One of the prime necessities for a democratic republic to work is the Amendments to the Constitutions AND free, open and EQUAL access to the ballot.  Our system does not work fairly if this is not the case.

This means that ALL citizens should have a chance to Register and cast a ballot including WHERE they are required to register and get a ballot.

The State Legislature passed a new law in the 2020 legislative session that encodes in law… preferential treatment to a certain subgroup of citizens.  (29A.40.180 printed in full below) That is college students will be singled out for special treatment concerning their right to vote.  In this case the state is forcing County Auditors to supply access to Registration and ballots at special locations where other citizens are denied special access from the different more remote locations AND circumstances.

Before this law mandated change:

The rules are, and have been since same day Registration came into effect 2 years ago, that online registration would be stopped 8 days before the election and a citizen would have to register in person at the County Courthouse.

This new law (below) creates A special exception for the college community demographic.  They will have campus access to Registration and printing of their ballots on the WWU Campus and Evergreen State College and other Higher Ed service places. Up until 8:00PM on election night… No traveling to the Courthouse for them.

Others who may live several miles away from these centers or be shut in at elder care or do not have transportation of any kind to the Court House or the College will be denied the right to vote and cast their ballot while able bodied college students will be treated differently.

The County Auditor is mandated to work with the college in providing these special services by the law passed this year and cited below.  Most County Auditors, because of budget concerns and trained staffing, cannot provide this service at other locations in their county.

 

See the article here on WWU campaigning for more money while offering students and faculty an easy place to register and vote.

You decide!! Are we favoring one group over another for voting purposes and services? Should the system allow even more registration and voting locations to compensate for this special treatment?

 

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

  • REMEMBER TO VOTE AND TURN IN YOUR BALLOT.  THEN LOOK HERE TO SEE IF THE AUDITOR RECEIVED IT.
  • TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS AND MAKE CERTAIN THEY HAVE RECEIVED A BALLOT.
  • TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS AND MAKE CERTAIN THEY ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE.
  • CALL YOUR AUDITOR 360-758-5502 AND ASK HOW TO GET PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW WHO ARE SHUT-IN OR HAVE OTHER SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES TO REGISTER AND VOTE.
  • FIND A DROP BOX LOCATION HERE.

 

RCW 29A.40.180

Student engagement hubs.

(1) Each state university, regional university, and The Evergreen State College as defined in RCW 28B.10.016 and each higher education campus as defined in RCW 28B.45.012 shall open a nonpartisan student engagement hub on its campus. The student engagement hub may be open during business hours beginning eight days before, and ending at 8:00 p.m. on the day of, the general election. All student engagement hubs must allow students to download their exact ballot from an online portal. Upon request of the student government organization to the administration and the county auditor, the student engagement hub at a state university, regional university, or The Evergreen State College as defined in RCW 28B.10.016 must allow voters to register in person pursuant to RCW 29A.08.140(1)(b) and provide voter registration materials and ballots.
(2) Each institution shall contract with the county auditor for the operation of a student engagement hub under this section.
(3) Student engagement hubs are not voting centers as outlined in RCW 29A.40.160 and must be operated in a manner that avoids partisan influence or electioneering.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. This article seems to be much ado about nothing. According to this law, ANYONE can register at these campus locations, not just students. That means this is not violating equal access. I suppose one could quibble with the location, since the students living on campus or near campus will theoretically have EASIER access to the locations, but that’s true of folks living near the courthouse. These locations are also only really providing voter registration, which can be done online anyway, so nobody needs to go anywhere for that. The other service listed is to allow people to “download their exact ballot from an online portal” whatever that means, and which seems like something that could also be accomplished from any computer.

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