Changing the Way We Vote
A House Bill was introduced that could significantly change the way voters in Washington elect candidates in 2024, including the 2024 presidential race. HB 1592 would require voters to submit votes for multiple candidates for each race on the ballot. This bill specifies the presidential election, but we all know it doesn’t stop there.
Originally sponsored by Representatives Mena, Gregerson, Ramel, and Fitzgibbon, HB 1592 adds a new section to 29A.56, which states,
“The presidential primary shall be conducted using ranked choice voting as provided in this section.”
(See the bill below to review all current sponsors to the bill)
That’s right, ranked choice voting. Refresh your memory on the topic by clicking HERE. This would end all transparency in our elections and it is not a fair way to count. Some people will get multiple votes, while others only get one. It eliminates the idea of “one man, one vote” and will devistate any election integrity left in the state.
This kind of election is currently in violation of state law, so several amendments are required. There has been a lot of preparation and planning put into this major change. FairVoteWA has had a heavy hand in that.
Definitions according to the bill:
“Ranked choice voting” means a system of counting votes in which votes are tabulated based on a voter’s ranking of candidates in order of preference as provided in this section.
“Instant runoff voting method” means a system of counting votes in which the ballots are counted in rounds simulating a series of runoffs until the only candidates remaining have received sufficient votes to pass the threshold to receive delegates set by the parties in advance of the election under RCW 29A.56.050.
How It “Works”
Tabulation at the Secretary of State
Ranked choice voting isn’t where the bill stops. It also says,
“County auditors must collect and process ballots as in an election held under this title. As necessary, county auditors shall duplicate ballots and resolve questions about a voter’s intent as provided in RCW 29A.60.125. However, county auditors shall not tabulate the election results. County auditors instead must prepare and send preliminary cast vote record data to the secretary of state for preliminary tabulation, and certify and send certified cast vote record data to the secretary of state for final tabulation.”
Sending the data to the Secretary of State to tabulate the votes is unacceptable. Washington is supposed to have 39 separate election systems. Sending data to the SOS means we essentially have one statewide vote tallying system.
Cast Vote Records
The bill also says,
“The secretary of state shall also publish the preliminary and certified cast vote record data in a publicly accessible, electronic format, in a manner identifiable by precinct, except when precinct identification would violate a voter’s right to cast a secret ballot.”
This part is very strange. Currently, they refuse to provide cast vote records, and there is another bill in the legislature which exempts CVR’s in their entirety.
Another concern with this bill is that it no longer will require voting systems used in the state to be certified by a VSTL accredited by the EAC.
“No voting system or voting device shall be approved by the secretary of state unless it:
Has been tested and certified by an independent testing authority designated by the United States election assistance commission, except:
(a) For functions or capabilities unique to this state; or
(b) For stand-alone components of voting systems that have been tested by an independent testing authority designated by the United States election assistance commission but that cannot be officially “certified” because the authority can certify only complete voting systems”
HB 1592 Original Bill
There needs to be a unified effort from the public to oppose this bill for the sake of election security. Once public testimony is allowed, we will update this post to include links to do that. Please encourage people to state their opinion of this bill as a “CON” and encourage legislatures to vote no.
This bill died in committee!!! But we must look out for it in future legislative sessions.