By Gay Wilmerding
Across the country, 21 million voters or more may be turned away from the polls because of a spate of 2011 voter suppression laws.
Contrast Washington. Our Secretary of State’s office mailed a 1.1 million postcards in English or Spanish inviting people to vote who “don’t appear to be registered”.
Comparing addresses from voter registration, driver and State ID lists, eight new staff help people or allay concern for those properly registered with names that do not quite match elsewhere. For example, inconsistent middle initials, typos or misspellings.
Carolyn Berger in WA’s Elections Division emphasizes registering on-line at VOTE.wa.gov until 8 October, two days after postmark deadline of 6 October; or, if voting for the first time in Washington, going in person to your County Auditor’s Election office until 29 October, eight days before the election.
On 25 September, independent of State efforts, League of Women Voters celebrates National Voter Registration Day!
League asks if voters are registered at their current address? If their signature has changed during the last two years? If they will be 18 by Election Day on 6 November? Or, if they are out of jail and off parole? All US citizens may then register or re-register to vote.
To learn about candidates and initiatives, visit League’s VOTE411.org. Enter your street address and follow prompts to contact candidates, to compare their positions on local questions,
and to read full text of ballot initiatives.
League does not edit content. If candidates are inaccurate or information contradictory, media may investigate. The press, or fourth estate, is a critical agency in democracy to keep the public informed.
Also, SJ Elections manager Doris Schaller points to our County’s excellent website: sanjuanco.com/elections. Click on the left side in the blue field for the Online Voter’s Guide to see arguments for and against initiatives. Click on here at center of opening page to see the November ballot.
Gay Wilmerding is a member of the League of Women Voters of the San Juans