In the past, voting barriers have faced members of Washington tribes that do not exist for the general public. Now good news is coming on this front from The News Tribune by Shauna Sowersby:
Two bills aimed to increase access to democracy for Washington voters were signed by Gov. Inslee on Thursday after successfully passing through both chambers of the state Legislature. SB 5079 enacts the Native American voting rights act of Washington.
It allows more voter registration accessibility for Native Americans living on reservations. Under the new legislation, Native American voters can register to vote online using a tribal identification card, and voters now will be able to use the address of designated buildings on tribal lands for registration.
The new law also allows tribes to request at least one ballot drop box from the county auditor at the location of the tribe’s choice. Buildings also can be designated by tribal members for ballot pickup, which must be done by the county auditor.
The News Tribune has the full story. The are various types of barriers facing voters including photo ID requirements, voting booth availability, the flexibility of poll hours, and the availability of time off from work with pay for voting. Some states even have financial penalties for the violation of deadlines or rules related to registration lists. Online voter registration, absentee voting, and early voting are some policies that clearly are shown to ease voting.
In new research published in the Election Law Journal, Quan Li, Michael J. Pomante II, and Scot Schraufnagel outline an innovative index system. In their report, titled “Cost of Voting in the American States”, the researchers revealed amazing details of state by state voting barriers.