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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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Politics

Washington state Democrats push proposal for mandatory voting

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Mahmoud Bennett

Social Media Producer/Reporter

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Democrats in Washington state have proposed legislation that would mandate voting for all eligible residents. The bill is titled “An act relating to establishing universal civic duty voting,” and requires residents to either register to vote or obtain a waiver. The legislation requires each voter to return a ballot in every primary and general election, with the option to leave it blank.

Advocates of the bill equate casting a ballot with requirements such as registering for selective service and paying taxes. “Democracy and voting is a basic part of our country, and the more we get involved, the better and stronger our government will be,” State Sen. Sam Hunt, D, said.

According to the Senate Bill Report, there would be no penalties for failing to cast a ballot. However, Republicans disagree with the idea, saying that voting should be a voluntary act, not a requirement. “In the United States of America, we should not be compelled to do something that we may or may not want to do,” State Sen. Phil Fortunato, R, said.

Currently, there are no laws that require citizens to vote in local, state or presidential elections. If the bill is approved by Washington’s Democrat-controlled House and Senate, the law would take effect in 2026.

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MAHMOUD BENNETT:

WE ALL KNOW VOTING IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT IN THE US – BUT WHAT IF IT WERE TO BECOME A FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENT

WELL, DEMOCRATS IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON HAVE INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO MAKE VOTING MANDATORY IN THE STATE

ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL CIVIC DUTY VOTING IS WHAT THEY CALL IT AND THE BILL AIMS TO MAKE VOTING A MUST FOR ALL ELIGIBLE RESIDENTS IN THE STATE, REQUIRING THEM TO EITHER REGISTER TO VOTE OR OBTAIN A WAIVER

EACH VOTER WOULD THEN NEED TO RETURN A BALLOT AT EACH PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTION – THOUGH THEY WOULD HAVE THE OPTION TO LEAVE IT BLANK, ACCORDING TO THE SENATE REPORT

ADVOCATES OF THE BILL ARGUE THAT, JUST LIKE REGISTERING FOR SELECTIVE SERVICE AND PAYING TAXES, CASTING A BALLOT SHOULD BE A REQUIREMENT. 

WHILE THERE WOULD BE *NO ACTUAL PENALTY* FOR FAILING TO CAST A BALLOT – SOME REPUBLICANS COUNTER THAT VOTING SHOULD BE A PROUD ACT THAT AMERICANS CHOOSE TO DO, NOT A REQUIREMENT.

AS OF RIGHT NOW – NO ONE IN THE UNITED STATES IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO VOTE IN ANY LOCAL, STATE, OR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS – BUT IF THIS BILL IS PASSED BY WASHINGTON STATE’S DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED HOUSE AND SENATE THE LAW WOULD TAKE EFFECT IN THE YEAR 2026

THAT’S YOUR QUICK BREAKDOWN WITH US HERE AT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS – UNBIASED STRAIGHT FACTS