NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Friday, April 7th, 2023

Joint letter asks Washington State House to repeal Tim Eyman’s push polls with SB 5082

Edi­tor’s Note: The fol­low­ing let­ter, signed by over six­ty orga­ni­za­tions, was sent to mem­bers of the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in sup­port of NPI’s leg­is­la­tion to make it eas­i­er to vote in Wash­ing­ton State by replac­ing “advi­so­ry votes” (which are real­ly anti-tax mes­sages) with truth­ful, use­ful fis­cal information.

Dear Rep­re­sen­ta­tives:

We, the under­signed orga­ni­za­tions, are writ­ing to you in sup­port of Sen­ate Bill 5082, Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Kud­er­er and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Amy Walen’s leg­is­la­tion to elim­i­nate statewide “advi­so­ry votes” and replace them with truth­ful, accu­rate infor­ma­tion about the Legislature’s fis­cal decisions.

In Wash­ing­ton, we believe that vot­ing should be sim­ple and that wide­spread par­tic­i­pa­tion mat­ters. It’s why we have pri­or­i­tized mak­ing vot­ing eas­i­er with laws pro­vid­ing for pre­paid postage on bal­lot return envelopes, expand­ed drop box­es, same day and auto­mat­ic vot­er registration.

This year let’s con­tin­ue that impor­tant work by pass­ing Sen­ate Bill 5082.

The key prin­ci­ples guid­ing this leg­is­la­tion are as follows:

  • The bal­lot is sacred and should be free of pro­pa­gan­da. It’s where we make real change in our com­mu­ni­ties; it’s not an appro­pri­ate place for any sort of opin­ion polling.
  • Vot­ing should be straight­for­ward, but “advi­so­ry votes” make vot­ing more con­fus­ing and frus­trat­ing, espe­cial­ly for new voters.
  • Vot­ers’ time and our tax dol­lars are pre­cious, and should not be wasted.
  • We need real tools for mak­ing the Legislature’s work more transparent.

The con­tin­ued pres­ence of “advi­so­ry votes” under­mines all of our hard work to make vot­ing more inclu­sive, and makes our vot­ers feel more dis­con­nect­ed and cyn­i­cal when they open their ballots.

Hav­ing to nav­i­gate “advi­so­ry votes” also need­less­ly wors­ens the vot­ing expe­ri­ence of young vot­ers and new vot­ers who have immi­grat­ed to the Unit­ed States and for whom Eng­lish is not their first language.

Impor­tant­ly, Sen­ate Bill 5082 doesn’t just get rid of “advi­so­ry votes”. It replaces them with a con­tin­u­ous­ly updat­ed web­site offer­ing truth­ful, use­ful infor­ma­tion about the state’s finances, pre­pared by LEAP and OFM staff. This web­site will be adver­tised in the voter’s pam­phlet with a quick response (QR) code, URL, and tele­phone number.

We ask you to pri­or­i­tize Sen­ate Bill 5082 for floor action this year and sup­port it with your vote so that we can make vot­ing more straight­for­ward and equi­table, reduce vot­er fatigue, and ensure every­thing on our bal­lot has meaning.

Thank you for your ser­vice to the peo­ple of the State of Washington.

Sin­cere­ly,

AARP Wash­ing­ton State
AFT Washington
APACE
Asian Coun­sel­ing and Refer­ral Service
Asian Pacif­ic Islander Coali­tion of Washington
Asian Pacif­ic Islander Coali­tion of Yakima
Bal­ance Our Tax Code
Cam­bo­di­an Women Net­work­ing Association
Civic Ventures
Code Blue Washington
Com­mon Power
Eco­nom­ic Oppor­tu­ni­ty Institute
Entre Hermanos
Fair­Vote Washington
Faith Action Network
Fix Democ­ra­cy First
Food Lifeline
Fuse Washington
Good Nature Publishing
Indi­vis­i­ble Vashon
Insight Strate­gic Partners
Lati­no Com­mu­ni­ty Fund
League of Minor­i­ty Voters
League of Women Vot­ers of Washington
MajorityRules
Mom­sRis­ing & MamásConPoder
More Equi­table Democracy
Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion for Social Work­ers WA
Nation­al Coun­cil of Jew­ish Women (NCJW)
Non­prof­it Asso­ci­a­tion of Washington
North­west Com­mu­ni­ty Bail Fund
North­west Harvest
North­west Pro­gres­sive Institute
OneAmerica
Pacif­ic Islander Health Board
Pjals
Pro­gre­so: Lati­no Progress
Pub­lic School Employ­ees of Wash­ing­ton (PSE)
SEIU 775
SEIU Health­care 1199NW
SiX
Sno­homish Indivisible
Taco­ma Asia Pacif­ic Cul­tur­al Center
Taco­ma Min­is­te­r­i­al Alliance
Taco­ma Urban League
The Nature Con­ser­van­cy — Wash­ing­ton Chapter
The Wash­ing­ton Bus
Thurston-Lewis-Mason Coun­ties Cen­tral Labor Council
Tran­sit Rid­ers Union
Urban League of Met­ro­pol­i­tan Seattle
UTOPIA Washington
Walling­ford Indivisible
Wash­ing­ton Bikes
Wash­ing­ton Com­mu­ni­ty Alliance
Wash­ing­ton Con­ser­va­tion Action
Wash­ing­ton Edu­ca­tion Association
Wash­ing­ton Fed­er­a­tion of State Employees
Wash­ing­ton Physi­cians for Social Responsibility
Wash­ing­ton State Bud­get and Pol­i­cy Center
Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party
Wash­ing­ton State Labor Coun­cil, AFL-CIO
Wash­ing­ton Stu­dent Association
Wash­ing­ton Vot­ing Jus­tice Coalition

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