HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 4006
State of Washington 51st Legislature 1989 Regular Session
By Representatives Anderson, R. Fisher, Hankins, Jacobsen, Winsley, Brekke, R. King, Nelson, Jesernig, Rector, Haugen, Wineberry, Spanel, O'Brien, Kremen, Morris, Bristow, Sayan, McLean, Brumsickle, Jones, Brough, Beck, Wang, Basich, Ballard, Horn, Ferguson, Bowman, Walker, D. Sommers, Wolfe, Fuhrman, Nealey, Youngsman, Leonard, Tate, G. Fisher, Todd and Doty
Read first time 2/1/89 and referred to Committee on State Government.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, News broadcasting organizations are, with increasing frequency, projecting the winner of presidential elections prior to the closing of all polling places in the United States; and
WHEREAS, This practice causes many potential voters in Washington and other western states to learn of the projected winner in presidential elections prior to the closing of polling places in the western states; and
WHEREAS, Early projections also create the same problem for voters in the eastern states; and
WHEREAS, The news broadcast of the projected presidential winner may cause voters in Washington, in the west, and in other states to believe that their votes do not count; and
WHEREAS, The resulting decrease in voter turnout detracts from the democratic character of elections, and may inadvertently and unfairly affect the outcome of state and local elections; and
WHEREAS, The projection of the winner of presidential elections before the closing of all polling places is caused by the lack of a uniform closing time for polling places in the United States, and also by the refusal of some news broadcasting organizations to refrain from projecting an election winner until after the closing of all polling places for that election;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that Congress enact legislation, similar to H.R. 18, which would establish for presidential elections a uniform closing time for all polling places in the Continental United States, in conjunction with a pledge from news broadcasting organizations not to project election results until after such a closing time.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.