This week’s Q&A is with Sen. Mike Carrell, who I spoke with mostly about SJR 8205, which will remove a provision in the state’s Constitution that has never been enforced — and has been ruled unconstitutional. We also talked about next week’s big Economic and Revenue Forecast, where the state’s top economist is expected to have more bad news for lawmakers. Read all the way through the interview to see what Sen. Carrell has to say about it.
Q: First, what would the SJR do, in your own words?
Carrell: What it will do is eliminate from the state constitution a redundant part which is Article 6, Section 1(A). Article 6, Section 1 says what the qualifications are for a person to vote: You must live in the state, be 18 years of age, you can’t be a criminal — things of that nature. But Article 6, Section 1(A) says if you’ve been a resident of some state outside of Washington and you haven’t been here at least 60 days, then you can only vote for the president and vice president. The U.S. Supreme Court declared that it was unconstitutional to not allow somebody to vote that was of the age and had the other qualifications. But this has remained in our state constitution. I’ve tried for a number of years to convince people of both parties to clean up the constitution by removing this clause, and I finally did convince virtually everyone, so it’s going to a vote of the people.
It’s more a matter of doing some house cleaning to clean up something that was never implemented. It was passed by the people in 1977 and since that time, it has never been in actual effect. We have ignored it, so it is time to get rid of it.