WA House Committee Considers Same-Day Voter Registration

Feb 7, 2018

A Washington House committee is considering legislation that will allow people to register to vote and cast ballots on the same day.
Credit Washington Secretary of State

A Washington House committee is considering a bill that would allow people to register to vote and then cast ballots on the same day.

The Senate has already approved it.

 

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue).

“If you look at the five other states that have same-day voter registration, you’ll see that they have increased their voter participation, in some cases, as much as 10%, which is significant by any measure.”

Opponents have argued same-day registration makes it easier for people to go from county to county and commit voter fraud. Kuderer says studies by election watchers have shown that isn’t true.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman says that, while she supports the idea of same-day registration, the technology isn’t yet in place to ensure elections officials can stop cases of voter fraud.

“Without that system, without that backbone of being able to definitively say Kim Wyman didn’t walk into King County elections and get a ballot and vote it and then Pierce County elections and then Thurston County elections, we’re going to have to do all those processes manually,” Wyman said.

And that, she says, means that it will take longer for elections offices to process ballots and release results to the public. She urged the committee to amend the bill to push back the implementation date at least six months, when she expects technology will be ready to do the needed tasks.