Required Participation in Elections?
HB1220 requires residents to register to vote and to submit their ballot. There is a companion bill in the senate, SB 5209.
Section 1 of HB 1220 states,
“People would be able to vote without obstruction or suppression. Washington voters who now solemnly accept their responsibilities to sit on juries, defend our country, and pay taxes should take the obligation to the work of government just as seriously. People must register for the selective service, serve on a jury, and pay taxes; they should also be required to cast a ballot.“
One thing that is unclear is what obstruction or suppression voters currently experience, or how the bill addresses that, exactly. Terms like these are used frequently now. Their logic is once people see these key phrases, they won’t argue with the actual content, because they don’t want to be responsible for suppressing any voters, or obstructing anyone’s right, or in this case, duty, to vote.
Generally people do not wish to engage in confrontation. This is being exploited in today’s culture, and this bill is a perfect example of that. In order to avoid being accused of voter suppression, obstruction, and racism, they won’t speak up when they feel the bill is a horrible idea. It’s phsycological control and a form of forcing people submit when they otherwise would put up a fight.
Section 2 of the bill reads,
“Every person who is eligible to vote under Article VI, section 1 of the state Constitution must register to vote using one of the methods prescribed in this title unless the person obtains a waiver from the obligation to register to vote.
(2) A waiver from the obligation to register to vote is permanent unless withdrawn by the person who has obtained the waiver.
(3) A person is not required to provide a reason for seeking the waiver from the obligation to register to vote.”
HB 1220 – Download the Original Bill
Several RCW’s would be amended if this bill passes. One of which is RCW 29A.36.161, to which they would add a requirement for the following statement to be included in the ballot packet materials,
“You may leave any portion or the entirety of this ballot blank. However, you are required by law to submit this ballot to your local county elections office by Election Day.”
If a waiver can be submitted to excuse someone’s obligation to register, what is the point of requiring it? Could it be so there is a list of people who everyone knows for sure will not be submitting a ballot? Could those names then be used to supplement vote counts in certain areas or races?
If they don’t require the ballot to actually be filled out, why do they require the voter return it? Could this also be used to supplement vote counts to ensure certain people win?
For updates on the bill, or to track it’s status, CLICK HERE.
18 U.S. Code § 610 – Coercion of political activity
Some could argue that this bill would violate federal election law.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to intimidate, threaten, command, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, command, or coerce, any employee of the Federal Government as defined in section 7322(1) of title 5, United States Code, to engage in, or not to engage in, any political activity, including, but not limited to, voting or refusing to vote for any candidate or measure in any election, making or refusing to make any political contribution, or working or refusing to work on behalf of any candidate. Any person who violates this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
The bill includes uniformed and overseas voters and would require they participate in a political activity.