Another bad bill getting a second chance in Olympia
*By Julie Barrett, Founder, Conservative Ladies of Washington
Last session Conservative Ladies testified in opposition to SB 5209 on January 31st in the Senate State Government & Elections Committee. We believe this bill interferes with our First Amendment Rights. This bill would establish “universal civic duty voting,” which would require citizens to vote, by law. Of course, we think all citizens who are legally eligible to vote should exercise this duty and privilege. However, we do not believe it should be mandated and this law would create an “opt OUT” system, rather than opt in. A citizen would have to submit a waiver in order to get out of their “legal” obligation to cast a ballot.
Every person registered would be required by law to cast a ballot, even if the ballot is left blank.
“Each registered voter must return a ballot at each primary and general election. A voter is not required to select any candidates for any office, but must return the ballot. There is no penalty for failure to return a ballot.”
Does this sound weird to you? Why would they want ballots returned but not select candidates…hmmm…
This begs the question:
What would happen to these blank ballots? It’s very plausible and likely that they could be filled out by persons working in the election system. How would fraudulent voting like this be controlled? This bill would make it very easy for people to manipulate our elections process to control the end result.
SB 5209 is being given another public hearing in the Senate State Government and Elections committee next week on January 24th at 10:30AM.
You can sign up to testify in person or remotely via zoom. You can email the members of the committee with your written testimony (send direct emails rather than using the link to submit written testimony on the website)
Noteworthy, related legislation:
The Washington Voting Rights Act 2.0 was passed last session, expanding voter protections and making it easier for citizens and community groups to challenge discrimination in local elections. The act includes a “democracy canon” that instructs courts to interpret any legal ambiguity in favor of protecting the right to vote.
In the current session, HB 2030, which would allow voting rights revocation only to those who have been given the death penalty in Washington state. WA no longer has the death penalty, so basically, criminals will not have their right to vote revoked. HB 2030 had a hearing on Tuesday, January 16th and we are tracking to see if it moves forward.
Also in this current is HB 2150 which would keep any candidate off the ballot if they “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof; unless congress has voted by two-thirds of each house to remove this disability.”
This bill allows the legislature, by majority vote, to override the Secretary of State’s ruling that a candidate is not disqualified.
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