Bill forcing Washington residents to vote advances from committee

Feb 9, 2023, 5:49 AM | Updated: 8:21 am

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

Senate Bill 5209, which would require Washington residents to vote in every major election, cleared the Senate State Government and Elections Committee on Tuesday, according to a media release from Washington Senator Jeff Wilson (R).

The bill will advance to the Senate Rules Committee, which is the last step before a vote on the full Senate floor.

Follow this link to read additional stories from KIRO

Sponsors of the bill are Democratic Senators Sam Hunt, Andy Billig, Lisa Wellman, Bob Hasegawa, Liz Lovelett, Rebecca Saldaña, Marko Liias, Steve Conway, Manka Dhingra, Karen Keiser, Patty Kuderer, Joe Nguyen, Javier Valdez and Claire Wilson.

According to the text of the bill, it would require every eligible voter to either register to vote or obtain a waiver from the obligation to register to vote. However, the bill also says that “no excuse is required for a waiver.”

The bill also says that every registered voter must return a ballot for every primary and general election. However, voters may return a blank ballot, if they choose.

Washington Republicans oppose the deal. In a statement, Senator Wilson said, “It is anathema to the principles outlined in our constitution. We have the right to vote in this country, and that implies we have a choice. This bill takes that choice away from us. I can’t believe this is a serious proposal.”

The media release said that even if the bill passed, the federal Constitution may make it difficult to enforce since the U.S. Supreme Court voted in 1977 that freedom of speech includes the right not to speak (Wooley v. Maynard).

Follow this link to read additional stories from KIRO

Local News

seattle shooting Garfield suspects...

L.B. Gilbert

Seattle Police looking for info on Garfield HS shooting suspects

Seattle police are looking for information that would help them identify two suspects in a shooting last Thursday near Garfield High School.

14 hours ago

Funko headquarters...

Bill Kaczaraba

No fun at Funko as move from Everett goes south

Everett took a big hit when Funko moved a large part of its operations to Arizona. Now, the bobblehead company faces a class action lawsuit.

14 hours ago

Virginia Mason Health...

L.B. Gilbert

Death toll rises to 9 in bacteria outbreak at Virginia Mason

Virginia Mason has confirmed that the death count has risen to nine in a bacteria outbreak at the Seattle hospital.

14 hours ago

Skyway shooting...

Kate Stone

‘Just another day’ after shooting at Skyway apartment building

The King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) is investigating after two people were injured in a shooting Thursday morning in Skyway.

14 hours ago

bellevue firefighters...

Lisa Brooks

All in the family: Kids join Dad as Bellevue firefighters

We don't often hear of a son and daughter following their father into the same job as firefighters, but that's what's happened in Bellevue.

14 hours ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Non-paying public not allowed into South King County ‘Public Safety Summit’

A summit took place on Wednesday to address the crime plaguing South King County. The goal is to do a better job of keeping people safe.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Bill forcing Washington residents to vote advances from committee