The WA Voting Justice Coalition is a group of community organizations and individuals, dedicated to voting rights and access in Washington State. We believe that the vote is our tool, as ordinary people, to have a voice in our government. Washingtonian voters should have the opportunity to cast their ballot, and have it counted.
There is a key problem with Washington’s elections. Voter turnout, civic participation, and electoral representation show a clear trend in Washington. Those who are older and white have higher voter registration rates, turnout more often, and are more demographically represented in elected office. People of color, young people, low-income individuals, and many other Washingtonians are registering and turning out at much lower rates. This perpetuates a cycle that prioritizes engagement of older white voters over others. The result is a state in which some are actively civically engaged and others are excluded by default. When certain groups have the power to elect people who make decisions for all of us, it means our voices and needs are not getting met and given unequal access to resources and representation. Around the country we are seeing active voter suppression - like voter ID laws, voter purges, and limiting the time people can vote. As a coalition, we refuse to let that happen in our state and instead seek to be a national model around ensuring all people have their votes counted and voices heard.
The Washington Voting Justice Coalition supports reforming the root causes of low turnout and voter registration rates. We believe that these problems are built into our political, civic, and cultural practices and that the first step to change is addressing the way we do our work. As a coalition, we strive for equity, transparency, and the centering of those most affected.
We are creating a vibrant movement that leads with racial equity by prioritizing and being accountable to communities most impacted by voting barriers.
We will redefine a win that’s creative, transformative, and radical that isn’t only defined by what policies we win, but how we are able to do it. Winning for us means winning policy change in the legislature, at the ballot, and building a movement since these do not have to be mutually exclusive. We will use a diversity of tactics, ideas, and actions to achieve our goals, and be thoughtful about who takes on what tactic so that everyone is accountable around our strategy.
TRANSPARENCY & EQUITY IN DECISION MAKING:
We have a transparent and equitable decision-making process and resource allocation model that focuses on those most impacted by voting access issues.
We support the following policies, many of which we’ve been working towards for several years. For updates on current bills before the legislature and the activities of our diverse coalition, please sign up for our email list and connect with us on Facebook.
Pre-Registration for 16 & 17 year olds
Same Day Voter Registration
Increasing online access for people with disabilities
Enfranchising current and formerly incarcerated individuals
Increasing the number of languages that voting information is available in
Adding pre-paid postage to ballots
Increasing the amount of drop boxes around the state in areas where voter participation is lower
Automatic Voter Registration
Washington Voting Rights Act
Full compliance with the National Voter Registration and Voting Rights Acts
It’s been a busy legislative session in Olympia for the Washington Voting Justice Coalition. HB 2574, Reforming Washington’s Redistricting Commission, was passed out of the House and is currently moving through the Senate. But unless legislators hear how important this bill is to the rest of us, it could die. This is a once-in-a-decade chance … Continue reading “Tell your legislators to support modernizing our redistricting commission!”
Washington is a national leader for protecting the freedom to vote, but our redistricting process has fallen behind. In 2011, when Washington last redrew the maps, voters called for more opportunities to weigh in, more updates from the commission, and more language access for non-English speakers. Accurate, accountable redistricting is fundamental to a representative democracy. … Continue reading “Please support HB 2575 reforming Washington’s redistricting commission.”
The freedom to vote for 25,000 Washington voters is on the line, and the clock is ticking. Right now, people serving custody after incarceration aren’t allowed to vote in Washington. That means that despite serving their time, around 25,000 eligible voters are needlessly shut out of our democracy. Powerful special interests have rigged the system … Continue reading “Please stand up for voting rights in Washington!”