recent elections in the United Kingdom. This tells us that having companies self-regulate and be the archive for digital ads may not be the safest approach. While Facebook was the most discussed media platform, it was clear from the panels that other platforms, such as Google, were barely taking the issue seriously and had lower standards than Facebook.  

    The presenters from campaign consulting firms (who, although representing both Republican and Democratic candidates, took pride in presenting together!) illustrated the mechanics of buying digital ads, which can be complicated. Purchases can go through many layers of marketing companies and are often not directly purchased from the digital platform. Among the spider web of marketing buys it became confusing as to who would and should be responsible for the disclosure of the influencing posts? Is it the marketing firm with the initial contract? The final marketing company? All marketing companies who have a role in targeting specific citizens? Or the platform from which the final advertisement is placed?  

    Finally, academics who focused on this topic noted that being able to force disclosure and conduct enforcement on foreign actors may never be feasible. Several social media platforms aren’t even located in the United States. TikTok, a Beijing company, claims it has banned political advertising from its platform.  

    It was clear from the symposium that there is no national standard on digital campaign advertising, social media platforms self-regulate using very different standards, too many political ads run without disclaimers, and there is no regulation of foreign actors. I left with the sense that we are on an open frontier in the 21st century that is far ahead of our 20th-century thinking. It will not be easy to corral the situation, but I certainly appreciated the fact that our Public Disclosure Commissioners are willing to take this on.

  • 13 Dec 2019 9:00 AM | Deleted user

      Clark County Leaguer Marches for Climate Action with Jane Fonda
    By Dee Anne Finken, LWV Clark County

    League of Women Voters of Clark County member Lynn Osborn joined actor Jane Fonda and about 800 other protesters in a “Fire Drill Friday” march in Washington, D.C., on December 6. Osborn said she felt her effort helped raise awareness about the threat of climate change. 

    “I think we brought attention to it,” said Osborn, 69, who traveled to the nation’s capital to participate in one of the weekly fire drills Fonda, 82, began in early October.   

    The fire drills feature activists wearing red coats protesting on the steps of the Capitol and urging Congress to pass the Green New Deal. Introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, House Resolution 109 is a nonbinding plan that lays out broad actions for tackling climate change. Specifically, it would halt deforestation, mining on indigenous lands and subsidies for industrial agriculture. Fonda said in a Washington Post article in October that she was inspired by 16-year old climate activist Greta Thunberg. Fonda’s takeaway from her: “We have to behave like our houses are on fire.”

    Osborn described what it was like to be marching with so many others in the nation’s capital. “I think we brought attention to the tourists who were visiting Washington, D.C., for the people lining up in front of the financial buildings, for the office workers who stopped and watched us,” she said. 

    Since beginning the fire drills on Oct. 11, Fonda and other protesters have been arrested and then released for their acts of civil disobedience. On the second Friday of protests, actor Sam Waterston, 78, was arrested; actor Ted Danson, 71, was arrested the third Friday. 

    The fire drills initially drew a dozen or so protestors.  

    But on December 6, the number of activists had swelled to more than 800. That protest moved to Franklin Park near the capital’s financial district, where organizers had planned to engage in a civil disobedience against financial institutions, explained Samantha Miller, a spokeswoman for the Fonda fire drill events. 

    “Our civil disobedience action will be shutting down the building of a key corporation financing fossil fuels and deforestation as well as profiting from immigrant detention centers,” Miller wrote in a training manual that Osborn received prior to the event. 

    “There will be options for people to go inside the building if they are risking arrest or to occupy space outside the building without risking arrest,” Miller noted.   

    However, Osborn said protesters were not able to enter the financial institution because of extensive law enforcement presence. 

    “We couldn’t go into the lobby,” Osborn said. “There was a huge police presence all along K Street. There were police in riot gear in front of Chase Bank, Black Rock and Wells Fargo.” 

    Osborn said the protest at Franklin Park lasted about 90 minutes before the marchers headed down K Street, waving placards and chanting. 

    Joining Osborn were two other women, including psychologist Kitty Westin, 67, who became friends with Fonda through her efforts to help people deal with eating disorders. Westin introduced Osborn to Fonda.   

    Also joining the march were actors Kyra Sedgwick and Maura Tierney and several religious leaders. Osborn said organizers emphasized peaceful protest in the manner of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. 

    Osborn, who lives part of the year in Mesa, Arizona, where she is a member of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Phoenix, said she will share details of her experience with members there. In Vancouver, she said she plans to continue her work registering voters and with civics education outreach. 

    A retired school teacher, Osborn has not been widely involved in protests, except for supporting local candidates and working to reduce class sizes in public schools – until now.  A warming world has prompted her to change that. 

    “I think climate change is an existential crisis for our population,” said Osborn, who moved to Clark County three years ago from a Minneapolis suburb, where she was active in League. 

    “I’m so concerned about the condition of the world my children are going to be facing,” she added. 

    Osborn is the mother of three daughters and a grandmother of six children – ranging from 10 months to 5 years old. 

    Read about League positions on global climate change on page 24 of Washington State: Program in Action 2019-2021 and page 63 of the LWVUS Impact on Issues 2018-2020.

    Below: Lynn Osborn, second from left, is joined by friends, from far left, Jeanine Cogan, Joann Martin, Jane Fonda, and Kitty Westin, prior marching Friday morning, Dec. 6, in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about climate change.

  • 03 Oct 2019 6:01 PM | Deleted user

    Last Tuesday, September 24, was National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Established in 2012, this day is an opportunity for voting advocacy groups across the country to get people registered--and excited--to vote. The League of Women Voters is the largest organizational partner in the effort and this year there were more than 500 voter registration events hosted by local Leagues in cities and towns across the country.  

    Leagues right here in Washington registered and educated  hundreds of voters (and future voters!). The photos below are just a snapshot of the many events across the state last Tuesday. 

    Above: LWV Kittitas County at Bite of the Burg in Ellensburg--special thanks to CWU students Landis,Ally, Sadie and Grace! (photos  by Mollie Edson). 

    Below: Klickitat-Skamania Unit-at-Large voter registration (Photos 1-3 at Lyle Market, taken by Rick George; photo 4 from Stevenson Market taken by Chris Fisher).

    Below: Volunteers in front of the Seattle Public library. (Photo by Jan Monti)

    Below: Joan Spencer registers students at Bainbridge High School on Tuesday, Sept. 24, National Voter Registration Day. (Photo by Julie Shryock)

  • 01 Aug 2019 9:25 AM | Deleted user

    by Kirstin Mueller, Election Security Issue Chair

    As we approach the 2020 election, there is increasing focus on election security and the necessity of ensuring that our election results are accurate. The League of Women Voters of Washington (LWWA) recognizes the importance of this and has long advocated for auditing vote results as an evidence-based means to provide confidence in the voting process. Properly performed audits will guard against both deliberate manipulation of the election and software, hardware, or programming problems.

    A risk-limiting audit (RLA) is a relatively recent post-election auditing method that can provide high confidence in the accuracy of the outcome of an election. Risk-limiting audits became an option for Washington State county auditors and election directors to perform after the passage of ESHB 2406 in 2018, and are widely considered to be the gold standard of post-election audits. LWVWA actively lobbied for its passage, in addition to providing feedback during the rule-making process. Washington is the third state in the country to pass RLA legislation, behind Colorado and Rhode Island. 

    After the February 2019 special election, Snohomish County was the first county in Washington State to pilot a post election RLA. In attendance were local election officials from Snohomish and King counties, Jennifer Morrell of Democracy Fund, and several state election officials including Secretary Wyman. The LWVWA Election Security Issue Chair, Kirstin Mueller, attended as an observer.

    How do RLAs work and what is their benefit? RLAs rely on examination of a random sample of voted ballots. The number of ballots examined depends on the risk-limit chosen, the margin of the race, and the number of ballots cast. This type of audit is an efficient and cost-effective way to ensure voters can have high confidence in election outcomes while providing a means for catching errors, bugs, equipment failures, or deliberate fraud.

    According to the office of Secretary of State, “The goal of the pilot was to introduce state and local officials to the terms and concepts of RLAs and understand how the process might work with their voting equipment.” The current WAC rules surrounding RLA’s were worked through step by step, with a lot of opportunities for questions and problem solving. Jennifer Morrell provided guidance on the use of an RLA software tool, and shared her experience with successfully conducting RLA’s in Colorado.  

    Snohomish County chose the Arlington School bond measure to audit. To start, dice were rolled by each attendee until a 20-digit number was created. This number was then entered into a pseudorandom number generator to determine which ballots would be randomly selected to audit. Once it was determined which ballots were selected, Snohomish County’s election workers began retrieving the ballots. In under three hours (with several breaks), they pulled 171 ballots and entered the votes from the ballots into the RLA software tool. The software tool compared the election workers interpretation of the voted ballot to what the tabulation system recorded for that ballot. One round of auditing was performed, and no discrepancies were found.  

    Kudos to Snohomish County for being the first in Washington to pilot an RLA! LWVWA looks forward to supporting further pilots. To learn more about risk-limiting audits and how to get involved in expanding use of this vital tool, contact Kirstin Mueller at


    LWVUS Report on Election Auditing

  • 26 Jun 2019 2:09 PM | Deleted user
    • by Kathy Sakahara, LWVWA Democracy Chair

      Three new voter registration laws will all be in effect as of July 1. LWVWA has actively lobbied in support of all these bills, some for many years. Briefly they are: 

      • Preregistration for 16 and 17-year-olds, HB 1513
      • Same Day Voter Registration, SB 6021.
      • Automatic Voter Registration (AVR), HB 2595

      Preregistration for 16 and 17-year-olds

       Washington’s new Future Voter Program allows 16 and 17-year olds to pre-register to vote before they turn 18. A qualifying Future Voter can preregister online, by mail, through the DMV or in person and will be added to the voter rolls with a “pending” or “pre-registration” status. Upon turning 18, the individual will have their pending status removed and will be able to cast a ballot.
      Impact on Voter Registration Efforts
      This is the new law that will most directly impact the way organiza
      tions, including LWVWA, in their voter registration efforts. 
      Of course, this law allows us to do expanded voter registration in high schools. It presents a great opportunity to arrange visits to high schools at any time that school officials agree to. Under this law Washington public schools are required to give eligible young people the opportunity to pre-register to vote once a year, on Temperance and Good Citizenship Day, January 16th or the proceeding Friday. County elections officials are encouraged to conduct voter registration events in high school on that day, but of course they cannot be everywhere.  While efforts do not need to be limited to that day, it is one time where assistance will be most needed and appreciated by County elections officials. 
      Voter registration forms from anyone under 18 have some special requirements. The information contained on them is not considered public information, unlike information from adults. That means paper forms absolutely must not be copied, nor any contact information retained from them. It is also important that completed forms be delivered to the elections office or mailed as soon as possible after being collected. If they were to be lost or stolen there is the risk that a minor’s private information is exposed.
      Same Day Registration

      Actually, this common term is somewhat misleading. This new law allows someone to register to vote any time until 8 PM on election day. That does not mean that someone must wait for election day to register; they can register at any in-person voting center at any time. The deadline to register to vote online or by mail is eight days before an election day.  
      This common-sense policy makes registering to vote less complicated by eliminating unnecessary registration deadlines. In most counties the only voting center required is at the county auditor’s office. King County, due to its size will be required to have an additional voting center in presidential election years.
      Impact on Voter Registration Efforts
      Organizations and volunteers will not be able to register people on election day. But there is still a need for education and facilitation.  You may want to consider offering to drive people to voting centers for them to both register and vote on during this time.
      You can begin education about this option any time, but it is important to make a strategic decision as to when to proactively inform voters about it. If it is done too early in the election cycle there is some risk that people will decide to procrastinate on registering to vote, knowing that they can do it up until the last minute. Complications on that day could result in their missing the opportunity to vote. The fact is it is much more convenient to register online more than eight days before an election than to wait until election. But once that 8-day deadline for online or mail in voter registration passes it is certainly appropriate to remind voters of this option.
      Automatic Voter Registration
      Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) gives eligible voters an accessible, modern, and secure way to register to vote when they interact with certain state agencies. Those agencies will automatically add those who have proven citizenship to the voter rolls unless they “opt out.” 
      Beginning July 2019, the Department of Licensing will automatically register Washingtonians applying for or updating an enhanced driver’s license, which requires proof of citizenship. Voters will be informed about the automatic registration process given the opportunity to “opt out.” The Health Benefit Exchange will provide a pre-filled registration form using information sourced from their HBE account. Users will be given the option to “opt in” to registration and have their completed form submitted to the Secretary of State’s office.
      LWVWA is working with the Governor’s office extend AVR to others who interact with Health and Human Services agencies.
      While this is an extremely valuable tool in getting more eligible voters registered. As important as this legislation is, the world still needs voter registration volunteers!
      The Washington Secretary of State provides a guide to registering voters. You can find it here

      For more information contact Kathy Sakahara, Democracy Team Chair 

  • 28 Feb 2019 2:44 PM | Deleted user

    It's Women’s History Month! This is a good time to reflect on the League’s history, as the organization approaches its 100th birthday and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which declared: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” This was a major accomplishment on the part of the women and men who fought tirelessly for this right, many of whom were beaten and/or arrested, participated in hunger strikes, and defied familial and social strictures. 

    This is a powerful and important story, but it isn’t the entire story. This history of political triumph is actually just a triumph for white women, who utilized racist arguments to convince many white men to support their cause. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, while initially ardent abolitionists, became frustrated when it appeared that abolition was eclipsing suffrage. Anna Howard Shaw, a Methodist minister and president of the National Women Suffrage Association, made this racialized complaint: “You have put the ballot in the hands of your black men, thus making them political superiors of white women. Never before in the history of the world have men made former slaves the political masters of their former mistresses!” Even LWV founder Carrie Chapman Catt is on the record for using the argument that “White supremacy will be strengthened, not weakened, by women’s suffrage” in her lobbying efforts.

    So how do we acknowledge this complicated history in our upcoming celebrations? LWVUS President Chris Carson and LWVUS CEO Virginia Kase spelled out the League’s commitment to facing this head-on in a recent essay published on LWVUS’s website, asserting, “We are having tough conversations about race in this country—and making sure that as an organization we confront our place in history. African Americans were shut out of the vision of the League. As we continue to grow our movement, we acknowledge our privilege and must use our power to raise the voices of those who haven’t always had a seat at the table.”

    LWVWA and our Washington Leagues believe strongly that we must do better and that we are starting by listening and learning. Leagues across the state have organized forums and historical lectures to further our understanding of how issues of diversity intersect with the Leagues past, present, and future (if you missed it, you can watch Seattle-King County’s thought-provoking forum on “Exploring Racism in the Suffrage Movement” online). Both LWVWA and Local Leagues have focused on developing partnerships with community groups across the state. Others are doing targeted outreach programs within underserved communities. At the state level, we offered our 2018 ballot initiative explanations in seven languages, and have focused our legislative advocacy efforts on bills that promote and protect democracy.

    The results of these actions will benefit many diverse populations, and help build a stronger, more diverse League. The League has a lot to be proud of in our history, but we also have a lot to make up for. This Women’s History Month, let’s focus on learning the complex and intersectional history of our organization and of women in the U.S. as one of many steps that will enable the League to fully realize its mission of empowering voters and defending democracy for everyone.

    If you're looking for some enlightening reads for Women's History Month, check out this list.

  • 01 Nov 2018 9:30 PM | Deleted user

    The following information was shared by the National Women's History Project

    We need your help. Due to the overwhelming response to our project to honor suffragists on voting day, we need your support in locating these incredible women and men who worked to secure voting rights for women. Below you will find helpful tips on how to identify the burial sites of a local suffragist. 

    Your efforts to locate the women and men who campaigned for suffrage is an important addition to the collective suffrage legacy. By connecting with your local cemeteries and historical societies you will enlighten these organizations to the incredible work of suffragists. Many of these organizations are unaware of the participation of local suffrage campaigns and the important role in helping women win the right to vote. 

    The National Women’s History Alliance will continue to work to connect you with organizations in your area that may already have the names of local suffragists, as well as, work to assist with the identification of the suffragists in your area Just know that your role as an “Everyday Historian” will help speed up the process of locating suffragists in your area.

    Once you have located suffragist grave sites in your area, we hope you share the names and location of the burial site so that we can submit their names to the national registry for suffrage sites and ensure they are remembered and celebrated for years to come. (Here's a sample suffrage grave marker). Click here for a step-by-step guide to participating in this project to honor suffragists.

    1) Google search your state’s history with suffrage

    Knowing when your state ratified the amendment and/or granted women the right to vote will help narrow down the best years to begin your search.

    2) Search By County/City to Identify Suffragist

    The goal is to identify women and men who actively campaigned for suffrage either through attending meetings, writing for suffrage, protesting, etc.               

    Visit National Votes for Women Trail

    This amazing resource is generated from collective research from around the country and is a great place to identify an individual from your area.

    Historical Organizations

    Your local historical society is a great place to start. Even if they currently do not have a list of sites, contacting them is a great opportunity to connect with them regarding this project and benefit from their valuable knowledge and resources for your area.

    Local Papers

    Once you identify the years, visit your local library to view your local newspaper archives. Work backward from the date your state ratified the amendment or passed a state amendment to grant women the vote.

    Search the word “suffrage meetings”, etc. Often times, the newspapers will mention the names of men and women who attended suffrage meetings and events.

    Local Club History

    If you have a local women’s club that has been around between the 1850s and 1920 may have been a supporter of suffrage. The Women’s Club Movement was often connected to suffrage efforts and some clubs even campaigned for suffrage or held meetings regarding suffrage.

    3) Identify the Burial Location

    Once you have identified the name(s) of a suffragist, the final challenge is to identify the location where the suffragist is buried.

    ·       Contact your local cemetery to verify the exact lot number of the gravesite so that people can visit it.  

    ·  Please add gravesite information to this website.

    4) Share Your Findings

    Share your findings with your local historical societies, cemeteries, and of course the National Women’s History Alliance.

    ·       Add the site to the

    ·       Add the individual and burial location to the National votes for trail list.

    5) Celebrate/Honor

    Visit gravesite ( and print the “Here lies a suffragist” sign and attach the sign to a dowel or popsicle stick.

    Visit the gravesite of your suffragist

    share your photos documenting the moment and to help bring recognition to the suffragists in your area.

    To stay Connected use the hastags: #hereliesasuffragist #remembertheladies #rememberthegents #forwardtogether #nwharemembers

    6) Persevere

    Identifying these important women and men is not always easy but the payoff of bringing their legacy to your local community is a true gift and is truly rewarding.

    Link to Gravesite Markers

  • 22 Oct 2018 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    Seattle –The League enthusiastically joins De-Escalate Washington in urging voters to pass I-940 to improve training for law enforcement and help save lives. Equipping law enforcement officers with additional training in mental health and violence de-escalation techniques will make our communities and our officers safer. Passing this initiative is the best way to achieve this goal.

    “This initiative is a testament to the perseverance of families who have suffered a terrible loss and turned their heartache into a call for action,” said Ann Murphy, president of the League of Women Voters of Washington. Murphy continued, “The commonsense reforms embodied in Initiative 940 are urgently needed, and the League is proud to support it.”

    After the League voted to endorse I-940 on August 1, 2017, members worked closely with volunteers from other endorsing organizations to gather signatures across the state. As a result of these joint efforts, De-Escalate Washington turned in 355,000 signatures, nearly 100,000 over the threshold to qualify for the ballot. “We know voters overwhelmingly support this reform. Now we need people to communicate that support with their vote,” said Ann Murphy.

    Initiative 940 is a life-saving measure in more ways than one. The law will also provide police officers with first aid training and, after rule-making done by law enforcement and the Criminal Justice Training Commission, will direct them to use it whenever it is safe for them to do so. Expanding the role of police officers as first responders is consistent with their mission to serve and protect the public.

    The League applauds the way in which I-940 will improve accountability, transparency, and relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. An investigative report by the Seattle Times revealed that 213 Washingtonians were killed by police between 2005 and 2014. Only one officer was criminally charged and he was acquitted under the current law. Initiative 940 seeks to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place, and will help fix gaps in our laws by updating our standards to those used in 27 other states. Initiative 940 will also provide for fair and independent investigations when a tragedy does occur. “The League believes this reform is urgently needed to promote just outcomes for families who have lost loved ones during police encounters, as well as communities and law enforcement,” said Ann Murphy.  

    The League supports both the practical and symbolic benefits of I-940. People of color, people with disabilities, and other communities have disproportionate contact with law enforcement. Initiative 940 requires that these and other stakeholders work together with law enforcement to shape new policies under the law. The League believes that this collaboration will ensure the benefits of I-940 are meaningful and long-lasting. 

    About the League: The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization. We encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government. The League acts in support of, or in opposition to, selected governmental issues which its members have studied. It does not support or oppose candidates, factions or political parties. League members, as individuals, are urged to work in the political party of their choice. To protect the League's nonpartisanship policy, guidelines regarding the political activities of the Board of Directors are reviewed frequently.


    League of Women Voters of Washington

    Ann Murphy, President, League of Women Voters of Washington

    Heather Kelly, Criminal Justice Issue Chair, League of Women Voters of Washington

  • 06 Sep 2018 6:02 PM | Deleted user

    US and Canada Begin Negotiations on a Modernized Columbia River Treaty

    by Raelene Gold,  LWVWA - Representative for CRT 

    The United States and Canada started negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) this May in Washington DC. The 1964 treaty is an acclaimed model for transboundary water management and has been highly successful in meeting its goals of maximizing hydropower generation and preventing downriver flooding. Certain provisions of the treaty are set to expire in 2024, necessitating current negotiations. 

    The Columbia River has its origin in the Rocky Mountains of the Province of British Columbia and its basin includes the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, 
    and Oregon. The l930’s saw a period of dam building, including the l938 Grand Coulee Dam, that blocked salmon from British Columbia and northern Idaho. There are now 14 federal dams on the main stem of the river, as well as three storage dams in British Columbia and one in Libby, Montana. Besides power generation and flood control, the treaty also benefits irrigation and municipal water supply, water levels for navigation on the lower river, and recreation opportunities.

    The treaty had a period of review between 2012 and 2014, with public hearings in the northwest resulting in the 2014 Northwest Regional Recommendation for the CRT, that included a recommendation to add “ecosystem function” as a third treaty goal.
    The League has had an interest in the Columbia River since 1959 when northwest Leagues published their seminal, "The Great River of the West.” The Leagues of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon formed a Columbia River Task Force (1980) to reach a regional position (see Program in Action 2017-2019 page 30) and continue to maintain their involvement. The group submitted comments during the Review process contributing to the 2014 Northwest Regional Recommendation for the CRT. The LWVWA is represented in the NGO Caucus for the CRT and joined 31 other signatories to an August 30, 2018 letter to the US Chief Negotiator.
    At a public meeting on July 25th in Spokane, Chief U.S. Negotiator Jill Smail and Canadian Negotiator Sylvain Fabi began with diplomatic congeniality, stressing their joint priorities for flood control, reliable and affordable power, ecosystem improvement and flexible and adaptable management. Though the treaty negotiators rejected the request of Columbia River First Nations and tribes to be included on the negotiating team, they now are agreeing to look into the reintroduction of salmon into the upper Columbia River Basin, which has been blocked by the Grand Coulee dam. They also both spoke to the need for treaty flexibility and adaptive management, especially in the face of climate change and changing energy markets.
    The meeting allowed those in southeastern British Columbia and Lincoln County, Montana to raise the negative aspects of the four Treaty dams that removed farm, forest, 
    andwetland acreage, replacing it with reservoirs that drain into dusty mudflats. The area has suffered substantial economic damage without the benefiting from the CRT. British Columbia has been given some compensation. Montana is now also requesting compensation.

    There is recognition that including a third treaty goal of “ecosystem function” to benefit salmon and wildlife will result in trade-offs, impacting hydropower production and flood control. An important issue for the NW Power (utilities) Group has been the “Canadian Entitlement,” what they pay Canada for water storage, which they say is now too high.
    A public meeting held yesterday in Portland addressed issues including the 2024 end to assured Canadian storage, and preventing lower Columbia flooding. You can read U.S. Chief Negotiator Jill Smail's remarks from the meeting here. Treaty negotiations will continue in Portland on October 17-18.

  • 16 Aug 2018 11:57 AM | Deleted user

    We are thrilled to share that on August 10, 2018, Secretary of State Kim Wyman immediately eliminated the option for email return of ballots for non-overseas and non-military voters in Washington. The reason: this voting method is highly vulnerable to hacking. 

    This decision is a huge step forward in improving election security in our state. LWVWA has sounded the alarm about the insecurity of this practice and advocated for this change prior to the midterm election. We're proud of our role in bringing this risk to Wyman's attention and demonstrating how easily emailed ballots can be compromised. 

    LWVWA Election Security Issue Chair Kirstin Mueller has been front and center on this critical issue. In an early August appearance on KIRO TV, she encouraged Secretary Wyman to eliminate the option for domestic, non-service voters to use email ballot return. 

    Mueller's impact has reverberated in the national media, as well. 
    In an interview from Las Vegas last week, where he was attending the annual hacking conference DefCon, Washington Deputy Secretary of State Mark Neary cited an email hacking demonstration conducted by Mueller back in March, as well the concern for malware transmission by email ballot files as being an impetus for the August rule change in Washington.

    Mueller's public education effort has also included an interview on KEXP. You can listen to that interview here

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