Governor of sanctuary state signs major voter registration law

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Citizens obtaining a driver’s license or voter identification card will automatically be registered to vote in Washington state’s new legislation package, which includes several measures aimed at increasing voter registration.

Governor Jay Inslee (D) signed the package into law on Monday, according to a new report by The Hill.

At the bill-signing ceremony held at a Seattle-area high school, Inslee claimed that about one million eligible residents of the state did not register to vote in 2016.

The Hill reported: Among the other measures Inslee signed Monday: A bill to allow voters to register on election day and another bill to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote.

Washington will become the 16th state, along with the District of Columbia, to offer same-day voter registration. Those states include California and several Mountain West and New England states.
 
And Inslee signed a new campaign finance law that would require nonprofit groups that donate more than $10,000 a year to political campaigns to register with the state’s election finance watchdog, the Public Disclosure Commission. It is a version of the Disclose Act backed in Congress by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
 
“Voters have the right to know who’s paying for a campaign,” said state Sen. Andy Billig (D), who sponsored the bill. “Whatever you care about in your community, whether it be health care, education or any other issue, it is vital to know who is paying to influence those who are making our laws.”
 
Inslee also signed a measure that will allow localities to alter their election systems to promote equal representation. That bill came about after a federal court ruled that the city of Yakima’s at-large elections unfairly disadvantaged the Hispanic community. 
 
Though Hispanics make up as much as 40 percent of the city, no Hispanic candidates served on the city council. After the court ruling, Yakima moved to district-based elections, and three Hispanic candidates won seats on the council.

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