Issue Team Chair: Kathy Sakahara – ksakaraha [at] lwvwa.org – (206) 261-7797
We started this year’s session with high hopes for election reform, and we have not been disappointed. ALL of our priority election bills have passed and five of them will be signed by the Governor at a special celebration.
Monday, March 19th 2-4PM, Foster High School, 4242 S 144th St, Tukwila.
Please join us if you can. It is a great opportunity to meet our legislative champions, our allies and have your photo taken with the Governor. You will even receive a memento of the day! We are asked to wear blue. If you plan to attend this event or have any questions please contact Kathy Sakahara.
What does this success mean for our state? It means that many more people will be registered to vote, communities of color will have a fair opportunity to elect candidates of their choice at the local level, major political donations can no longer be hidden by nonprofits and that we can feel more secure and confident in the accuracy of election results. And it means that Washington is now a national leader in pro-voter reform.
Most of the League's advocacy work around elections has been focused on one or more of these reforms for at least a decade. With their successful passage, it is not too early to start thinking about what’s next.
Democracy is always a work in progress and there is still much work to be done. Advocacy does not need to wait until January when the legislature is back in session. Here are some of the issues that we will be working on for the rest of the year, and we would love your involvement in any and all.
Public records: After the well publicized failure of SB 6617, we will be working with legislators and other stakeholders on drafting an appropriate legislative public records bill that provides transparency on government decision-making and protects privacy of individuals. Because of the strong public interest generated it will also be important for the League to provide education around this issue. If you would like to help please click here.
Public Disclosure Commission (PDC): The PDC, charged with providing access to information about campaign financing and lobbyist expenditures, is committed to continuous improvement in accomplishing its mission. That requires ongoing review of relevant statutes, administrative rules (WAC's), the reporting forms, and the I.T. systems filers and the agency staff use. The passage of ESHB 2938 strengthens and clarifies the PDC's role in enforcement. In order to implement the new law, the PDC will need to create additional rules as well as update forms, trainings and guidance for filers. The PDC has asked for assistance from LWVWA in these areas. We will establish a team that will work in the coming months to:
Election security: Even with the passage of the post-election audit bill, we will continue to work with policymakers on ways to achieve a truly secure election system:
Campaign finance: While we celebrate the success of the DISCLOSE Act, there are other bills that did not pass this session. We anticipate that those will be high priority issues for us next year. They include closing the revolving door between high-ranking government officials and lobbyists and providing greater transparency of PAC (Political Action Committees) donations to other PAC’s.
If you are interested in being part of any of this work, please contact Kathy Sakahara.
HB 2887 Addressing county commissioner elections. Requires noncharter counties with a population at or over 400,000 to conduct district-based elections for commissioner positions, beginning in 2022. This bill applies only to Spokane County.
Issue Team Chair: Alison McCaffree – alison.mccaffree [at] stanfordalumni.org – (253) 720-6813