by Datyous Mahmoudian
As someone who has experienced incarceration, I see voting rights restoration as a mark of good government. It sent me the message that “I matter” instead of reinforcing the stigma and second-class citizenship that are often experienced when people like me reenter our communities.
The recent passage of House Bill 1078 by our state legislature has cultivated a strong wave of hope and optimism from current and formerly incarcerated communities and their allies in Washington State. This new law will give new opportunity to thousands of politically disenfranchised people who want to make their voices heard by casting a vote for those who create the laws that govern our lives.
Continue reading OPINION: Voting Rights Restoration Bill’s Passage Brings Hope to Our Formerly Incarcerated Communities
by Joy Borkholder
(This article originally appeared on InvestigateWest and has been reprinted with permission.)
Marissa Reyes still doesn’t understand why her signature would cause her August 2020 Benton County primary ballot to be tossed out.
A letter from the county elections office challenging her signature came to her house in her hometown of Prosser. But Reyes had left for New York, where she had just finished college. Confused, neither Reyes nor her parents had the time to figure it all out before her ballot was rejected.
“I definitely felt annoyed and a little apathetic, but definitely not surprised,” Reyes recalled.
Continue reading Latino Voters Have Higher Than Average Ballot Signature Rejection Rates in Washington State
by Susan Fried
Sounds of cheering rose from the crowd as people lined up to drop their ballots into the ballot box by Garfield Community Center on Saturday, October 24. A group of about 100 people had marched from Pratt Fine Arts Center near 20th and Jackson to the ballot box on 23rd and Cherry to honor the memory of Rahwa Habte, a community organizer and a fierce advocate of voter rights.
Continue reading Rahwa Habte Memorial March to the Ballot Box
by Mark Van Streefkerk
If disabled people voted at the same rate as non-disabled people, there would have been 2.3 million more votes in the November 2018 elections. Breaking down barriers to access and getting votes counted is not a partisan issue; it’s part of a healthy democracy, and it’s the law. A new video series “Votes for Access,” hosted by writer and disability advocate Imani Barbarin, takes a look at the hindrances disabled citizens face when it comes to voting, and how accessible voting should be a priority for everyone, especially in the new normal of COVID-19 life.
Continue reading Vote for Access: New Video Series Addresses Obstacles Facing Disabled Voters
by Aaron Burkhalter
Nearly 100 years ago, Congress passed the 19th Amendment, granting white women the right to vote. It took another year for enough states to ratify the amendment, but many people would continue to wait for their right to vote. Jim Crow laws prevented black women and men from participating in the United States’ form of democracy.
Continue reading League of Women Voters panel discussion examines race and women’s suffrage