OLYMPIA — The Washington State Senate voted on March 5 to increase access to democracy by requiring prepaid postage for ballot envelopes during all elections. Sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen, Senate Bill 5063 is the latest effort to eliminate barriers to participation in Washington elections.
“This bill is a huge step forward in making Washington elections fairer and more accessible for everyone in the state,” said Nguyen. “For most people, the idea that you would have to pay to return your ballot, even if that only means a stamp, just doesn’t sit right. Passing this legislation removes that question and brings everyone to the table.”
Washington authorized prepaid postage on a one-time basis for the 2018 midterm elections, and Nguyen is optimistic that expanding the practice statewide on a permanent basis will increase participation.
“I think we are stronger as individuals and communities when we all have access to voting and are a part of the process,” Nguyen said.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.