Native American voting rights proposal passes state Senate

February 6, 2019

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Lawmakers in the state Senate approved a proposal to expand voting services on tribal reservations Wednesday.

The measure passed on a 34-13 vote Wednesday and now heads to the House.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. John McCoy of Tulalip, would require county officials to establish at least one voting drop box on any tribal reservation if requested by the tribe.

Along with drop boxes, the proposal also allows tribal members to use tribal identification cards to register to vote, and to register using non-traditional addresses, including a narrative description of the location of a voter’s residence.

Non-traditional addresses were already permitted under state law in certain circumstances; the bill would broadly add voters who live on tribal lands to the list.

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