NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, January 19th, 2018

VICTORY! Washington Voting Rights Act wins approval in the state Senate for the first time

The Unit­ed States Sen­ate may be wracked by dys­func­tion and dis­agree­ment — espe­cial­ly this week — but here in Wash­ing­ton, our State Sen­ate is on a roll, work­ing dili­gent­ly to advance the good of all the peo­ple under its new Demo­c­ra­t­ic major­i­ty. After hav­ing passed the DISCLOSE Act, same-day vot­er reg­is­tra­tion, and the cap­i­tal bud­get ear­li­er this week, our Sen­ate today vot­ed for the first time to adopt the Wash­ing­ton Vot­ing Rights Act (ESSB 6002), lib­er­at­ing a bill that had been stuck in the Sen­ate Repub­li­cans’ grave­yard of progress for years.

“This bill is a sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward in our ongo­ing effort to expand access to democ­ra­cy in Wash­ing­ton­ian, and estab­lish a tru­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­ern­ment,” said Sen­a­tor Rebec­ca Sal­daña (D‑37th Dis­trict: Seat­tle).

“We saw a dra­mat­ic change in rep­re­sen­ta­tion in cities like Yaki­ma and Pas­co after they imple­ment­ed dis­trict-based elec­tions. Wash­ing­ton needs a vot­ing rights act so that every local juris­dic­tion has the oppor­tu­ni­ty to do this, and so that impact­ed com­mu­ni­ties can tru­ly have a voice that counts.”

“Vot­ing is a right, not a priv­i­lege,” agreed Sen­a­tor Sam Hunt (D‑22nd Dis­trict).

“We don’t need bar­ri­ers to vot­ing, we need path­ways. It is our most basic duty to make our democ­ra­cy acces­si­ble to every sin­gle eli­gi­ble vot­er. We won’t suc­ceed by just by increas­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for vot­ing. We must also increase trans­paren­cy in our elec­tions by shin­ing a light on hid­den mon­ey. This pack­age accom­plish­es those goals. Access to democ­ra­cy is essen­tial in hav­ing a strong gov­ern­ment.”

“After years of hard work by com­mit­ted com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers and leg­is­la­tors, today the Wash­ing­ton Sen­ate passed the Vot­ing Rights Act,” said Rich Stolz, Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of OneAm­er­i­ca Votes. “This is a tremen­dous vic­to­ry for com­mu­ni­ties of col­or striv­ing for greater rep­re­sen­ta­tion across our state, made pos­si­ble by com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers who cam­paigned to elect Sen­a­tor Man­ka Dhin­gra in the 45th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict.  Today, Dinghra is one of two women of col­or in the State Sen­ate.  The oth­er, Sen­a­tor Rebec­ca Sal­dana (LD37), spon­sored this leg­is­la­tion.”

“The Sen­ate’s action today stands in stark con­trast to the the­atrics and threat­en­ing rhetoric ema­nat­ing from the White House. Wash­ing­ton State is set­ting its own path toward greater equi­ty, rep­re­sen­ta­tion and a stronger democ­ra­cy.”

The roll call was as fol­lows:

Roll Call
ESSB 6002
Vot­ing rights act
3rd Read­ing & Final Pas­sage
1/19/2018

Yeas: 29; Nays: 19; Excused: 1

Vot­ing Yea: Sen­a­tors Bil­lig, Car­lyle, Chase, Cleve­land, Con­way, Darneille, Dhin­gra, Fain, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hawkins, Hobbs, Hunt, Keis­er, Kud­er­er, Liias, McCoy, Milos­cia, Mul­let, Nel­son, Palum­bo, Ped­er­sen, Ranker, Rolfes, Sal­daña, Shel­don, Takko, Van De Wege, Well­man

Vot­ing Nay: Sen­a­tors Angel, Bai­ley, Beck­er, Braun, Brown, Erick­sen, For­tu­na­to, Hon­ey­ford, King, O‘Ban, Pad­den, Rivers, Schoesler, Short, Wag­oner, Walsh, War­nick, Wil­son, Zeiger

Excused: Sen­a­tor Baum­gart­ner

Four Repub­li­cans crossed over to sup­port the Vot­ing Rights Act: Joe Fain, Brad Hawkins, Mark Milos­cia, and Tim Shel­don. Sen­a­tor Baum­gart­ner did not vote on final pas­sage. The remain­ing eigh­teen Repub­li­cans vot­ed nay, while the entire Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus was uni­fied in sup­port of the leg­is­la­tion.

Pas­sage of the Vot­ing Rights Act is one of NPI’s leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties for 2018. We’re thrilled to see today’s action on the floor of the Sen­ate. The approval of the WVRA is fan­tas­tic news for the peo­ple of the State of Wash­ing­ton.

ESSB 6002 now goes to the House, which has pre­vi­ous­ly vot­ed sev­er­al times to pass pre­vi­ous ver­sions of the Wash­ing­ton Vot­ing Rights Act.

Adjacent posts

  • Enjoyed what you just read? Make a donation


    Thank you for read­ing The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s jour­nal of world, nation­al, and local pol­i­tics.

    Found­ed in March of 2004, The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate has been help­ing peo­ple through­out the Pacif­ic North­west and beyond make sense of cur­rent events with rig­or­ous analy­sis and thought-pro­vok­ing com­men­tary for more than fif­teen years. The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate is fund­ed by read­ers like you and trust­ed spon­sors. We don’t run ads or pub­lish con­tent in exchange for mon­ey.

    Help us keep The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate edi­to­ri­al­ly inde­pen­dent and freely avail­able to all by becom­ing a mem­ber of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute today. Or make a dona­tion to sus­tain our essen­tial research and advo­ca­cy jour­nal­ism.

    Your con­tri­bu­tion will allow us to con­tin­ue bring­ing you fea­tures like Last Week In Con­gress, live cov­er­age of events like Net­roots Nation or the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, and reviews of books and doc­u­men­tary films.

    Become an NPI mem­ber Make a one-time dona­tion

One Comment

  1. At least one state in our coun­try is try­ing to advance vot­ing rights.

    # by Vickie Amar :: February 14th, 2018 at 11:18 AM