The Governor and Secretary of State (Secretary) designate certain state agencies to provide voter registration services. These designated agencies provide voter registration services for employees and the public in each office of the agency.
Applicants registering to vote must submit an application with their name, residential address, and date of birth, and they must check a box confirming their United States citizenship. The applicant must also sign the application to attest to the truth of the information provided.
An applicant may register to vote online if the applicant has a Washington driver's license or state identification card. The Secretary must obtain a digital copy of the driver's license or identification card from the Department of Licensing. An applicant may also register online if they have a valid tribal identification card if the Secretary can obtain a copy of their signature from the federal government or the tribe.
An applicant may register to vote online by providing the last four digits of their social security number.
An applicant may register to vote online with a tribal identification card without regard for whether the Secretary can obtain their signature from the federal government or the tribe.
An applicant who registers to vote online using identification that is not issued by the State of Washington, i.e., a tribal identification card or social security number, must submit a signature image to the Secretary or as part of the confirmation notice process.
An applicant who registers to vote online must confirm their United States citizenship by reviewing the registration oath online as part of the registration process.
The amended bill makes a nonsubstantive change by removing a reference to applicants who register to vote using a tribal identification or social security number, and instead referring to those applicants as "not using Washington state issued identification."
(In support) This bill was the idea of a youth organization working on preregistering students. The group found that many young people do not have driver's licenses and therefore do not have a signature on file. Furthermore, accessing and maintaining a driver's license can be a barrier for some people, typically people of underrepresented groups. Oregon and several other states already use this method of allowing people to register online with a social security number and it is going well for them. People in Washington already can register to vote by paper form using a social security number, so they should be able to do so online too. Registering through an encrypted and verified site is more secure than through paper anyhow.
(Opposed) This bill brings a lack of security to the voting process. People who carry their social security cards in their wallet could have their wallet stolen and then someone could register to vote using their number. It is easy to get someone else's social security number to use for illegal purposes. Technology has improved many things but not elections. This is a gateway bill to online voting. Electronic signatures do not look like people's actual signature at all. The legislators are not taking any efforts to clean up the voter rolls.
(Other) Legislators should consider amending the bill to address an unrelated concern about witness signatures.