Poor voter turnout among young people topic of forum

By | February 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

Washington leaders are not only questioning why more millennials don’t engage in the political process, but they’re also looking for solutions to boost participation.

Fewer than half of Washingtonians between the ages of 18 and 29 voted in the 2012 national election. That’s compared to 70 percent of voters 30 and older.

Disengaged youth was this year’s topic at a forum put on Friday by the Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service and the Jackson Foundation in Olympia.

Millennials are more diverse, socially connected and volunteer more than their parents — but they are less likely to cast a ballot, said Kei Kewashima-Ginsberg, deputy director at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.

Lack of passion among millennials isn’t the problem. Young people don’t make the connection between voting and making an impact, said Emile Netzhammer, the Chancellor of Washington State University.

“They don’t see immediate change or necessarily any change at all,” said Netzhammer. He said that has created an apathetic political climate, where millennials have a distrust in the process and believe that one vote doesn’t matter.

One panelist argued that the problem of low voter turnout among young people is often exaggerated. Lindsay Pryor, Voter Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Washington Secretary of State office, assured the audience that as people get older, they vote more.

“If you look at baby boomers, they did not vote more than millennials when they were young,” said Pryor. (more…)

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Sen. Mike Carrell on voting, the state Constitution and next week’s big Revenue Forecast

By | September 9, 2011 | 0 Comments

carrell2This 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.
(more…)

Have you registered to vote for the primary yet?

By | July 18, 2011 | 0 Comments

voteToday’s the last day you can register to vote online or by mail if you want to vote in the Aug. 16 primary. (Not excited for this year’s primary? There’s no harm in taking a few minutes now to register for the general election.)

Of course, if you miss the deadline and want to vote in the primary, you’ll still be able to register in-person at your county elections office through Aug. 8.

According to the Secretary of State’s blog, they’ll be shipping primary ballots on July 29.

Don’t miss tonight’s live voter polling show on TVW

By | October 25, 2010 | 0 Comments

If you’re interested in this year’s elections, you won’t want to miss TVW’s live polling show at 7 o’clock tonight: On “TVW Election Special: Voters Talk Taxes,” Stuart Elway and Jessica Gao, host of The Impact, will host a live, one-hour show where voters across Washington will be polled on how they feel about tax issues on next week’s ballot.

The hundreds of participants will be asked about the tax measures during the show, and the results will be broadcast instantly.

The interactive program will show you what hundreds of voters across the state think about taxes.

And:  Two experts will be on set to answer voters questions about taxes.

Don’t miss it — tonight at 7 p.m., live on TVW.

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Today is your last chance to register to vote for next week’s election!

By | October 25, 2010 | 0 Comments

That’s right: Today is the very last day you can register to vote — and you’ll need to visit your county election office to do so.

Find more info — including the location of your county’s election office — here. Then watch the Mock Election Forum we taped last week in Dayton for more information (yes, it was a forum to help middle- and high-school students decide how to vote in the mock election, but the questions are excellent and the issues are the same that you’ll vote for).

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Learn more about the candidates with TVW

By | July 13, 2010 | 0 Comments

TVW has partnered with the Secretary of State’s Office to produce a Video Voters’ Guide.

Pick a candidate, click on their name and watch their statement. Right now, all of Sen. Patty Murray’s challengers have videos available — Murray is taping hers this week.

The guide can also be viewed on air up until the Aug. 17 primary.

And, for the most complete primary night coverage, turn to a TVW for a special edition of The Impact. Host Jessica Gao will bring you the latest election results, interview political analysts and candidates, and preview the issues heading into the general election in November.  Don’t miss a special election season edition of The Impact on Tuesday, August 17th starting at 8 p.m.

You should: Send in your ballot, watch the QEC live on TVW now

By | November 2, 2009 | 0 Comments

First thing’s first: Tomorrow is the deadline for voting. Mail your ballot, hand deliver it … whatever it takes. We have an excellent video voter guide and Q&As with each of the initiative and referendum sponsors and opponents.

Also: Right now on TVW, you can watch the Quality Education Council — the group charged with trying to figure out how to improve Washington’s public schools. Find out more here. And watch now.

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Register to vote in person today to vote next week

By | October 26, 2009 | 0 Comments

Today is the deadline for voter registration — if you aren’t already registered. But: You must register in-person in order to be eligible to vote next week.

Where should you go? Your county elections office. Find a map here.

Then watch TVW’s video voter guide to get up-to-speed on the issues:

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Don’t forget to register to vote by midnight

By | October 5, 2009 | 0 Comments

If you want to vote on Nov. 4, you need to be registered by midnight tonight.

How? It’s very easy: First, go here to check whether you are, in fact, registered. Then, if you’re not (or if you need to update your address), go here.

Don’t forget — deadline is midnight tonight (or new voters can register in-person at your county office until Oct. 26). Also: The online registration site was down for a bit this morning, but it’s back up and working now. We’ll let you know if any other failures occur.

And while we’re on the subject of voting, don’t miss TVW’s video voter guide — hear the opponents and supporters speak on issues in their own words.

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Is your ballot secret? Details on the lawsuit.

By | July 20, 2009 | 0 Comments

Last week, a lawsuit was filed in Washington Supreme Court that alleges the secrecy of ballots is compromised by the bar codes that some counties use.

Their claim: The companies who track the ballots can use the data to find out how exactly how you voted, which is illegal.

The Secretary of State’s Office, however, said that’s bogus: They compared it to tracking numbers on packages that allow people to make sure the package is en route, but not decipher what’s inside the box.

The Supreme Court hasn’t yet decided whether they’ll take the case. Brad Shannon has some great reporting on the issue here, and here’s a story by The Daily World.

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Read about Washington state politics in the Economist

By | June 8, 2009 | 0 Comments

I was surprised to open last week’s edition of The Economist to find this story, which begins with the line: “We in Washington state ‘get our business done.’” (The quote is from Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown.)

The article focuses on how politically moderate this state is and attributes it to the voting system. It’s an interesting perspective — an international magazine’s take on Washington’s politics compared to our neighbor states.

Update: And here’s a blog post by the folks in the Secretary of State’s Office (their blog, From Our Corner, is a must-read) on the same article.

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Citizen files initiative to require popular vote on whether to use popular vote…

By | April 29, 2009 | 0 Comments

This just in from Dave Ammons, communications director for the Secretary of State: “Just one day after Governor Gregoire signed the bill dealing with the state’s Electoral College votes being committed to the national popular vote winner, a critic has filed a referendum to try to force a public vote this fall.”

According to Ammons, David Anderson from Shaw Island is not on the hunt for 120,577 valid voter signatures. He has until July 25.

Coincidentally, I’ve been working feverishly today on the “Legislative Year in Review” show, which includes a segment on this bill. Here’s a refresher:

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Will session end on time?

By | April 22, 2009 | 0 Comments

That and many other questions will be answered (and/or addressed) in tonight’s edition of The Impact. Here’s what host Jennifer Huntley has to say about it:

It’s down to the last couple of days for the 2009 Legislative session. A deal may be imminent on the budget. Will lawmakers get out on time? We’ll talk with members of the media and get their thoughts on what will happen as session winds down.

Also – should felons be allowed to vote if they haven’t paid their legal fees? That and some other voting measures are making their way through the Legislature. We’ll detail how the voting rules would change and talk with lawmakers on both sides of this issue.

And a sales tax proposal is getting a lot of attention this last week. It would buy back some of the cuts to healthcare in the budget. But does it have the votes to pass in the House and Senate and go to voters? We’ll talk with Representative Eric Pettigrew, who is sponsoring the legislation in the House and Senator Cheryl Pflug in the Senate.

The Impact will air during a break in floor session this evening and anytime online at www.tvw.org And I’ll post it here as soon as it’s available!

Updated: Should felons be able to vote? Senate debates it now.

By | April 15, 2009 | 0 Comments

Right now, the Senate is debating a bill that would allow felons who have served their prison sentence to vote. Currently, felons can vote if they’ve paid their legal financial obligations.

Sen. Lisa Brown said current law isn’t fair. She had a family member who served prison time and turned their life around. “The point here are people who have served their time and are back trying to build a new life, and for us to say, You don’t count any more in our democratic process seems highly unpatriotic to me.”

“I don’t think the county clerks are going to like this bill … I don’t think the victims are going to like this bill,” said Sen. Tim Sheldon.

Sen. Jim Hargrove said the Senate already voted on the issue two years ago, on an offender re-entry bill. He said he thinks the current system is a reasonable approach.


Sen. Pam Roach
said serving time does not mean one has repaid their debts to society. “The people do not want people voting on automatic restoration,” she said.

Sen. Dan Swecker: “We have the amendment that says the victim is still the priority … felons who have their voting rights restored are less likely to recidivate and they are also more likely to make victim restitution.”

The bill passed 29 to 19.

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Even more things on today’s agenda… childcare unionization, state funding for local projects and all-mail voting

By | March 9, 2009 | 0 Comments

Since I wrote the last post about what happened today, the House and Senate have done so much more. Tomorrow’s show is subject to change. Here’s a few things that might appear:

- A bill to require all-mail voting. This really only applies to Pierce County, since they’re the only county that still has polls open.

- A bill allowing child care workers to unionize.

- A bill that would require local projects that receive state money to adopt policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Good morning. Here’s last night’s The Impact with Dick Thompson

By | February 5, 2009 | 0 Comments

While you’re watching this on your computer, turn your TV to TVW. Right now, we have the House State Government Committee considering a bill to elect the President by popular vote — and this on the one-year anniversary of Super Tuesday. One guest said it could nationalize voter fraud.

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