The following pieces of election-related legislation were passed in this 2018 Legislative Session and their effective dates:
- ESSB6002 – Voting Rights Act: Becomes effective 6/7/2018. Brief Summary: Creates a state voting rights act to protect the equal opportunity for minority groups to participate in local elections; creates a cause of action and authorizes courts to order appropriate remedies for a violation of the act, including redistricting within a political subdivision; authorizes school districts, cities, fire commissioners, port commissioners and public utility districts to choose to adopt district-based elections to remedy violations of the act.
- SHB2406 – Election Security Practices: Becomes effective 6/7/2018. Brief Summary: Requires the county auditor to audit duplicated ballots and electronic ballot return systems under certain circumstances and conduct a random check of ballot counting equipment; authorizes the use of certain audit methods to conduct audits in addition to the random check; requires the Secretary of State to survey and report on county canvassing board procedures for random checks of ballot counting equipment; requires a manufacturer or distributor of a certified voting system or component thereof to disclose certain breaches of the security of its system; authorizes the Secretary to decertify a voting system or component for certain reasons.
- SHB2628 – Election Continuity of Operations: Becomes effective 6/7/2018. Brief Summary: Requires the Washington Military Department to maintain a copy of county continuity of operations plans for election operations.
- SB6058 – Write-In Voting: Becomes effective 6/7/2018. Brief Summary: Requires write-in candidates to file declarations of candidacy to be eligible to have votes for the candidate tabulated; eliminates filing fee for write-in candidates who declare candidacy at least 18 days before the election; requires write-in candidates for offices with annual salaries of less than $1,000 to pay a $25 filing fee if declaring candidacy within 18 days of the election.
- SSB6021 – Voter Registration Period: Sections 1-4 effective 6/30/2019. Brief Summary: Voter registration by mail and electronically must be received no later than eight days before election date rather than 29 days before; changes deadline for in-person voter registration from eight days before to 8 p.m. on the day of election; changes the deadline to update existing voter registration information from 29 days before to 8 p.m. on election day;
- E2SHB2595 – Automatic Voter Registration: Becomes effective 7/1/2019. Brief Summary: Provides for an automatic voter registration procedure for enhanced driver’s licenses or identicards applicants; requires Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) automatically provide voter registration information to the Secretary of State (SOS) for persons who consent to such transfer; requires the HBE to report on the feasibility of implementing automatic voter registration; encourages other agencies that include citizenship information, including those providing public assistance or services to persons with disabilities, the Department of Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, the Military Department and the business professions division of DOL to offer the option to be automatically registered to vote.
- 2SHB1513 – Youth Voter Registration: Becomes effective 7/1/2019. Brief Summary: Authorizes a person to sign up to register to vote upon turning 16 years old but are not added to the official list of registered voters until the person will be at least 18 years old by the next election; exempts the information related to voter registration from public disclosure requirements until the subject of the information reaches age 18, with exceptions; exempts the information related to voter registration from inclusion on the jury source list until the person reaches age 18; provides for a voter sign-up and registration event in high school classes on Temperance and Good Citizenship Day.
Non-election related legislation:
- E2SHB1750 – Homeless Housing & Assistance: Becomes effective 6/7/2018. Brief Summary: . .
- Homeless fee surcharge will increase from $40 to $62 on June 7, 2018.
- Sunset is eliminated; surcharge is now permanent.
- Exemption for sewer/water liens is eliminated.
- E2SHB 2578 - Affordable Housing: Becomes effective 6/7/2018. Brief summary:
- Creates the landlord mitigation program and account.
- Requires the Department of Commerce to administer the program.
- Increases the affordable housing for all surcharge to thirteen dollars (up $3.00 from $10 to $13).
- Requires a portion of the surcharge to be deposited at the State in the landlord mitigation program account.