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Sec. of State Wyman: As many as 80% of eligible WA voters registered to vote

(Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times via AP)

Secretary of State Kim Wyman says Washington state is doing a good job registering people to vote. In fact, there are currently about 4.7 million registered voters.

Wyman joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss voter registration and why she’s pushing to declare electronic signatures as unacceptable for the initiative process.

How is voter registration going in Washington state?

“There are varying numbers that I’ve heard of what the voting eligible population is here in Washington state — and that would be people who are over 18, are U.S. citizens, and are residents of Washington state who have lived here for 30 days or more — but I think we’re running right about 70-80% of those people are registered to vote,” she said.

How easy is it to register to vote in Washington state?

“I think Washington has one of the easiest systems to register to vote. You can register online if you have a Washington State ID card or driver’s license, and you can do that at votewa.gov. You could do it when you get your driver’s license at Department of Licensing, or you can do a mail-in form,” she said.

How coronavirus is impacting mail-in voting in Washington and nationally

Wyman says that the cutoff for online transactions is eight days before election day, and after that up until 8:00 p.m. in person at a county election office to be able to register and vote.

Wyman on electronic signatures for initiatives

On a related note, Wyman is asking a Thurston County court to declare electronic signatures as unacceptable for the purposes of signing onto an initiative petition.

“It really goes back to the way that our constitution is written related to the initiative process and then also just our state law. Right now you have over 100 years of tradition of doing initiative and referendum with a piece of paper and an ink signature … Now in COVID there is certainly interest in trying to make that easier. For me, that changes the discussion. Because if you’re going to make it easier to collect signatures, that threshold of 8% of the people who cast a ballot in the last gubernatorial race could be adversely affected. You could make it really easy to qualify measures for the ballot,” she said.

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“So we have to be very thoughtful in how we move forward. And we can’t just make a capricious, an arbitrary decision to start changing a process that’s over a century old. So we’re asking the court because we’re we don’t see in the law where we have the power to accept those … It’s something that really should be a legislative decision and should really be thought through. And right now we’re asking the court for clarification to speed the process up.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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